Notts Pilgrim Fathers Schools to link with Massachusetts

Driving to work one day last summer Diocesan Schools Adviser, Jane Lewis was inspired by a Radio Nottingham interview …to forge an historic link with schools across the Atlantic.

The interviewer, Sarah Julian, was in Massachusetts visiting the Provincetown Museum and Monument, talking to the Executive Director, David Weidner, about the Pilgrim Fathers arriving in Provincetown in 1620 from England, laying the foundations of American democracy.

2020 sees the 400th anniversary of the Bassetlaw Pilgrims, from Scrooby, arriving in the New World on the Mayflower….and this has been marked and celebrated in Nottinghamshire in various ways over the last few years, including ‘Illuminate 400’ in Retford. and…/mayflower-pilgrims

“During the interview I heard that there was a desire for schools in Provincetown with Pilgrim links to partner with schools in Bassetlaw that also have Pilgrim links,” says Jane. “We have a few Bassetlaw church schools keen to be involved in this, so I got in touch.

“As a result, David came over this year on July 17th/18th and we visited St Peter’s Church of England Primary School in Gringley-on-the-Hill in the morning – when BBC Radio Nottingham recorded a feature (which incorporated last year’s interview) – and then we went to Sturton- le -Steeple school in the afternoon.”

David also had the opportunity to visit some of the Pilgrim Sites at Babworth, Scrooby and Austerfield with Jane, and Anna Scott, the Heritage Consultant for Bassetlaw – and they explored how school-to-school partnerships in both countries might work and what the schools would like to get from such a partnership, including a possible exchange of teachers and materials to use in classrooms.

Jane adds: “It’s not just about the story but the lessons that are important today : tolerance, religious freedom; sanctuary etc.. enabling school children to be citizens of the world into the future and learning from the lessons of the past.”

Following David’s visit he has now formed a partnership with Bassetlaw District Council in promoting the 400th anniversary.

Listen to the Radio interview, which starts at 7. 50 am.


Photo shows Rick Brand (Bassettlaw Christian Heritage/Illuminate 400); David Weidner; Jane Lewis and Anna Scott at Scrooby Church.

Note: 2007 marked the 400th anniversary of the founding Mayflower Pilgrims leaving Bassetlaw to start their new life in Holland. It was 13 years later, in 1620, when the Pilgrims finally reached Plymouth, USA.

For further info contact Jane Lewis or David Weidner