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 www.pilgrimroots.co.uk.

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.

Background

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.

Successful Retford Thanksgiving Illuminate 2021

Can-dles of Hope

St Swithun’s Church, Retford, 18th November 2021

We set a target of gathering 4800 cans for Bassetlaw Foodbank on Thursday 18th November 2021 – that is one can for every month since the first Thanksgiving in America, 400 years ago. From a standing start this year we achieved over 1600 cans – over a third of the target! This was due to the magnificent support from organisations and individuals in and around Retford – and a special mention to the Co-op store in Kilton – thank you all!

If you want us to come back next year to see if we can do it then, we will – the target will be 4812 then – just send an email to info@pilgrimroots.org and let us know. Bassetlaw Foodbank does a great job and deserves our support. Foodbank Manager, Robert Garland said “This sort of event, and the amazing way the people of Bassetlaw pull together to make things happen, makes me really proud to be a resident, and as a charity, we could not operate without this sort of support.”

There was a programme of performances and talks on the day and the local talent – all of whom gave their time and genius for free – were absolutely brilliant. The event started with John Coates and the St Swithun’s bellringers who announced the start of the event. Then local organist Stephen Carey played five organ pieces specially composed for the Mayflower Pilgrims commemorations, with an introduction and supporting narratives by Isabelle Richards, Heritage Engagement Officer, at the Pilgrims Gallery, Bassetlaw Museum. This worked so well bringing alive the stories of the people in the music.

Then, The Elizabethan Academy Choir, assisted by various soloists, and conducted by Claire Cowan performed with great enthusiasm and skill. Doncaster Waites then astounded the audience with both their superb outfits and their virtuoso playing of the popular street music and instruments at the time of the Pilgrims. The well-known U3A Recorder Consort delighted everyone with their music before the Doncaster Waites returned for a final set.

Then the pace changed and the audience was treated to a series of films about the plight of the Native Americans and what Thanksgiving represents to them – the National Day of Mourning; plus tours on screen around the local Pilgrim Churches with descriptions of the people who became the Separatists and Puritans in the 17th Century. There was then an interval and a chance to eat the amazing cupcakes purchased from an excellent cake shop not far from the church.

At 6.30pm the evening session began with the ever-popular local historian and author, Adrian Gray who gave a fascinating talk on Thanksgiving and Other Meals. This was followed by outstanding performances from local singers, Emma Spencer & David Warren, who sang songs from musical theatre. It was a privilege to hear, and see, them and if you ever get the chance to hear them, take it, they are amazing! The evening was completed by Retford’s own Jessica Mary Brett who gave a brilliant climax to the day with songs about thanksgiving and friendship.

BCH Chair, Rick Brand, closed the event and thanked everyone who had contributed to the day, especially the team at St Swithun’s and Isabelle Richards, Pilgrim Roots, Bassetlaw District Council, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, without whom the day would not have taken place.

Donors of cans were given an LED tealight, which they can display in their windows on Thursday 25th November (Thanksgiving Day) to remind them, and others, about giving thanks. We are inviting people to take photographs of these tealights to reflect the theme of Illuminate and share them on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallCandle, or send by email to info@pilgrimroots.org.

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

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

– Wm. Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation

Chair of BCH, Rick Brand said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to make a real difference to people locally by supporting Bassetlaw Foodbank, and to be able to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving.”

Thanksgiving Illuminate Can-dles of Hope

St Swithun’s Church, Retford – 12noon to 9.00pm, 18th November 2021

Help us to gather 4800 (or more!) cans for Bassetlaw Foodbank on Thursday 18th November 2021 – that is one can for every month since the first Thanksgiving in America, 400 years ago. We have over 400 cans already and are looking forward to receiving many more on the day.

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 of cans for Bassetlaw Foodbank.

Programme

Here is the programme:

12 noon – 12.15pm John Coates and the bellringers will ring the church bells

12.30pm – 1.30pm Stephen Carey will play five organ pieces specially composed for the Mayflower Pilgrims commemorations, with an introduction and supporting narratives by Isabelle Richards, Heritage Engagement Officer, Pilgrims Gallery, Bassetlaw Museum.

1.30pm – 2.30pm The Elizabethan Academy Choir

2.30pm – 3.00pm Doncaster Waites (popular music at the time of the Pilgrims)

3.00pm – 3.45pm U3A Recorder Consort

4.00pm – 4.30pm Doncaster Waites (return)

4.30pm – 5.30pm Pilgrim Churches + Videos on screen – sit back and take a tour around local historic locations linked to the Separatists

5.30pm – 6.30pm Interval

6.30pm – 7.30pm Adrian Gray, historian & author – ‘Thanksgiving and other meals’ (talk)

7.30pm – 8.30pm Emma Spencer & David Warren (singers)

8.30pm – 9.00pm Jessica Mary Brett (singer)

9.00pm Thanks and Close

Donors are welcome to stay throughout or pop in for a few minutes – whatever works for them – refreshments will be available.

