Stories from the History of Clarborough

7pm for 7.30pm, Tuesday 28th September 2021 at the Church of St John the Baptist Church Lane, Clarborough, DN22 9NQ

On Tuesday 28th September 2021, at 7.00pm for 7.30pm start, local historians Adrian Gray and Kath Sutton will give talks about some of the stories from the fascinating history of Clarborough.

The event will start at 7.30pm with Kath Sutton speaking about the history of Clarborough village since the Enclosure Act with some insights into the stories behind some of the very old tombs in the graveyard. Kath is the author of a paperback on the subject – Clarborough and Welham from 1778, published by Bookworm, Retford.

Following a refreshments interval, when cake and sparkling wine (or a non-alcoholic alternative) will be served, the well-known historian, Adrian Gray will shine a light on three people connected with the church history of Clarborough village – Brooks, Hodge and George Fletcher.

Photo of Adrian Gray
Historian and speaker Adrian Gray

Adrian not only runs tours and talks for Pilgrims and Prophets but has written number of books on a variety of subjects. People and Places of Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire contains information on many of the towns and villages including Clarborough and is also published by Bookworm, Retford.

There will be a suggested donation of £6 per person for entry, payable on the door, and there will also be a raffle.

The event is to raise funds for BCH, which works across the area, within a radius approximately 30 miles from Retford, focusing on the wide-ranging heritage of the people who have lived here and have gone on to influence the world. The Mayflower Pilgrims, with the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving this year, are one of the most famous of these groups.

BCH receives no regular funding from any organisation or individual and relies entirely on donations. For further information, please contact contact@bassetlawchristianheritage.com or talksandtours@gmail.com or see the website www.bassetlawchristianheritage.com.

Thanksgiving/Illuminate 2021 Art Exhibition

Online: 15th November – 31st December 2021

At Babworth Church: 27th & 28th November 2021

Open to the public on 27th and 28th November 2021, Babworth Art Exhibition is planned to be back in Babworth Church this year – save the date today!

We are inviting artists, historians and musicians to produce artworks, and give talks and recitals….whatever would be fitting and suitable to be exhibited or performed in Babworth Church to communicate the theme of Thanksgiving, however that is interpreted.

Previously created Mayflower-themed artworks will also be welcomed and, as before, there is no selection process, and all are invited to participate.

In 2020, Covid 19 set us significant challenges, however, technology came to the rescue and we went online – this year we are again asking artists to record and curate their work online.

A full brief for artists and performers will be available until 30th October 2021 from info@pilgrimroots.org

The Mayflower by Gerry Fruin

There will be an opportunity for local artists to engage with members of the Wampanoag people who are visiting Retford in September as part of a cultural exchange. They will be building a Wetu, a traditional dwelling used by some of the Native American people, in the garden of Bassetlaw Museum between 21st and 25th September 2021. Artists interested in meeting with representatives of the Wampanoag should contact info@pilgrimroots.org.

The Pilgrim Embroiderers

Background

On 25th November 2021, the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving meal will be 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 shellfish and cereals.

The Babworth Art Exhibition has been a collaboration between BCH, All Saints’ Church Babworth, and Bassetlaw District Council for over five 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.

Thanksgiving/Illuminate 2021 Art Exhibition Brief for Artists

Online: 15th November – 31st December 2021
At Babworth Church: 27th & 28th November 2021

Thanksgiving

The theme for the Art Exhibition this year is that of thanksgiving – however artists wish to interpret that.
Previously created Mayflower-themed artworks will also be welcomed and, as previously, there is no selection process, and all are invited to participate.

In 2020, Covid 19 set us significant challenges, however, technology came to the rescue – this year we are again asking artists to record their work and give some background information to it.

There is no selection process or fee to enter. Artists may offer their work for sale or not as they wish – if they are selling, they will need their own means of doing so. No commission will be charged for work sold. There are no age limits.

All work should be inspired by the Thanksgiving / Wampanoag / Separatist / Mayflower Pilgrims Stories – this does not mean they have to be pictures of Mayflower ships – they should be inspired by the stories; however they are interpreted. After the time of the exhibition images and recordings may be retained for ongoing reference and communications.

Any medium may be used with due regard to its suitability in the environments and locations exhibiting the work and the health and safety of the public. The organisers reserve the right to take down any unsuitable materials.

Work for the online exhibition should be sent to Isabelle.richards@bassetlaw.gov.uk by Friday 5th November; with each piece should be the artist’s name and contact details, a title/short description (200 words max.) of how the work relates to the Thanksgiving / Wampanoag / Separatist / Mayflower Pilgrims stories, the medium used, and a price (if offered for sale). All work supplied (photographs, films etc) will become the property of the organiser and will be used entirely at the organiser’s discretion for publicity and communications purposes in line with the theme of the exhibition.

