Fourth Annual Heritage Conference held in Retford

Thirty heritage specialists travelled to Retford from across the UK to listen to fourteen presentations at this year’s national Christian Heritage Conference, held on Friday 8th March 2019 at The Well.

Organisations involved in the development and delivery of heritage-based activities met to exchange best practice and form future partnerships.

Because of the local story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, and the importance of that story to the area in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage started the annual conference in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of local reformer Thomas Helwys. It is now firmly established on the national heritage calendar.

Local historian, and author of the book From Here We Changed The World, Adrian Gray, led the day, focusing on the importance of the local people. There then followed a series of presentations by the following organisations:

This event continues to attract national interest in Retford and the next event is being planned for Friday 6th March 2020.

Pilgrim Embroiderers receive funding boost

East Retford South Councillor, Helen Richards attended a recent meeting of the Pilgrim Churches at All Saints’ Parish Church in Babworth to announce her support for Bassetlaw Christian Heritage’s (BCH) appeal for the Pilgrim Embroiders’ embroidery project.

Cllr Richards has given £100 towards the embroidery framing costs and also provided a donation of £150 to BCH towards their Pilgrims Festival events in and around Retford in November.

Pictured are Rick Brand, Chair, BCH; Cllr Helen Richards; and Pilgrim Embroiders: Jenny King, Fay Evason, Beverley Naylor, and Lynn Hadland. One of the works in progress is also pictured – this one is Babworth Church.

The newly-named Pilgrim Embroiders, led by local artist Jenny King, are currently working on five embroideries relating to the Pilgrim Churches in Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire (Austerfield, Babworth, Scrooby, Sturton-le-Steeple and St Swithun’s, Retford).

These artworks, when completed and framed, will hang in each of the churches for public view and will be available to come together as a feature for exhibitions around the area. They are hoped to be included in Bassetlaw Museum’s exhibition in 2020.

There has been a great deal of interest in the Pilgrim Embroiders’ work when they have attended events locally. They are looking forward to taking their work to other events across the summer to meet more people and show them what they are doing – they might even let you have a go!

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage is currently raising funds for this work, and anyone wishing to make a donation should initially contact BCH.

Religious Tolerance Forum 2019

Is Free Speech at risk? – Find out here

This year’s Retford Religious Tolerance Forum is on Saturday 9th March 2019, 10am-1pm at The Well, Hospital Road, Retford, DN22 7BD.

George Washington, First President of the United States, said:

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter”

The first Retford Religious Tolerance Forum was held in 2016 to commemorate the death of Thomas Helwys in 1616, the first Baptist martyr and original advocate of religious tolerance between Christians, Jews, Muslims, and those with no faith.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Dr Larry Kreitzer – “Pioneer of Freedom: New Light on Thomas Helwys of Nottinghamshire”

Dr Kreitzer is from Regent’s Park College at the University of Oxford and holds a Research Lectureship in the Faculty of Theology. He is a member of the Society of New Testament Studies and has served on the Editorial Board for several academic journals. He will provide new insights into the life of Thomas Helwys.

  • Dr Martin Parsons – “Religious Freedom in Britain since 1700 – and what it tells us about the World today”

Dr Parsons comes from the Barnabas Fund, the main ministry of which is to send financial support to projects which help Christians where they suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith.

  • Dr Calum Miller – “Is Free Speech really under threat?”

Dr Miller is a medical doctor, philosopher, and ethicist who graduated from the University of Oxford in 2015 with degrees in Medical Sciences (Neuroscience) and Medicine & Surgery. Calum currently teaches Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Oxford.

  • Ben Huxtable of Release International

This event originated in 2016, commemorating the death of Nottinghamshire tolerance campaigner, Thomas Helwys, who was part of the English Puritan and Separatist movement that produced the Mayflower Pilgrims and led to the creation of the Congregational and Baptist Churches.

This will be the fourth annual Religious Tolerance Forum to be held in Retford. It provides a unique opportunity for the subject to be discussed in an open forum.

Previous speakers have included Baroness Elizabeth Berridge (member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief), John Mann MP, Professor John Coffey (University of Leicester), Rev Tony Peck (General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation), Imam Bakhtyar Pirzada (Eaton Hall), Dr David Appleby (University of Nottingham), and Mr Phil Lyons (CEO National Holocaust Centre).

