A METHODIST minister says he is looking forward to becoming the next Lord Mayor of Bradford.

Councillor Geoff Reid, who represents the Eccleshill ward at Bradford Council, will be the first Liberal Democrat in eight years to become the district's first citizen.

He was nominated for the role of Lord Mayor by his colleagues in the council's Liberal Democrat group.

He said: "I'm grateful for the confidence of my group in putting me forward.

"It will be strange in some ways, because in the council chamber my seat directly faces the Lord Mayor, so it will seem very weird sitting there looking at my empty seat.

"In general terms, I'm looking forward to an interesting year. I have done some interesting things in my life but it is nice to be able to say, 'And now for something completely different'."

Cllr Reid is a retired Methodist minister who served the church for 39 years before his retirement in 2009.

He spent 15 years as team leader at the church's Touchstone Centre in Merton Road, Shearbridge, Bradford, specialising in city issues and interfaith work.

He spent the night of the 2001 riots in Manningham, along with Canon George Moffat, then Team Rector of St Paul’s, Manningham.

They subsequently worked to help both the churches and the city respond to the after-effects of the riots.

Cllr Reid still takes services once a month in the Bradford North Methodist Circuit and writes book reviews for the Methodist Recorder.

And for the past two years he has conducted the annual Armistice Day service at Undercliffe Cemetery.

Cllr Reid said politics was "in our DNA" in the Methodist church, but said he believed he was the first Methodist minister to become the Lord Mayor of a UK city.

Although the Methodist church was not able to confirm this, the Rev Dr Roger Walton, chairman of the West Yorkshire Methodist District, sent his congratulations to Cllr Reid.

He said: "The Methodist Church is proud that the Rev Geoff Reid has been designated as Lord Mayor of Bradford for 2016-17.

"Methodism in West Yorkshire has a long history of engagement in local politics and issues of justice in the region. Indeed, the current Lord Mayor, Joanne Dodds, is also a member of a Methodist church in Bradford.

"This is a hard time to be involved in local government with almost unprecedented pressures on those who make decisions about resources and services in the face of massive cuts.

"Local politicians need our support and prayers and we need to urge people from all faiths and none to consider a vocation in local politics."

The Lady Mayoress Designate, Chris Reid, also served as a councillor for the Idle and Thackley ward between 2010 and 2014.

She sings twice a week in her church choir and in the Free Spirit singing group.