This tour explores the lives of John Smyth, Thomas Helwys and John Murton, visiting the villages and churches where they grew up and began their ministry at the same time as the group who became the ‘Mayflower’ Pilgrims. Secretive and at risk, they left little mark but our skilled guides show you what to you look for and help you to reflect on a journey that took them to the Netherlands and to London prison cells.
Depending on size of transport we can also explore earlier baptisms – the site of the first mass baptism known in English history at Littleborough in the 7th Century!
You’ll see Thomas Helwys’s family churches at Bilborough and Saundby, John Smyth’s village of Sturton, the church where he was arrested for riot, and the town of Gainsborough where he formed his separatist congregation – and where later the great Baptist Hanserd Knollys was converted.
Join us for a second day and we will take you into the rural east to the ’secret Baptist chapel’ in a field and even the quiet corner where Roger Williams, founder of he first ‘Baptist’ church in America, came to discuss freedom with Sir Henry Vane. Maybe we will even stop to see where Captain John Smith of Pocahontas fame came from! Finish the day with a contrast – choral evensong at Europe’s best cathedral!
BIRTHPLACE OF AMERICAN FAITH
TWO GREAT MEN - ONE SMALL VILLAGE
The Baptist and Congregational traditions make up a very large share of American churches – but amazingly they both began in one small English village where John Smyth and John Robinson were born a few years apart, and which was also home to a key Reformation martyr. Explore the mystery of why so much came from one small place with our insightful guides.
A SMALL CHURCH WITH A GREAT HISTORY
We’ll stop at tiny Marnham where Richard Clifton, the original leader of the ‘Scrooby’ or Mayflower congregation, had his first ministry – but it is also where John Smyth the future Baptist was arrested following a ‘riot’ between clergy as authorities tried to banish the puritans! Visitors love places like this – so far off the beaten track as to be almost invisible!
MONKSTHORPE - SECRET CHAPEL
BAPTIST CHURCH FROM 1600s
The early Baptists were strong in rural areas but they were persecuted until the 1690s so they met in houses and barns – or miles from nowhere. Monksthorpe is one of the best preserved early Baptist chapels and is linked to the ministry of Thomas Grantham, a famous early Baptist ‘messenger’ and theologian. Note that access to Monksthorpe is limited for very large coaches.
TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING
WHATS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR
Tour Guide for one or two days.
Entrance to churches at Bilborough, Marnham, Saundby (day 1)
Entrance to Monksthorpe Chapel, Belleau church and Lincoln Cathedral (day 2)
This tour requires your own transport. We suggest if travelling from the south we meet you at Bilborough.
LOCAL EXCURSIONS & EXPERIENCES
We can arrange additional local excursions & experiences as part of your tour. Please ask for details & prices when you make your booking enquiry.
Cream Tea at Hodsock Priory
Traditional English Bell Ringing
Real Ale Beer Tasting
Lincoln Cathedral Choral Evensong
Sherwood Forest 'Red Bus' Tour
Full Day or Two Days £120 per day (minimum for up to 7 persons). Then £18 a head up to a maximum of £300 for a full coach. On Day 2, an additional per head fee will be charged for Monksthorpe which is in the care if the National Trust, but this is not large.
Transport not included but can be arranged.
Retford or locations within 25 miles; main line stations at Newark, Retford, Doncaster or Lincoln.
Any size between individual and coach. Maximum of 25 is preferable, but more can be managed.
Refreshments & Meals:
Lunch and afternoon cream tea etc can be included as an addition. Please allow around £7-£10 a head depending on requirements.
Some old churches have limited accessibility.
Low, but note that access to some buildings requires use of steps.
Min. of 7 days advance booking. Winter bookings possible but sites are unheated and some lack electricity.
Travel Trade Information:
We offer a commissionable rate for travel trade.
Please use the form to tell us a little more about your plans including dates and group numbers and we will be happy to create a sample tour itinerary and budget. Most of our tours are offered on a full or half day. And we can combine tours to create a 1,2,3 or 4 day tour to suit your schedule.
We will arrange transport, accommodation and additional day and evening events if required. Look forward to hearing from you.
Or give us a call on +44 (0)7470 366689