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.

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 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.

Illuminate “One small candle” Thanksgiving success

People from across Bassetlaw (North Nottinghamshire), Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and beyond took part in the ‘One Small Candle’ event on Thanksgiving evening last week (Thursday 26th November). Many of them photographed their lanterns and shared them with the Pilgrim Roots project and on social media using the hashtag #OneSmallCandle. There were even photographs from Edinburgh, North Wales and Plymouth.

#OneSmallCandle beneath the William Bradford window at St Helena’s Church, Austerfield

Although Thanksgiving is an event celebrated mainly in the United States, organisers of this year’s Pilgrims Festival suggested that people in the UK might use it as an opportunity to give thanks for something in their own lives, whatever that might be.

The Pilgrim Roots areas of Bassetlaw, West Lindsey, Boston and Doncaster are central to the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims. This year, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of the arrival in North America of the Mayflower Pilgrims, was meant to include many parades and events as the ‘grand finale’ following six years of events building up to it. This was not to be.

An Illuminate lantern jar by Stephanie Baines

However, not to be deterred, the teams at Bassetlaw District Council’s Pilgrims Gallery in Retford, and at West Lindsey District Council, assisted by Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, took the Illuminate ‘one small candle’ events out to people through a combination of locally distributed publications and online.

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage also worked with Bassetlaw District Council’s Pilgrims Gallery on putting together the Online Babworth Arts Festival. Prevented by COVID-19 from holding the usual annual exhibition at Babworth Church, it went online and features paintings, photographs, videos, audio, music, and poetry. This proved so popular that the event has been extended through to Christmas 2020.

Pilgrims Gallery Heritage Engagement Officer, Isabelle Richards, said: “It has been great to work together to reach out to people in this 400th anniversary year of the Mayflower Pilgrims. The ‘One Small Candle’ project has gone really well, as has the Online Arts Festival, and has enabled us to connect with one another positively while we are not able to join together in the usual way.”

A lantern outside St Swithun’s Church, Retford

The Illuminate “One Small Candle” activity in Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire has been organised by Bassetlaw District Council Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by 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 and South Yorkshire area.

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!

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 2019 – Illuminate parade – another success for Retford!

The crowds turned out in the rain to take part in the Pilgrims Festival Illuminate Parade on Friday 22nd November.

This was the fifth year that Retford has taken part in the commemorations of the Mayflower Pilgrim Families’ journey to America. These events form the opening of the commemorative year leading to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage in 2020 .

Retford’s event on 22nd was the fourth in the Pilgrim Roots area following Gainsborough on 16th, Bawtry on 17th and Boston on 21st November, with increasing numbers taking part and turning out to watch. Retford’s event was even more successful!

Retford’s lantern parade started outside Wilko’s on Carolgate at 5.30pm and walked to St Swithun’s Parish Church. The parade was led by the Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council, Cllr Deborah Merryweather and Retford Mayor, Garry Clarkson. Local uniformed groups, schools and voluntary organisations came with lanterns that they had made in workshops with artist Kirsty Champ. Specially commissioned large lanterns were made by artists Julie Willoughby and Jess Kemp. The pipers from the Retford Pipe and Drum band provided the music and members of the Retford Lions helped with the larger lanterns and with marshalling the parade.

There was an all-age event at St Swithun’s Parish Church led by Rev’d Mark Cantrill, including performances by Rhubarb Theatre and the Songbirds choir, followed by the ever popular ‘400’ photograph in the churchyard, and a fantastic light projection show on the side of the church commissioned from specialists Electric Egg .

Refreshments were provided afterwards inside the church, and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage Chair, Rick Brand, presented Veda Brocklesby, representing St Swithun’s, and Dr Anna Scott with bouquets as thanks for their support and help since the first Pilgrims Festival.

Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (BCH) is delighted to have received funding from Arts Council England, with support from the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, and District Councillors Carolyn Troop, Helen Richards and Joan Sanger via their community grants.

Visitor numbers to the area are already increasing, and are forecast to increase further, as 2020 grows closer. The story of the Mayflower Pilgrim families and their roots in the area in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire, is becoming better known.

You can find out more about the story on this website or by visiting the Pilgrims Gallery in Bassetlaw Museum, Retford, the Pilgrims Museum at The Hub in Churchgate, Retford, and the Pilgrims Room at the United Reformed Church in Gainsborough.

