Who we are

We are Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (BCH) – an organisation bringing together churches and other groups in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire.

Our purpose is to gather, organise, present and promote information – and facilitate activities relating to Christian heritage within 30 miles of Retford.

We aim to provide an internationally recognised tourist environment, based on faith, with its roots established in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire.

We believe that the defining characteristics of independent thinking, passion and tolerance are inherent in the people of Bassetlaw. This local personality has, through the actions of individuals, influenced the development of communities and nations around the world.

What we do, and how we do it

We encourage and facilitate quality tourism, through collaboration, communication, and events, based on Christian heritage in and around Bassetlaw, both within Britain, and internationally.

We carry out, support, and seek to inspire, research, education and learning in relation to Christian heritage in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire.

One of our key activities is to explain and explore the meaning of historical events, and their relevance, to a wide range of people, with differing language skills and cultural backgrounds. We see Heritage as ‘Applied History’, where people from history and their events are able to be interpreted within their contemporary culture, and communicated effectively to 21st century audiences. In short we want to put you in the room with them, but see them on their own terms.

We try to be clear and reflect this in the design of all our communications whether it’s print, audio-visual, or electronic media. As funding becomes available, we will develop the use of technology to help you meet people from the past and understand their world.

Why it matters

The choice of Retford, in Bassetlaw, as our centre is not accidental – if you put a flag down in the middle of Retford, and draw a circle 30 miles around it, you would include the origins of many English-speaking nonconformist congregations in the world. Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers, Methodists, Salvation Army – can all be traced back to the area around Retford.

Arguably, as the home of the Mayflower Pilgrims, even the United States of America can trace its family history back to this area. Mayflower Pilgrims, Bradford and Brewster, were from Austerfield and Scrooby respectively. Clyfton lived in Babworth, Robinson was in Sturton-le-Steeple, and Smyth in Gainsborough, and these three people are all important players in the Mayflower Pilgrims’ Story. Although not travelling to America themselves, they were inspirational to those who did.