Francis is a former museum curator. He is an art historian, fine art consultant, lecturer and author. His community and charitable interests include the Canynges Society, the Clifton Arts Club, The Antient Society of St Stephen’s Ringers, the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust and the Avon Gorge and Downs Wildlife Project. He was High Sheriff of Avon in 1992/3.
Membership is by invitation to men and women who are prominent in the business and commercial life of the greater Bristol area, and who are prepared to give their time and skills in support of the Merchant Venturers’ objectives.
All the members meet together four times a year at what is known as Quarterly Hall, and again on Charter Day in November.
The Merchant Venturers are governed by the Master and two Wardens. They head a 15-strong Standing Committee of members who are elected annually on Charter Day, 10th November.
Day-to-day administration is carried out by the Treasurer, who is effectively the chief executive. He is advised as necessary by the Clerk, who is a lawyer.