Let’s make this a great event for Bassetlaw Foodbank and the people it serves – no-one should go hungry in Bassetlaw!

Everyone who brings a donation for the Foodbank at St Swithun’s on 18th November will be given the opportunity to write a message of hope which will be given out by Bassetlaw Foodbank. To receive a positive message like this, especially in the run up to Christmas, can make a big difference.

This will be a fantastic way for people to give thanks for their own lives whilst helping others to survive in modern hardship – a brilliant way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving Meal held in North America.

The first 400 donors will be given an LED tealight, which they can display in their windows on Thursday 25th November (Thanksgiving Day) to remind them, and others, about giving thanks. We will be inviting people to take photographs of these tealights to reflect the theme of Illuminate and share them on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallCandle, or send by email to info@pilgrimroots.org.

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

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

– William Bradford, Of Plimmoth Plantation

Chair of BCH, Rick Brand said: ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for us to make a real difference to people locally by supporting Bassetlaw Foodbank, and to be able to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving.”

Background

November 25th 2021 will be the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving 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 – 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.

Millions of Americans today 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 venison, shellfish and cereals.

The Thanksgiving/Illuminate activity in Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire has been organised by Bassetlaw District Council Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and BCH (Bassetlaw Christian Heritage).

Pilgrim Roots is a regional partnership including Bassetlaw District Council, West Lindsey District Council, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and other organisations in the Lincolnshire, Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire area.

Full Programme for Retford’s ‘Candles of Hope’

What’s on for this year’s Thanksgiving/Illuminate Candles of Hope

All the details about what’s happening in St Swithun’s Church, Retford from 12noon – 9pm, Thursday 18th November 2021:

  • 12 noon – 12.15pm John Coates and the bellringers will ring the church bells
  • 12.30pm – 1.30pm Stephen Carey will play five organ pieces specially composed for the Mayflower Pilgrims commemorations, with an introduction and supporting narratives by Isabelle Richards, Heritage Engagement Officer, Pilgrims Gallery:
    • Introduction
    • Plymouth Soundings by Carson Cooman
    • Four Mayflower Portraits by Clive Jenkins
    • Martial Music for Myles Standish
    • Lullaby for Peregrine White
    • Ballad for Priscilla Mullins
    • Toccata for John Howland
  • Additional organ pieces:
    • Gavotte by Padre Martini
    • Toccata in D Minor by Gaston Belier
  • 1.30pm – 2.30pm The Elizabethan Academy Choir
  • 2.30pm – 3pm Doncaster Waites (popular music at the time of the Pilgrims)
  • 3pm – 3.45pm U3A Recorder Consort
  • 4.00pm – 4.30pm Doncaster Waites (return)
  • 4.30pm – 5.30pm Pilgrim Churches + Videos on screen – sit back and take a tour around local historic locations linked to the Separatists
  • 5.30pm – 6.30pm Interval
  • 6.30pm – 7.30pm Adrian Gray – ‘Thanksgiving and other meals’ (talk)
  • 7.30pm – 8.30pm Emma Spencer & David Warren (singing)
  • 8.30pm – 9pm Jessica Mary Brett (singing)
  • 9pm Thanks and Close

Revd Mark Cantrill will MC the event and provide further pieces of interesting information throughout the day.

Donations of cans for the Bassetlaw Foodbank will be accepted throughout the event – please bring as many as you ‘can’ and help us raise 4800 cans – one for every month since the first Thanksgiving meal in America, four hundred years ago.

About the Performers

U3A Recorder Consort Retford

The recorder group has continued to grow and now has about 28 active members with around 20 attending most playing sessions. They are very grateful to their musical director, Janet Lewis, for providing them with a wide variety of music to enjoy. The group includes members with varying playing abilities from beginners to quite experienced players. Those new to the recorder have welcomed being given some one-to-one support by Janet to help develop their confidence. Between them they play most sizes of recorder (sopranino, descant, treble, tenor, bass and contrabass). Those who have been in the group from the beginning have noted how the overall standard of playing has improved so they can now play, reasonably well, pieces which they struggled with a few years ago.

The Doncaster Waites

A group of local musicians who have a passionate interest in music and history. Their interests have led them to perform early music on copies of original instruments and to wear clothes appropriate to the time of the music. Theirs is not the music of the courts and the aristocracy but the music of the common people. The waites were the original town band and played for civic events, feasts, weddings and in the streets. Doncaster had a band of waites from 1457 to 1832 and it is the spirit of these musicians that they try to re-create.

