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Illuminate 400 - 'One Small Candle'

'Illuminate 400' event - Making lanterns in school


Last week we received a message from Ann Hickman (our local Mrs Poppy) who invited us to be involved in the Illuminate 400 'One Small Candle' event. Today, the children have made lanterns in school which they have brought home to place on a windowsill in the home. 

Below is an explanation of the project, just in case your child's version wasn't too detailed.

Thanking for sharing this important local celebration with us tonight.


'Due to the current restrictions, we are not able to meet together in person to hold these events. But we are asking people to mark the anniversary by placing a light in their windows on Thanksgiving evening: Thursday 26th November.

400 years ago the Mayflower set sail for America. Amongst the passengers on board were a group of religious rebels whose homes were in North Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

For the last five years we have hosted Illuminate events in November to commemorate our region’s connection to those pilgrims. These events have included artist led workshops in schools and with local organisations; lantern parades; and reflection in local churches linked to the Separatist’s story.

Thanksgiving is a huge celebration in America, which is linked back to the harvest meal the pilgrims shared with some of the indigenous peoples in the autumn of 1621.This was a time of gratitude for surviving against the odds after arriving in the wrong place, and also for the European settlers to thank their native allies - without whose help they would not have learned how to farm American crops.   

However, Thanksgiving also has a darker history. To the Native Americans, it is a National Day of Mourning, because the arrival of colonists eventually led to the erosion of their way of life. This reality to the Wampanoag Nation has historically been suppressed.

Mayflower 400 brings together four nations – English, Dutch, American and Wampanoag to commemorate their shared history and celebrate the themes of migration, freedom, democracy and acceptance. The 2020 activities encourage honest reflection on the dark and light parts of the Mayflower story.

The wave of light we hope to create across our region on Thanksgiving evening has been inspired by a quote from William Bradford, who grew up in Austerfield and went on to become governor of Plymouth Colony. It's also an opportunity to join together safely and show our gratitude and solidarity across communities. '

Ann Hickman