Work for the exhibition at Babworth Church should be delivered between 10am and 3pm on Friday 26th November and collected between 4pm and 5pm on Sunday 28th November 2021.

Programmes will be created from the information supplied and these will be made available.

In 2021, we are also inviting talks, performance and music recordings with some relevance to the story of the Thanksgiving / Wampanoag / Separatists / Mayflower Pilgrims stories, however connected, and these may be included in the exhibition. Please let us know by 30th October if you would like to take part.

Please also see www.pilgrimroots.co.uk/stories and www.bassetlawchristianheritage.com or contact isabelle.richards@bassetlaw.gov.uk.

Mayflower painting by Gerry Fruin
The Mayflower by Gerry Fruin

Thanksgiving/Illuminate 2021

This year, we will be working with Bassetlaw Foodbank to deliver an opportunity for people to provide gifts of food to help those less fortunate. This will be a way for people to give thanks for their own lives whilst helping others to survive in modern hardship. We think this would be a good way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving.

We will be giving donors battery candles to display in their windows on 25th November (Thanksgiving in 2021) and will be inviting them to post photographs of these to reflect the theme of Illuminate. We will also support schools in creating their own Illuminate features and will invite them to send photographs for our online display.

Background

On 25th November 2021, the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving meal will be commemorated. This was a meal which was shared between the newly arrived settlers to North America – the Mayflower Pilgrims – and the local population who had formed an alliance with them.

In the first year, half of the passengers from the Mayflower had died, having arrived at the start of winter, ill-prepared for what was to come. Members of the native population showed them which crops to grow, and how to go about it. A year on from their arrival a celebration meal took place with the settlers and the leader of the local Wampanoag people and one hundred of his warriors.

This anniversary is not celebrated by the Wampanoag people today. The successful establishment of the Europeans was followed by large scale incursion across the continent. 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. The original meal would probably have consisted of shellfish and cereals.

Cultural appropriateness

It is important to be aware of the cultural sensitivities related to the characterisation of the Native American People. Steven Peters (www.smokesygnals.com), provides this perspective for artists:

“We are asking them to create art that reshapes UK history and culture and not native culture. The history is intertwined but simply asking them to do it from their perspective and not to appropriate native culture.

Art Challenge: Reshaping History and Culture

Popular culture has grossly appropriated stereotypical elements of what we perceive as traditional culture. It has normalized racially insensitive media portrayals such as the “Piccaninny Tribe” in Disney’s Peter Pan. Many contemporary Native American artists are now using their work to challenge the way we look at history and culture. Creating multi-disciplinary work that bucks the demeaning notion that Native Art is all “beads and feathers.” Often this new artwork is a mix of entirely contemporary-looking aesthetics with historical or traditional elements of Native culture. These works can be in the style of Pop Art or films with contemporary dance over traditional songs or repurposing objects.

How will the artists of the UK challenge the history they learned and reshape our understanding of the historical events that have shaped the world we live in today?”

Thanksgiving Illuminate event 18th November 2021

St Swithun’s Church Event

On Thursday 18th November 2021, we will be working with Bassetlaw Foodbank to deliver an opportunity for people to provide gifts of food to help those less fortunate. This will be a way for people to give thanks for their own lives whilst helping others to survive in modern hardship. We think this would be a good way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving Meal held between the Mashpee Wampanoag native American people and the Mayflower Pilgrims in North America.

Donors will also have the opportunity to leave messages of hope on postcards which will be forwarded via Bassetlaw Foodbank to people receiving their parcels. To receive a positive message like this from other people, especially in the run up to Christmas, can make all the difference.

From 12noon on Thursday 18th November at St Swithun’s Church Retford, there will be a programme of performances and talks where everyone is invited to call in with their donations for Bassetlaw Foodbank (normal rules – cans, sealed packs etc). Donors are welcome to stay throughout or pop in for a few minutes – whatever works for them. Let’s make this a great event for Bassetlaw Foodbank and the people it serves – no-one should go hungry in Bassetlaw!

We will be giving donors battery tealight candles to display in their windows on 25th November (Thanksgiving Day in 2021) and will be inviting them to take photographs of these to reflect the theme of Illuminate and share them on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallCandle, or send by email to info@pilgrimroots.org. We will also support schools in creating their own Illuminate features and will invite them to send photographs for our online display.

The Illuminate activity is inspired by a quote from William Bradford, one of the Mayflower Pilgrim leaders who became the second and longest-serving Governor of Plymouth Colony:

‘As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.’