The event is free and open to all, and everyone is welcome.

All Saints’ Babworth Snowdrops Weekend – better than ever!

All Saints’ Parish Church in Babworth, the Pilgrims’ Church known as “the Church in the Woodland”, recently provided the ideal setting for a delightful display of snowdrops.

On the weekend of Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th February 2018, a steady stream of visitors exceeded last year’s record attendance numbers.

Churchwarden, Peter Swinscoe stated “we must have had over 1,000 people across the weekend – there has been a steady stream of visitors – it has been a very enjoyable time for everyone”.

They came to Babworth to walk the Snowdrops Trail and call in to the church to enjoy the homemade refreshments and gifts on sale, see the embroiderers working and listen to the talk .

On Sunday 10th, a talk by tour guide, Maggy Watkins, which covered a wide range of connections with the Mayflower Pilgrims, was very well attended. The story of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ struggle to escape arrest and leave for Holland fascinated an attentive and appreciative audience.

Throughout the weekend, a group of embroiderers led by Jenny King worked on their representations of five of the Pilgrims Churches (Austerfield, Scrooby, Babworth, Sturton-le-Steeple and St Swithun’s Retford). These artworks, when completed will hang in each of the churches for public view and will be available to come together as a feature for exhibitions etc. Bassetlaw Christian Heritage is currently raising funds for this work (contact us).

The papers of Revd Edmund Jessup who played a major role in establishing the Pilgrims’ story at Babworth, during his time as Vicar of Babworth (1950-85), were on display, as was the ‘Separatists and Mayflower Pilgrims’ exhibition, which included a description of the role of Rev Richard Clifton, who was a prominent Separatist and Rector of Babworth from 1586 to 1605.

There were many other wonders to see in the church, including stained glass windows by Kempe, Eginton, and Wailes. Furniture by “Mousey” Thompson also provided an exceptional attraction, with many visitors of all ages enjoying the challenge of ‘finding the mice’.

Fresh air and heritage – it’s time for the Babworth snowdrops weekend!

All Saints’ Parish Church, Babworth

Babworth Road, Babworth, DN22 8HE

Saturday 9th February 2019 (10am – 4pm)

Sunday 10th February 2019 (12pm – 4pm)

The 2019 Snowdrops Weekend at All Saints’ Parish Church in Babworth, the ‘Church in the Woods’, is an annual pilgrimage made by many people, from a wide range of locations in and around Bassetlaw, and beyond!

As well as taking a stroll around the churchyards, there are walks through the woods, providing a great breath of fresh air as spring starts the journey back to summer. Inside the church there will be a warm welcome and an even warmer hot drink and a piece of cake! Early birds will also be able to buy local produce and cards. There is a car park and toilet facilities.

At 1pm on Sunday 10th, local tour guide Maggy Watkins, will host a question-and-answer session on the Mayflower Pilgrims and other members of the Separatist Movement. This will be an informal opportunity to find out everything you wanted to know about the Pilgrims but were afraid to ask!

Babworth Church is an outstanding location to visit (from May to September it is open every Saturday afternoon) as it is in many ways the ‘crucible’ of the Separatist movement where Richard Clifton preached, assisted by John Robinson, and where Mayflower Pilgrims William Bradford and William Brewster travelled to hear him, risking fines or imprisonment for doing so. Part of the Separatists Exhibition will also be on display in the church throughout the weekend.

As well as its historic and architectural interest, there are also several ‘Mousey Thompson’ mice to find, keeping younger visitors entertained. Refreshments will be available.

Artist credit: Elaine Nash

Christian Heritage Conference & Religious Tolerance Forum

Coming up in March 2019:

CHRISTIAN HERITAGE CONFERENCE – Retford, Friday 8th March 2019

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE FORUM – Retford, Saturday 9th March 2019

Following the success of previous events attended by those involved in Christian heritage from across the UK, we are holding our fourth free conference on 8th March 2019 in Retford at The Well. This year we plan to have a mixed programme covering themes and issues from our work, and we hope to have some overseas guests as well. A detailed programme will follow.

