The Pilgrim Embroiderers

The Pilgrim Embroiderers is a small group of dedicated needle workers based in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

At present, the group is producing five embroideries depicting the churches and congregations of Babworth, Scrooby, Austerfield, Sturton le Steeple and St Swithun’s, Retford, during the early days of the Separatist movement in and around Retford.

It is planned for the works to be completed by the end of 2019 in time for display during the Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020.

Embroiderers at work in Babworth Church

The embroideries have been designed by Jenny King to include depictions and text about the church leaders and local young villagers, many of whom will have travelled to America as Mayflower Pilgrims in 1620.

The embroideries are worked on specially woven woollen cloth using woollen threads, and will be approximately 90cm x 70cm when framed.

BCH Chair Rick Brand with Cllr Helen Richards and the Pilgrim Embroiderers at Babworth Church

The works are being donated to the respective churches once completed, and therefore need to be appropriately stretched and framed. BCH have been supporting the fundraising for the framing, which will cost around £1,000.

If you’d like to make a donation to help towards the costs of framing, please get in touch. BCH would like to thank Bassetlaw District Councillor Helen Richards for her donation to the project.

Embroiderers working in Spencer’s on the Square, Retford

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.

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’.