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

 

500th anniversary of the Reformation

On Saturday 14th October 2017, a musical workshop will take place in St. Saviour’s Church, Welham Road, Retford, DN22 6QW.

Between 9.30am and 5.30pm Andy Watts of The Carnival Band will help participants explore the musical heritage of Martin Luther and the Reformation, and ways in which it developed in England, particularly the West Gallery music as performed today by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band. The number of places for singers and instrumentalists is limited to 50 (£10 including lunch).

Places can be booked at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk: search for Luther 500 Applications, or http://www.trinitycircuit.net/events).

The workshop will be followed by a REFORMATION 500 COMMEMORATION SERVICE at 7pm in St Saviour’s Church to which everyone is invited. The music and songs rehearsed during the day will be included and the preacher will be the Rev Paulina Hlawiczka, the Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Nottingham.

On 31st October 2017, all round the world, people are marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 theses on the door of the castle chapel in the German town of Wittenberg – an event that has become known as the starting point of the Reformation.

1529MartinLuther

Luther, an Augustinian monk, taught Biblical theology in Wittenberg’s new university. He found himself facing two difficulties. First, it was hard to reconcile his understanding of the Bible’s teachings with some traditional teachings of the Church. Second, he struggled with his own spiritual standing in the eyes of God. His theses dealt with several different matters, but were particularly prompted by the sale of letters known as ‘Indulgences’. These were said to shorten the length of time spent by departed believers in Purgatory, but Luther could find no Biblical basis for such a belief. He had gradually come to understand that human beings are reconciled to God purely by God’s generosity, his grace, rather than by anything they might do, however good.

Within a very short time the theses, which had been written in Latin, were translated into German, printed and widely distributed throughout the many different territories of Germany. Luther had no intention of causing a rift in the Church of Rome, but that is indeed what happened. Ever since, here in the west, the Roman Catholic Church has continued to exist alongside many Protestant Churches.

In this anniversary year Roman Catholics and Protestants are joining together to commemorate 500 years of continuing reform. All over the UK, and across the world, there are an enormous variety of events. In Retford, the Churches are inviting people to consider how the Reformation prompted by Martin Luther gave church music back to the people.

Arguably, Luther started a series of events which included Henry Vlll’s dissolution of the monasteries and establishment as head of the Church of England, swung violently through the reigns of Edward lV, Mary l and Elizabeth l, including the Spanish War and Cranmer’s Protestant Reformation. A hundred years of religious and political challenge delivered James 1 to the throne of Great Britain and the Separatists to arise in the area in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire.

From here, some of them started a journey to found a colony in America. This year’s Pilgrims Festival starts on Saturday and Sunday 18th & 19th November with a Pilgrims inspired Art Exhibition at Babworth, followed by a range of events in Austerfield and Bawtry on Sunday 19th November; Retford on Tuesday 21st November; and Gainsborough on Wednesday 22nd November. A Thanksgiving Day Dinner is planned at Spencer’s on the Square in Retford on Thursday 23rd November and a concert by Doncaster Waites at Scrooby Village Hall on Friday 24th November. The Christmas Tree Festival at St Swithun’s and the Star Festival at the Grove will start on Saturday 25th November and the Christmas lights will be switched on in Bawtry and Retford on Sunday 26th November.

ILLUMINATE – PILGRIMS FESTIVAL gets better and better

 

Beat that? They did! ILLUMINATE Pilgrims Festival gets better every year! 2016 events exceed the success of 2015 on the way to the 400th Anniversary in 2020.

From an inspiring art exhibition and fascinating talk at Babworth church to the closing presentation at Retford Town Hall… The week was filled to the brim with the stories and celebrations of the region and heritage – our ‘Mayflower Roots’.

The United States of America traces its origins to the people aboard the Mayflower and recognises the Pilgrims as its forebears.  Bradford and Brewster, came from Austerfield and Scrooby, with important influencers coming from Babworth – Clifton, and Robinson and Smyth came from Sturton-le-Steeple.  Because of this we have a ‘special relationship’ with the U.S. and it was celebrated in style at Spencer’s on the Square with an ‘Americana Eveningon Tuesday 22nd November.  Over 60 local people gathered for a glittering evening with a sumptuous early Thanksgiving dinner. Jessica Mary Brett and Max Bowker provided uplifting, toe-tapping entertainment – singing American classics from the 50s and 60s.

More than 150 people flocked to the picturesque Babworth Parish Church over the weekend of 19th/20th November to see the inaugural ‘Pilgrims Festival Art Exhibition’, and to listen to the knowledgeable Adrian Gray speak about “How Nottinghamshire Changed the World”. Thirty-nine diverse exhibits were on show – all the work of local artists who had their own individual interpretations of the Pilgrims’ story.  An exhibition which illustrated the Separatist and Mayflower Pilgrims story ran throughout the week in Retford Town Hall and was seen by over 300 visitors.

Heritage talks were given by Malcolm Dolby, who gave a fascinating talk on the life and times of William Bradford; Sue Allan provided a perceptive view of what life was like at the time of the Separatists; and Natasha Scullion delivered an absorbing look at St Martin’s, Bilborough, Hidden Treasures: The Building and its People’.