Background

On 25th November 2021, the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving meal will be commemorated. This was shared between the newly arrived settlers to North America – the Mayflower Pilgrims – and the local population who had formed an alliance with them – the Mashpee Wampanoag.

In the first year, half of the passengers from the Mayflower had died, having arrived at the start of winter, ill-prepared for what was to come. Members of the native population showed them which crops to grow, and how to go about it. A year on from their arrival a celebration meal took place with the settlers and the leader of the local Wampanoag people and one hundred of his warriors.

However the anniversary is not celebrated by the Wampanoag people today. The successful establishment of the Separatists was followed by large scale incursion by Europeans across the continent. Thanksgiving has been marked, since 1970, among many Native Americans as a National Day of Mourning.

Thanksgiving: 26th November 2020 – Illuminate – “One small candle”

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims in North America. For this year’s Pilgrims Festival, we are inviting people to safely display battery-powered lights in their windows on the evening of 26th November (Thanksgiving), photograph them, and share them on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallCandle, or send by email to info@pilgrimroots.org.

Make your own lantern (Image credit: Electric Egg)

The ‘One Small Candle’ initiative has been inspired by a quote from William Bradford, a Mayflower Pilgrim from Austerfield, who was a long-term friend of local Separatists, William Brewster from Scrooby, Richard Clifton from Babworth, and John Robinson from Sturton-le-Steeple. He became the longest serving Governor of Plymouth Colony, and wrote: ‘As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.’

Templates for creating lanterns at home have been circulated in the November editions of Retford, Worksop and Gainsborough Life magazines and are available here.

Heritage Engagement Officer for the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project Isabelle Richards said: ‘I am delighted that we are working together to ensure the momentum of previous Illuminate events is not lost in this 400th anniversary year. The One Small Candle project is a great opportunity for people to share hope and solidarity safely, and personally give thanks for whatever reason, while we are not able to join together in the usual way.’

To Take Part:

Simply shine a light or place a battery operated candle in your window on the evening of 26th November.

Or, if you are feeling creative, craft your own lantern safely using the templates in the Life Magazines or here.

Spread the light further by using #OneSmallCandle to share a photo of your window/lantern with us on social media on Twitter or Facebook!

Babworth Arts Festival opens online!

The annual Pilgrim inspired art event at Babworth Church near Retford is brought to you online for 2020.

Babworth Church Warden Peter Swinscoe at the 2017 arts festival

This popular event usually takes place in All Saints’ Church, showcasing pilgrim inspired art by local people. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the exhibition is being hosted on the Pilgrim Roots website, where it can be enjoyed from the safety of your own home.

There’s a fantastic collection of entries related to our local Pilgrims’ stories and their wider context. Entries feature the Pilgrim Churches, the Pilgrims themselves, and include photography, paintings, illustrations, and embroidery.

Scroll through the exhibition and perhaps listen to a talk as well.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ arrival in North America and the exhibition can be viewed until Saturday 28th November 2020. If the number of visits is high enough, it may be extended – so why not visit today?

All work on display in the exhibition was inspired, in some way, by the Separatist and Mayflower Pilgrims stories. There is a range of paintings, music and other art forms many of which have not been displayed before – certainly not in this format.

The Pilgrim Embroideries are included, as is a link to a video of Jenny King, the lead embroiderer, explaining about their work. Thanks to everyone who contributed a stitch over the years and to those who bought cards or who donated to the framing.

There are videos about the role of Babworth church from “Where it all Began”; on the Carlton Prophetess by local historian and author Adrian Gray; a music performance from the Doncaster Waites; and from international musician, Leah Stuttard, singing an early 17th century hymn, followed by a 13th century harp instrumental.

This exhibition has been kindly hosted by Babworth Church for the past four years, and has been an important part of the Pilgrims Festival which has commemorated the Mayflower Pilgrim Families’ journey to North America in 1620. Anyone wishing to support Babworth Church can get in touch via the Pilgrim Roots website ‘Get in Touch’ form at the end of the Art exhibition.

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (BCH) is delighted to have received support from Bassetlaw District Council which, in turn has been supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Pilgrim Roots. Extra special thanks to the team at the Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum for their hard work and inspiration and to all of the local artists for their brilliant work.

To find out more about the story, please take a look around our website, or Pilgrim Roots for the Pilgrims Gallery in Bassetlaw Museum, Retford, the Mayflower Pilgrims Visitor Centre at The Hub in Churchgate, Retford, and the Mayflower Room at the United Reformed Church in Gainsborough (Government restrictions allowing – please check before travelling).

