Thanksgiving/Illuminate 2021 Art Exhibition

Babworth Art Exhibition returned to Babworth Church again this year.

On Saturday 27th November 2021, the exhibition was opened at 10am by Isabelle Richards, Heritage Engagement Officer at the Pilgrims Gallery in Bassetlaw Museum, and Revd David Gough, Area Dean, Bassetlaw & Bawtry Deanery.

There were fifty-seven outstanding paintings and pottery exhibited from nineteen talented artists, on the themes of Thanksgiving, Mayflower Pilgrims and the Separatists. Artists who exhibited included Shaun Clark, Gerry Fruin, Margaret Harrod, Jenny King, Elaine Nash, Margaret Presley, Helen Richards, Paul Straker, Mick Thomas, Ann Wildgust, and members of Brushstrokes Art Group.

At 12noon on Saturday, local tour guide, Maggy Watkins gave an informative talk on the Separatists and Puritans entitled Saints and Strangers. On Sunday 28th November, at 3pm, local historian and author, Adrian Gray gave a fascinating talk on the myths with The Afterlife of the Mayflower Pilgrims.

This popular exhibition has now been established for six years with only a pandemic-enforced break in 2020. The weather did its best to deter visitors, threatening everything from storm to snow, but over fifty people found their way through to enjoy the building, artworks, talks and refreshments. The online exhibition will continue until the end of the year at

The next major event at Babworth Church will be the Snowdrops Festival in February 2022 – an opportunity for a healthy walk from Retford with some great scenery.


On 25th November 2021, the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving meal was commemorated.

This was a meal which was shared between the newly arrived settlers to North America – the Mayflower Pilgrims – and the local population (the Mashpee Wampanoag) who had formed an alliance with them. However, Thanksgiving has been marked, since 1970, among many Native Americans as a National Day of Mourning.

Millions of Americans mark Thanksgiving as a celebration of family and an opportunity to give thanks for what they have. People travel across the country to enjoy a meal together, usually featuring turkey, but the original meal would probably have consisted of venison, shellfish and cereals.

The Babworth Art Exhibition has been a collaboration between BCH, All Saints’ Church Babworth, and Bassetlaw District Council for six years, commemorating the story of the Separatists and Mayflower Pilgrims. The theme of Thanksgiving which became popular in North America developed from these stories. Today its relevance is perhaps broader and can be seen as an opportunity to give thanks more widely.