This year’s Pilgrims Festival Parade in Retford will be on Tuesday 20th November. This will be the fourth year that Retford will commemorate the sailing of the Mayflower Pilgrim Families’ journey to the New World, as part of the countdown to 2020, the 400th anniversary. There are also events planned at Austerfield and Bawtry on 18th, at Gainsborough on 21st, and Scrooby on 22nd November.
Bassetlaw Christian Heritage is organising this year’s activities in Retford, supported by the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and individual Retford District Councillors, working as part of the Pilgrim Roots consortium.
Retford will see a lantern parade walking down Carolgate to the Market Square, starting at 5.30pm. Discussions are currently taking place with local uniformed groups, schools and voluntary organisations about how they can take part and support this event. Further details about lantern-making workshops in October and November will be available on the Bassetlaw Christian Heritage website soon.
The parade will arrive at St Swithun’s Parish Church at around 6.00pm on Tuesday 20th November where there will be a Children’s Service at St Swithun’s Parish Church starting at 6.15pm, including performances by the Elizabethan School drama group and the acclaimed Songbirds choir, followed by the ever popular ‘400’ photograph in the churchyard and light refreshments afterwards. Everyone is welcome.
Other events in the Pilgrims Festival include the Art Exhibitions at Babworth Church and Worksop Priory on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November — featuring works inspired by the Pilgrims Story — all welcome (email@example.com). There will be a Thanksgiving Dinner, with entertainment, at Spencer’s on the Square, in Retford, on Thursday 15th November, starting the Pilgrims Festival for 2018.
Visitor numbers to the area are already increasing, and are forecast to increase further, as 2020 grows closer and beyond. The story of the Mayflower Pilgrim families and their roots in the area in and around Bassetlaw, North Nottinghamshire, is becoming better known. It is hoped that more events and activities relating to this story will be developed, across the year, over the next two years.
To find out more about the story, The Hub in Churchgate, Retford, has a Pilgrims Room.