The Doncaster Waites are:-

  • Andrea Offord – bagpipes, recorders, pipe & tabor, rauschpfeife
  • Lynn Harvey – shawm, bagpipes, pipe & tabor, recorders
  • Norma Sharp – shawm, recorders, tabor pipe
  • Ray Harvey – sackbut, recorders
  • Roger Offord – shawm, hurdy-gurdy, curtal, recorders                 

The present group has been playing together now for over 12 years, but most of them have been playing together for a lot longer than that! The Doncaster Waites are members of The International Guild of Town Pipers.

Adrian Gray

Adrian Gray was born in Grantham and now lives at Laneham, Notts. He graduated in history from Cambridge and is the author of twenty-five history books including several in Nottinghamshire. His books cover a range of historical topics including folk tales, crime and railway history, as well as titles of regional interest. He also contributes regularly to a number of magazines. After a career in education, Adrian now combines his writing and historical interests with a role as a national and international education consultant. He is also historical advisor to Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and is a director of Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours, which helps people get to know the secrets and treasures of Bassetlaw.

Emma Spencer

Emma has been singing and dancing since she was a little girl. She has always had a passion for all things musical theatre. Emma graduated from The University Of Central Lancashire in 2019 with a BA Hons degree in music theatre. More recently, Emma has qualified as a primary school teacher, working at a local primary school. Emma wants to stay linked with the theatre industry and definitely doesn’t want to give up singing. She loves it too much. 

David Warren

David is originally from Southport, where he was heavily involved with the theatre from a very young age. David graduated from The University of Central Lancashire in 2019 with a BA Hons degree in music theatre. More recently, David has qualified as a music secondary school teacher, working at a local secondary school.

Jessica Mary Brett

Jessica is a lady who has been singing since she was just 12 years old and now sings professionally across the country. Jessica takes her role in community seriously and recently set up a brand new Community Interest Company with her Business partner Vicky Waring. Let’s for the Community has an objective is to generate projects to help the socially isolated, vulnerable, and multigenerational community. Creating groups and activities to breakdown inequalities within communities, keep the community active, provide music and song and focus on positive mental and physical well-being. 

JMBSINGER – 07867430104 https://m.facebook.com/JMBSINGER/
LET’S SING – https://m.facebook.com/letssingcommunity/

Can-dles of Hope – Retford’s Illuminate 2021

Thursday 18th November 2021

St Swithun’s Church, Retford | 12noon to 9pm

Help us to donate 4800 items to Bassetlaw Foodbank!

One item for every month since the first Thanksgiving meal, 400 years ago.

The first 400 donors will receive an LED tealight to display in their window on 25th November -Thanksgiving Day, they will also be invited to send a message of hope card which the Foodbank will distribute.

Donate some cans of food with a message of hope, and we will give you a candle… we call them – ‘Can~dles of Hope’.

Free programme of performances and talks hosted by Revd Mark Cantrill.

Everyone is welcome with donations. Refreshments will be available.

Performances from:
– St Swithun’s Bellringers
– Elizabethan Academy Choir
– U3A Recorder Consort
– Stephen Carey – organist
– Singers Emma Spencer and David Warren
– The Doncaster Waites
– Adrian Gray – talk on ‘Thanksgiving & other meals’

Times of performances will be published soon; please check back here for updates.

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.

Pilgrims & Prophets tours & talks online

Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours have a new YouTube channel, sharing films and talks based on local Christian heritage in and around North Nottinghamshire.

Subscribe to the channel to see when new films are added, or view their latest films here:

Habblesthorpe – The Lost Village With Baptist History
We explore the lost Nottinghamshire village of Habblesthorpe and its links to the early Baptists. We discover tress, bushes and some graves, plus links to Baptist founders John Smyth and Thomas Helwys from the early 1600s.
Littleborough. Romans, Kings & Saints
Littleborough is a small Nottinghamshire village with a remarkable history stretching back 2000 years. In this tour, local historian Adrian Gray explores the village’s hidden past – from early Roman times to present day. We follow in the footsteps of Kings, Saints and Christians who came to this place on the banks of the River Trent.
The Nottinghamshire Prophetess (1641)
In 1641, two young women died suddenly after a wedding – but one came back from the dead, prophesying terrible things if England did not repent. Then, a few days later, she died again. Historian Adrian Gray investigates this bizarre story from a turbulent era.
The Battling Puritan – Richard Bernard
Richard Bernard was a puritan nonconformist, sometime a separatist, who battled away against the Church authorities in early 1600s England. He knew the Mayflower Pilgrim leaders, the men who began the English Baptist Church, was the father in law of Roger Williams of Rhode Island and probably influenced John Bunyan. Adrian Gray tells his life story.

For up to date news and information from Pilgrims & Prophets, follow them on Facebook.