Call for topics and presentations:

It would be great if you could let us know if you can speak on a specific topic or development that would be of interest to other group members, for example holding public lectures, events for children/families, marketing, lottery and grant applications etc. Please also let me know if you know of others who might be interested in attending.

Please also feel free to suggest topics for wider discussion or that you would like help with.

Religious Tolerance Forum

On the following morning, a Saturday, we will hold the fourth event marking the contribution of Christians to the development of religious tolerance worldwide. Speakers already booked include Prof Larry Kreitzer talking about the early Baptists and their contribution to religious freedom and Masoud Abadi, an Iranian refugee and campaigner. We are also in discussion with the US Embassy about a speaker from Washington which would be very exciting.

As before, there is NO CHARGE for either of these events but you are asked to pay for lunch on the Friday. Retford has good rail and road links, and we are also arranging low price B & B at Mattersey Bible College.

For further information or to book please contact:

adriangray@pilgrimsandprophets.co.uk

If you want to stay at Mattersey, please let us know soon as space is limited. Please advise on what accommodation you would like and for which nights. Please also indicate if you will be using your own transport or not.

Costs to stay at Mattersey are approximately:

  • Cooked Breakfast £3.00
  • Bed & Breakfast single room £20.00 per night
  • Bed & Breakfast double en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people. £30.00 for 1 person (only 3 rooms available)
  • Bed & Breakfast twin en-suite room £40.00 for 2 people. £30.00 for 1 person (only 1 room available)

Explore the historic churches of the west with Pilgrims & Prophets

A FASCINATING LOCAL HISTORY ‘DAY OUT’

BY COACH WITH GUIDED TOURS

Saturday 6th April: pick up at Retford (09:00) and Worksop (09:15)

  • Guided tour of the huge Chesterfield parish church – one of England’s most iconic churches
  • Optional tour of the famous twisted spire (extra £6)
  • Visit the crypt at Bolsover’s historic church and learn about its memorials to the famous Cavendish family
  • Historic Cuckney church and castle site, and hear about the death in battle of Saint Edwin, our first Christian king in the region

PRICE INCLUDES light lunch with tea/coffee

BOOKING INFORMATION:

The all-inclusive price is £26.00 but we are offering an ‘early bird’ rate of £25 for bookings by 1st March.

Book by emailing mail@pilgrimsandprophets.co.uk, by phoning Maggy on 07724 848958, or post to P & P c/o The Well, Hospital Road, Retford including a cheque to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and your contact details.

When booking please indicate if you are interested in CLIMBING THE TOWER and include an extra £6.

Pilgrims Festival 2018

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage are pleased to announce this year’s programme for the Pilgrims Festival, with a range of events for all ages and interests to commemorate Bassetlaw’s role in the Pilgrim story:

Free lantern-making workshops

Free lantern-making workshops – make a lantern and join the parade in Retford on Tuesday 20 November.
Tuesday 30th October – 10am – 4pm, with artist Jessica Kemp at Retford Library
Friday 2nd November – 10am – 4pm, with artist Kirsty Champ at Bassetlaw Museum, Retford

Thanksgiving Dinner

Venue: Spencer’s on the Square, Retford
Thursday 15th November 6.30pm for 7pm
3 course dinner plus entertainment from Adam Schofield and Jessica Mary Brett (£29.95) Call 01777 800230 to book

Pilgrims Art Exhibition

Featuring art inspired by the Pilgrims Story
Venue: Babworth Parish Church, near Retford
Saturday 17th November 10am – 4pm with a talk by local historian Adrian Gray at 11am
Sunday 18th November 12pm – 4pm- see working embroiders and artist
Refreshments available

Parades & Performances

Austerfield & Bawtry – Sunday 18th November
11.15am: Candle-lighting Holy Communion service at St Helena’s Church, AUSTERFIELD – home of William Bradford, Mayflower Pilgrim
4pm: Hog roast at Bawtry Hall followed by a lantern parade through BAWTRY (further details available from Doncaster Council)

Retford — Tuesday 20th November
5.30pm: Parade from Carolgate to St Swithun’s Parish Church
6pm: St Swithun’s all age event, led by Rev Mark Cantrill, with the Elizabethan Academy, Katie Green’s Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 and the Songbirds
7pm: the ‘400’ photograph, then refreshments for all in the Church

