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.