Last year, three primary schools (about 100 children) accessed the Pilgrims Story in an entertaining and educational way. This year, eight primary schools, plus local Cubs Brownies and Rainbows were engaged in Pilgrim-themed workshops and enjoyed Talegate Theatre, with their ‘Chronicles of the Mayflower Pilgrims’ – an uproariously funny look at the pioneering adventure, in which over 400 local schoolchildren participated. On Thursday 24th, Carr Hill Primary School gave an outstanding performance of a special play written by one of their governors, Barry Upton. This was attended by around 80 schoolchildren from Carr Hill, plus teachers and parents, and grandparents.

On Thursday 24th there were candle-lighting services during the day at the ‘Pilgrims Churches’ in Austerfield, Scrooby, Babworth, Sturton-le-Steeple, and Gainsborough (United Reformed Church). The day started at Gainsborough United Reformed Church with a service led by the Minister, Rev Dr Gillian Poucher, including clergy members from the local Anglican (Canon Mike Cooney) and Methodist (Rev Louise Carr) churches and members of the congregation. Then there was a service at St Peter & St Paul’s in Sturton-le-Steeple led by Rev Mark Cantrill and Barbara Bartle, Churchwarden, who dressed up for the part in outfits from the time of the Pilgrims. They were joined by pupils from nearby Sturton Primary School, who joined in question and answer sessions and began to understand the part that the village has played, through Robinson and Smyth, in the development of the beliefs of the modern Western World. Then there was a simple service at St Helena’s Church in Austerfield, where William Bradford was baptized, led by Rev Jonathan Strickland, assisted by Churchwarden, Sue Goodall. This was followed by a service at St Wilfrid’s Scrooby, led by Rev Julia Jesson, Area Dean, which was attended by Ed Marshall, Chair of the Parish Council, and members of the congregations of Scrooby, Ranskill and Blyth. At All Saints’ church in Babworth, in the afternoon, the service was led by Canon Tony Walker, Team Rector of Retford, and was attended by Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who had arrived specially from London for the evening, Rev Julia Jesson, Area Dean, and members of the Babworth and Ranby congregations.

St Swithun’s Parish Church in Retford welcomed all to a Civic Service on Thursday 24th November.  Rev Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Chaplain to the Queen, Priest Vicar at Westminster Abbey and Priest in Charge of St Mary-at-Hill near Monument, gave the address and spoke powerfully and movingly about tolerance and caring.  Retford Post 16 Centre drama students performed an insightful interpretation of ‘Separatists, Rebels and Religion’ written and dramatised by Anna Scott and Neil Brownhill.  Worksop College Choir, VOX, and the North Wheatley Choir ‘Songbirds’ sang inspirational songs as part of the service, which told the story of the Pilgrims’ decision to leave England and seek a new life overseas.

The Civic Service was attended by Judge John Machin, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire; John Mann, MP; Cllr Jim Anderson, Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council; Cllr Garry Clarkson, Mayor of Retford; Ven David Picken, Archdeacon of Newark; Cllr Madelaine Richardson, Deputy Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council; Cllr George Derx, Deputy Mayor of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council; Cllr Helen Richards, Deputy Mayor of Retford and Neil Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Bassetlaw District Council. Councillors from Bassetlaw, and West Lindsey, District Councils and local Parish Councils were also welcome guests.

The service began with candles being brought from churches at Austerfield, Scrooby, Babworth, Sturton-le-Steeple and Gainsborough (URC) to provide one light as remembered in William Bradford’s words ‘as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation.’    All those who took part in the Civic Service gathered in St Swithun’s churchyard to create a ‘400’ image again using lights to illuminate the shape in the darkness.  This is part of the national Mayflower 400 campaign led by Plymouth in Devon, England where towns with a connection to the Pilgrims Story are encouraged to hold an event based on light referring to the Bradford quote. Plymouth created the first ‘400’ in 2014, and Retford has participated in 2015 and 2016.

A Civic Reception was held in the Town Hall where Anna Scott, Heritage Consultant, introduced a sand art film showing the Pilgrims Story; Cllr Jim Anderson, Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council, reflected on the success of the week congratulating the organisers on having improved on the excellent 2015 events. This was followed by John Mann MP, who gave an inspiring speech on his commitment to the Pilgrims Story and its beneficial relevance to Bassetlaw. He also revealed that he had invited Richard Gere and Bruce Springsteen to visit Bassetlaw’s commemorations – it remains to be seen whether they will attend. The speeches were completed by Rick Brand, Chair, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage, who emphasized the focus on local engagement with the Pilgrims Story to ensure that the area in and around Bassetlaw connected with the Pilgrims benefitted beyond 2020.

This amazing week of celebrations culminated on Sunday 27th with the Christmas Market and Light Switch-on and an enchanting display of almost 100 beautifully decorated Christmas trees in St Swithun’s church (until 3rd December), and a Star Festival at Grove St Methodist Chapel.