Gainsborough – Wednesday 21st November
5.30pm: Registration for parade participants from 5.30pm at the United Reformed Church, followed by a performance
6pm: Service & performance at the United Reformed Church featuring Made by Katie Green’s The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400
6.45pm: Parade through Gainsborough from Parish Church to Gainsborough Old Hall, the Market Place and finishing in Marshall’s Yard at about 7.15pm (event led by West Lindsey District Council)

Scrooby – Thursday 22nd November
5pm: St Wilfrid’s Parish Church – talk by local author, genealogist and historian Sue Allan, a short operatic performance by opera singer, Kamilla Dunstan and a candle-lighting service
6pm: parade around the village ending at the Village Hall for a performance by Retford’s Elizabethan Academy Drama Group, and refreshments (event led by Bassetlaw District Council)

Other candle-lighting services are taking place on Sunday 18th November at GAINSBOROUGH All Saints (joint with URC) and BABWORTH church. STURTON-LE-STEEPLE church will also be holding a joint event with the local primary school during the Festival Week.

Music at Worksop Priory

Monday 19th November 7pm for 7.30pm
International Mediaeval Harpist Leah Stuttard returns to the Priory – this year Leah is playing her Sacred Fragments programme – the evening will start with a short talk about the Priory and its place in the Mayflower Pilgrims Story
£10 entry incl. mince pies & mulled wine

Friday 23rd November 7pm for 7.30pm
Doncaster Waites: Music from the streets from the time of the Pilgrims – Doncaster Waites both play and explain historic instruments in an entertaining and engaging way. The evening will start with a talk about Worksop Priory and the Mayflower Pilgrims (a different speaker to Monday)
£10 entry incl. mince pies & mulled wine

Pilgrims Fun Run

Sunday 25th November 9.15am
Starts off the Retford Christmas Market and Lights Switch-On – prizes for the best children’s and adult’s pilgrim outfit – its for fun! In partnership with Retford Business Forum and TLS, supporting Bassetlaw Hospice

This year’s programme of events is supported by funding from, and delivered with the support of:

  • Arts Council England
  • Bassetlaw Christian Heritage network
  • Bassetlaw District Council
  • Bassetlaw Museum
  • Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, Church of England
  • Elizabethan Academy
  • Made by Katie Green
  • Retford Business Forum
  • Retford Civic Society
  • Retford Library (Inspire)
  • Retford Lions
  • Retford Rotary
  • Spencer’s on the Square
  • TLS
  • West Lindsey District CouncilBCH 2018 Pilgrims Festival supporter logos banner

 

Explore the History of a Great Tudor Woman and her House

Grimsthorpe Castle P&P Sept2018

Coming up: The next tour by Pilgrims & Prophets will be a fascinating day out to a stately home with a coach trip and guided tours.

Bookings are now being taken for P&P’s next trip, to Grimsthorpe Castle in September. Details include:

  • Date: Thursday 27th Septmber 2018
  • Coach picks up at Worksop (09:00), Retford (09:20) and Tuxford
  • Guided tour of Grimsthorpe Castle – a beautiful Tudor mansion
    • See all the State rooms in their splendour
    • Learn about Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk and her exciting life as a religious rebel
    • Explore the wonderful gardens
  • Enjoy a stop at Corby Glen’s Grade I church – and meet the Devil

PRICE INCLUDES morning coffee and biscuits, lunch, and admissions to house/gardens

BOOKING INFORMATION:

  • All-inclusive price – £37
  • ‘Early bird’ rate – £35 for bookings by 1st August 2018
  • Book by email – mail@pilgrimsandprophets.co.uk, by phone to Maggy on 07724 848958, or to P & P c/o The Well, Hospital Road, Retford including a cheque to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and your contact details.

Austerfield’s Festival of the Angels

Austerfield angel poster Aug2018

Date: Sunday 19th August 2018, 12pm-4pm

Venue: St Helena’s Church, Austerfield

St Helena’s Church in Austerfield invites you to come and join their celebrations on St Helena’s Day, 19th August. There will be angel displays, cream teas, craft stalls, face painting and fun and games.

The event is being held to help raise funds for the cost of the upkeep of the church grounds. All welcome. Additionally, there will be:

2pm: Angel fancy dress competition

4pm: Songs of Praise