Illuminate Bassetlaw 2021

Thanksgiving and Can-dles of Hope

St Swithun’s Church, Retford – 12noon to 9.00pm, 18th November 2021

Help us to gather 4800 (or more!) cans for Bassetlaw Foodbank on Thursday 18th November 2021 – that is one can for every month since the first Thanksgiving in America, 400 years ago. We have over 400 cans already and are looking forward to receiving many more on the day.

There will be a programme of performances and talks from 12noon on Thursday 18th November at St Swithun’s Church Retford, where everyone is invited to call in with their donations of cans for Bassetlaw Foodbank.


  • 12 noon – 12.15pm John Coates and the bellringers will ring the church bells
  • 12.30pm – 1.30pm Stephen Carey will play five organ pieces specially composed for the Mayflower Pilgrims commemorations, with an introduction and supporting narratives by Isabelle Richards, Heritage Engagement Officer, Pilgrims Gallery, Bassetlaw Museum.
  • 1.30pm – 2.30pm The Elizabethan Academy Choir
  • 2.30pm – 3.00pm Doncaster Waites (popular music at the time of the Pilgrims)
  • 3.00pm – 3.45pm U3A Recorder Consort
  • 4.00pm – 4.30pm Doncaster Waites (return)
  • 4.30pm – 5.30pm Pilgrim Churches + Videos on screen – sit back and take a tour around local
    historic locations linked to the Separatist
  • 5.30pm – 6.30pm Interval
  • 6.30pm – 7.30pm Adrian Gray, historian & author – ‘Thanksgiving and other meals’ (talk)
  • 7.30pm – 8.30pm Emma Spencer & David Warren (singers)
  • 8.30pm – 9.00pm Jessica Mary Brett (singer)
  • 9.00pm Thanks and Close

Information will be displayed around the church, including ‘real’ First Thanksgiving food and interpretation about the National Day of Mourning for Native Americans.

Things to do:

Donors are welcome to stay throughout or pop in for a few minutes – whatever works for them – refreshments will be available. Let’s make this a great event for Bassetlaw Foodbank and the people it serves – no-one should go hungry in Bassetlaw!

Everyone who brings a donation for the Foodbank at St Swithun’s on 18th November will be given the opportunity to write a message of hope which will be given out by Bassetlaw Foodbank. To receive a positive message like this, especially in the run up to Christmas, can make a big difference.

This will be a fantastic way for people to give thanks for their own lives whilst helping others to survive in modern hardship. We think it’s a great way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first ‘Thanksgiving’ Meal held in North America.

The first 400 donors will be given an LED tealight, which they can display in their windows on Thursday 25th November (Thanksgiving Day) to remind them, and others, about giving thanks. We will be inviting people to take photographs of these tealights to reflect the theme of Illuminate and share them on social media with the hashtag #OneSmallCandle, or send by email to

We look forward to seeing you there!