Babworth Church hosts successful first Pilgrims Festival Art Exhibition

Over 150 visitors went to Babworth Parish Church last weekend (19th & 20th November) to see the first Pilgrims Festival Art Exhibition.

There were 39 exhibits, including paintings by local artists, Gerry Fruin, Jenny King, Margaret Harwood, and members of the Misterton Art Group, Brushstrokes. Three-dimensional works were provided by Madelaine Richardson, with a superb bust of William Brewster, and a range of pottery from Dave Hughes, the Mud-Mechanic, including specially commissioned candlesticks, which will be used in the Candle-lighting and Civic Services taking place on Thursday 24th November.

The standard of work was high and the range of styles included watercolours, oils, acrylics, embroidery, clay and mixed media. Encouraged by the response from the artists and the public, it is planned to hold another exhibition next year and to work with any groups that would like to know more about the story over the next 12 months. It is not all about the Mayflower ship – although there were a number of skilled interpretations of it – the only requirement is that the work should be inspired by the Separatist and Mayflower Pilgrims story. So, artists, please put it in the diary for next year!

Babworth Church is an outstanding location to hold an event focused on the Separatist story as it is where Richard Clifton preached and where William Bradford and William Brewster travelled to hear him, risking fines or imprisonment for doing so. As well as its historic and architectural interest, there are also several ‘Mousey Thompson’ mice to find, keeping younger visitors entertained. Babworth will hold its candle-lighting service at 4pm, and its candle will feature in the Civic Service at St Swithun’s in Retford at 6.00pm, both on 24th November.

On Saturday 19th, local author and historian, Adrian Gray gave a brilliant talk on “How Nottinghamshire Changed the World”. Adrian added new facts and stories about people whose daily lives we can only imagine, who came from in and around Bassetlaw. He told the story of Elizabeth Hooten, a woman travelling about the world on her own, being banished to the West Indies from the New World Colony, and returning; then being sent out into the snow-filled forest with only one helper, and surviving by following the tracks of wolves – remarkably dying in Bermuda after a long life.

A free talk will be given on Friday 25th November, 12.30 pm in Retford Town Hall, by Natasha Scullion, on “St Martin’s Bilborough, Hidden Treasures: The Building and its People”. The talk is free to all and is followed at 2.00pm by a public performance by Talegate Theatre of their “Chronicles of the Pilgrims” – a light-hearted look at the story. The exhibition about the Separatist and Mayflower Pilgrims story will be open in Retford Town Hall from 10am until 4pm.