One small candle for Gainsborough’s Illuminate

by | 29 October 2020 | Community Event, Community Focus, Gainsborough, Heritage

This November, Gainsborough’s annual Illuminate event commemorating the town’s links to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ story will be a bit different, like so many other things that have changed recently. For the past three years, a fantastic parade of lanterns has taken place in town but that’s sadly not going to be possible this year. Instead, West Lindsey District Council is inviting you to get creative at home – and there’s a special insert in this month’s magazine to help you make your own lantern.
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. Gainsborough 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.
The ‘One Small Candle’ campaign 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”. Bradford was reflecting on the Pilgrims’ journeys and life experiences.
Places across the Pilgrim Roots region in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire will mark the commemoration on Thanksgiving evening, 26th November. We’re asking people to join in and light up their communities with lanterns displayed in windows – what will you give thanks for?

How to take part

  • Make your lantern! Use the insert in your copy of Gainsborough Life to make your own Illuminate lantern to display at home. Follow the instructions to decorate a clear jar or container, pop in an LED tealight and put it in a window. For more ideas and inspiration, go to
  • Send Discover Gainsborough a photo! They’d love to see your creations – post a video or photo of your lantern on social media on 26th November – find Discover Gainsborough on Facebook (,
  • Twitter ( and Instagram (
    Include the hashtag #OneSmallCandle with your post – and see what others have made too!

For more information about the Mayflower story visit