20th May, 2024

Robert Rigby (T79) becomes Worshipful Lord Mayor of Westminster

Robert Rigby

We are thrilled to announce that Robert Rigby (T79) has been elected the new Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Westminster.

The Lord Mayor said: “My education at Ampleforth instilled within me the need to put others first and recognise the two pillars of the rule of St Benedict’s teaching namely ‘listen’ and ‘humility’. Catholic values and social teaching have been and remain important, and that was particularly clear to me during my time as chair of the Catholic Union."

“Catholicism plays a big part in my life, and I try every day to lead a life which reflects those values. I see it as a strength and feel it will be invaluable in my year of office where I will be attending more than 500 engagements and meeting thousands of people from many different backgrounds.”

The Lord Mayor’s chaplain will be Father Christopher Colven, past Rector of St James’s Church, Spanish Place, in Marylebone. Fr Colven is currently the Catholic Chaplain to the Houses of Parliament.

A Westminster City Councillor since 2010, Robert's career has seen him take senior roles including chair of the planning committee; deputy cabinet member for finance and regeneration; deputy cabinet member for parking and housing and chair of the Lord’s community group.

The new Lord Mayor said:

“It is a huge honour and an enormous privilege to accept this role. Westminster is truly an international and multicultural city, and our diverse and vibrant communities make it special and different from other London local authorities. I very much look forward to meeting and supporting our many communities across the city during my year of office.”

The Lord Mayor has chosen two charities to champion: the Cardinal Hume Centre, which looks after homeless young people and the MCC Foundation, which promotes cricket to different communities across the country through free training and matches.

Robert said: “I have long been impressed with the work the Cardinal Hume Centre does in providing a lifeline to young people and families. There are complex reasons why people become homeless, and the Cardinal Hume Centre is fantastic at helping young people who, for whatever reasons, have ended up on the streets.” It was while a teenager at Ampleforth College in 1976 that Robert heard the great bell at the Abbey Church ring out to mark the appointment of the-then Abbot Basil Hume as Archbishop of Westminster.

The Lord Mayor’s other charity will be the MCC Foundation. He added: “One of my key themes for the Mayoral year will be getting our young people fit and engaged with sport. I can think of no better partner than the Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation, which does an amazing job introducing children and teens to the game. Cricket is for everyone, and the MCC Foundation works in communities where young people might not perhaps have thought of trying it.”

A keen runner, The Lord Mayor is a trustee of the London Marathon Foundation but regularly runs 10k and cross-country races as a member of the Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers. 

Speaking at the Mayor Making event held at Marylebone Town Hall, Robert Rigby said: “As Lord Mayor it will be a year of firsts – the first time Westminster has had a Japanese Lady Mayoress, and I’m pretty sure it will be the first time for a Lord Mayor to run a 10k race in under 40 minutes! The Lord Mayor plans to get young Westminster residents up and running by visiting primary schools and promoting the Daily Mile – the initiative to encourage all young children to walk or run a mile every day – and he hopes to get as many youngsters as possible to enter the Westminster Mile event in September.

On behalf of the Ampleforth Society we send all our congratulations to the Lord Mayor on his appointment.