BCH is grateful to Arts Council England, the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham, Bassetlaw District Councillors, St Swithun’s Parish Church, the Methodist Church, Scouts, Guides and schools in Bassetlaw for their continuing support.

Photo credit: Electric Egg for BCH

Pilgrims Festival 2019

There are plenty of events happening in and around North Nottinghamshire as part of this year’s Pilgrims Festival – marking the official opening of the Mayflower 400 commemorative year!

Retford’s Illuminate event

Friday 22nd November 2019

This year’s Illuminate event in Retford will be on Friday 22nd November 2019, starting at 5.30pm. This will be the fifth year that Retford commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrim Families’ journey to America, as we arrive at 2020, the 400th anniversary of their arrival in America. This year’s events mark the opening of the commemorative year, and have been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England.

This year’s Pilgrims Festival Illuminate events have been successfully will start in Gainsborough with Illuminate on 16th November, followed by Bawtry on 17th November, with increasing numbers taking part and turning out to watch. Let’s make Retford’s event even more successful!

Retford will see its lantern parade assembling from 5pm outside Wilko’s on Carolgate and walking to St Swithun’s Parish Church, starting at 5.30pm. Local uniformed groups, schools and voluntary organisations have been making lanterns with artists and will be taking part in the parade to support this local community event.

The parade will arrive at St Swithun’s Parish Church at around 6pm where there will be an all-age event at St Swithun’s Parish Church led by Rev’d Mark Cantrill, including performances by Rhubarb Theatre and the Songbirds choir, followed by the ever popular ‘400’ photograph in the churchyard, and a fantastic light projection show on the side of the church commissioned from Electric Egg. Refreshments will be available afterwards inside the church. Everyone is very welcome – please wear appropriate warm clothing – it is November.

Rhubarb Theatre delivers creative, original and theatrical experiences which stimulate children’s imaginations. Set up in 2000, they have grown to a full time professional touring company and registered charity, specialising in education and entertainment performance for children and families

Mayflower in a Storm, by Gerry Fruin

Babworth Arts Weekend

Saturday 23rd-Sunday 24th November

This year’s Pilgrims Festival Art Exhibition will be on Saturday 23rd (10am-4pm) and Sunday 24th (12-4pm) November. This will be the fourth year that Babworth Church has held the Pilgrims Art Exhibition.

All work on display in Babworth Church will have been inspired by the Separatist and Mayflower Pilgrims story. Any artists may provide their work which should be delivered to Babworth Church on Thursday 21st November between 12pm and 5pm with a short identifying summary. The Art Exhibition will be open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 23rd November and between 12pm and 4pm on Sunday 24th November.

Entry to the event is free, refreshments are available for a small charge, and donations to the Church are always welcome. The Pilgrim Embroiderers will be there, so you can see how it is done!

Here is the programme of events for the weekend:

Saturday 23rd November:
• 11am: A talk on buttons by local crafter, Diane Hemsley
• 12pm: A talk on Worksop Priory by Priory tour guide, David Caseldine
• 2pm: Three Piece Suite play baroque music
Sunday 24th November
• 3pm: A talk by local author and historian, Adrian Gray on themes from his new book arriving in 2020

Worksop’s Illuminate event

Wednesday 27th November

For the first time there will be a Pilgrims Festival Illuminate event in Worksop, thanks to a grant from Arts Council England to BCH. It will be on Wednesday 27th November 2019.

Illuminate will start at 5.00pm for 5.30pm with all-age event at The Crossing, Newcastle Avenue, with performances by Rhubarb Theatre and the Songbirds choir. There will then be a parade to Worksop Priory where a ‘400’ photograph will be taken outside the west door, and a fantastic light projection show will take place on the outside of the south wall.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be available inside the Priory. There will be the chance to preview the Priory’s Christmas Tree Festival as well as to see the larger illuminated lanterns close up. Everyone is very welcome – please wear appropriate warm clothing – it is November.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thursday 28th November

There will be a Thanksgiving Dinner, with entertainment, at Spencer’s on the Square, in Retford, at 7pm on Thursday 28th November (Thanksgiving Day).

If you’re looking for an excuse for a good night out or a location for a work Christmas ‘Do’, contact 01777 800230, or call in to book (£30 each).