Make your own ‘One Small Candle’ lantern for Illuminate 2020 online

Instead of the usual parades for Illuminate this year, we’re doing things a bit differently so you can still take part from home.

This November, Bassetlaw’s annual Illuminate events commemorating local links to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ story will be a bit different, like so many other things that have changed recently. For the past few years, fantastic parades of lanterns have taken place in Retford and Worksop, but that’s sadly not going to be possible this year. Instead, we’re inviting you to get creative at home using our specially designed toolkit full of templates, ideas and inspiration for making your own lantern.

Display your lit lantern in a window at home on the evening of Thursday 26th November (the date of Thanksgiving), and share a photo on social media tagging in #OneSmallCandle to be part of the commemorations and to join others across our region connected by the shared Pilgrims’ heritage.

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage is joining with Pilgrim Roots partners in North Nottinghamshire, Gainsborough and Boston to mark the commemoration on the same evening, by asking people to light up their communities with lanterns displayed in windows to give thanks in our own special way for the things that are important to us – what will you give thanks for?

The 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage from England to America, which took some of the Pilgrims from our region on a historic journey, was in September. North Nottinghamshire is part of the national Mayflower 400 programme, connecting places across the UK linked to the story, and the regional Pilgrim Roots partnership of places where many Pilgrims came from.

Residents in North Nottinghamshire living in areas where Retford Life, Worksop Life and Gainsborough Life magazines are distributed will receive free templates and instructions for how to make your own lantern at home. You can also download a toolkit and find more inspiration below.

BCH are grateful for the support of Bassetlaw District Council and the National Lottery Heritage Funded ‘Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project’ for this year’s online event.

The annual commemoration is inspired by a quote from Pilgrim leader William Bradford, who wrote:

“as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many”

William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation

How to take part:

1. Make your lantern! 

Take a look at some of our inspiring lantern creations, made using things you have at home below. You can download instructions and a toolkit here:

Follow the instructions to decorate a clear jar or container, pop in an LED tealight and put it in a window. Check out all of our templates and instruction leaflets using the link above.

Need some inspiration? Check out our ‘how to’ video below:

2. Send us a photo! 

We’d love to see your creations – post a video or photo of your lantern on social media on 26th November. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Be part of something bigger!

Include the hashtag #OneSmallCandle with your post – and see what others have made too! How many lanterns will we be able to count on the night – 102 (the number of Mayflower passengers)? 400 (the anniversary)? 1,620 (the voyage date)? Or even… 2,020?!

Pilgrims Festival 2020: Online Babworth Arts Exhibition, 21-28 November

Our vision is to successfully deliver an exhibition of arts and craft works and performances inspired by the Separatists/Mayflower Pilgrims stories in Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire, as part of the Pilgrims Festival activities in November each year.

In 2016, the first event took place at Babworth Church and there has been an event each year since, with increasing numbers of exhibits from a wider range of artists and larger numbers of visitors.

In 2020, Covid 19 has set us significant challenges. However, technology comes to the rescue – this year we are asking artists to record their work and give some background information to it. The exhibit may be the photograph of the work and/or the work within an environment – artist’s choice!

There is no selection process or fee to enter. Artists may offer their work for sale or not as they wish – if they are selling, they will need their own means of doing so. No commission will be charged for work sold. There are no age limits.

All work should be inspired by the Separatist/Mayflower Pilgrims Stories – this does not mean they have to be pictures of Mayflower ships – they should be inspired by the stories, however they are interpreted. After the time of the exhibition, images and recordings may be retained for ongoing reference and communications.

Any medium may be used with due regard to its suitability in the environments and locations exhibiting the work and the health and safety of the public. The organiser reserves the right to take down any unsuitable materials.

Work should be sent to bchristianheritage@gmail.com by Friday 13th November; with each piece should be the artist’s name and contact details, a title/short description (200 words max.) of how the work relates to the Separatist/Mayflower Pilgrims stories, the medium used, and a price (if offered for sale). All work supplied (photographs, films etc) will become the property of the organiser and will be used entirely at the organiser’s discretion for publicity and communications purposes in line with the theme of the exhibition. The organiser of this virtual event is Bassetlaw Christian Heritage CIC.

Programmes will be created from the information supplied and these will be made available.

In 2020, we are inviting talks and performance recordings with some relevance to the story of the Separatists, however connected, and these may be included in the exhibition.

Retford’s fifth annual Freedom & Tolerance Forum – a great success

On Saturday 7th March 2020, at The Well in Retford, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (BCH) presented a group of nationally-recognised speakers to an audience from in and around Bassetlaw, including Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith, and Bassetlaw District Council Chairman, Debbie Merryweather.

Freedom and Tolerance is as important today as it was 400 years ago when local Separatist, Thomas Helwys, first advocated tolerance between people of all faiths and those of none. In the anniversary year of the Mayflower Pilgrims, our heritage can still teach us much about journeys, rebellion, and the freedoms we take for granted.

Brendan Clarke-Smith MP, Cllr Helen Richards, Cllr Debbie Merryweather (Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council), Lord Beith, Rev’d Dr Stuart Jennings, Adrian Gray, John Pontifex

Bassetlaw MP, Brendan Clarke-Smith, opened the event giving thanks to the organisers and expressing a personal interest in the subjects being discussed.

Lord Beith spoke about Methodist heritage and its significance today. He referred to the heritage of one of the three elements that make up the Methodist church, the United Methodists, who were the most independent-minded and authority-challenging of Methodists, relating this to the significance of religious freedom and toleration.

Rev’d Dr Stuart Jennings who is a specialist in Nottinghamshire history at Warwick University and is an academic advisor to the National Civil War centre at Newark, spoke about faith and fighting in Nottinghamshire during the Civil War. Stuart explained the role of political, religious and human geography in the positioning of Nottinghamshire during the civil war and particularly the contribution of the Thornaugh family from Retford.

John Pontifex, who is Head of Press & Information for Aid to the Church in Need (UK), asked whether religious freedom has become an orphaned right. He gave moving, individual descriptions of the suffering of persecuted communities around the world today. John has travelled widely in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, investigated human rights violations relating to Christians and other faith minorities, and has interviewed survivors.

Local author and historian, Adrian Gray, was interviewed by Retford-based publisher, Angela Meads, of Bookworm. Adrian launched his new book, Restless Souls, Pilgrim Roots, an epic history of the people of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, showing how their peoples interconnected and spread ideas from the early 7th Century until 1660. Adrian went on to give an engaging and informative talk on an unfolding story of intriguing characters during periods of spiritual change, rebellion and death, emphasising the significant impact that local people have made.

Local author Adrian Gray launches new book: ‘Restless Souls, Pilgrim Roots’ at the Freedom & Tolerance Forum

A Thousand Years of Faith, Hope and Rebellion

Date: Saturday 7th March 2020 – 10am-1pm

Venue: The Well, Hospital Road, Retford, DN22 7BD – free event, all welcome

An epic history of the people who laid the foundations of the Christian faith in a Viking-ravaged land, then rebelled against what they saw as corruption of their Faith and Church. Adrian Gray’s latest book covers the two counties of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire showing how their peoples interconnected and spread ideas.

Running from the early 7th Century until 1660, Adrian Gray places great and intriguing figures in the context of their times and in an unfolding story of spiritual change, rebellion and sometimes death. Figures such as Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Thomas Cranmer, the architect of the Church of England, George Fox from Mansfield who formed the Quakers, the Mayflower Pilgrims and the first leaders of the Baptist Church are included. A range of characters stretching from Guthlac, whose supernatural experiences in the Fens became the first English biography, to Elizabeth Hooton, the Nottinghamshire Quaker who travelled the world and escaped death many times are also there.

The story also has its fair share of ‘villains’ including corrupt and venal bishops, despotic leaders who sent those who disagreed with them to the stake or the gallows, on both sides of the Atlantic, and one of Elizabethan England’s most sinister torturers.

ADRIAN GRAY has an MA in History from Cambridge University and is the author of over twenty books. He is well-known as the historical adviser to Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, which promote interest in the Christian heritage of the two counties of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

Author Adrian Gray

Freedom and Tolerance is as important today as it was 400 years ago – in the anniversary year of the Mayflower Pilgrims, see what history can teach us about journeys, rebellion, and things we take for granted.

Speakers at the Freedom and Tolerance Forum this year include:

  • Lord Beith – Member of the House of Lords Constitution Committee and the Lord Speaker’s Committee on the size of the House. MP for Berwick upon Tweed, 1973-2015. Subject: Methodist Heritage and its significance today
  • Professor Elizabeth Tingle – Professor of Early Modern European History at De Montfort University, Leicester. She taught at the Universities of Plymouth and Northampton. Subject: Irish Catholic Refugees in Europe in the early 1600s
  • Rev’d Dr Stuart Jennings – Specialist in Nottinghamshire history, Warwick University. Subject: Faith and Fighting in Nottinghamshire during the Civil War
  • Mr John Pontifex – Head of Press & Information for Aid to the Church in Need (UK). Subject: Has Religious Freedom become an Orphaned Right?

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