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Journeying together with hope and aspiration

Our school motto paints a picture of life being a journey.  In Gainsborough, we have special connections to the journey story of the Mayflower Pilgrims.  This connection gives us inspiration and helps us to articulate our Christian vision.  The story helps us to think more deeply about who we are, why we are here and how we live.

A brief story of the Mayflower Pilgrims

The Mayflower story is significant to this region because it carried a group of leading Protestant Separatists and their families to America, many of whom came from Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. These Christians felt oppressed in their time and place and did not feel treated with dignity, respect and justice.  Through studying the wisdom of the Scriptures, they sought to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.  They understood themselves to be reforming or purifying their faith and considered themselves a beacon of hope for fellow Christians (Matthew 5:14).  They first fled to Holland, before later deciding to sail to America to establish one of the earliest colonies there, and take control of their own religious practices.

It was in our region of England that these people formed their ideas and plans for new lives – deciding to separate from the established Church to form their own at a time when this was illegal.

A group of Protestant Separatists were thought to have worshiped secretly at Gainsborough Old Hall, just a stone’s throw away from our school, with the permission of its sympathetic owner, merchant William Hickman.

Their preacher, John Smyth, was a strong influence on the Mayflower Pilgrims, and is generally considered to have later been a founder of the Baptist churches.


Let’s use our core four to see how the story of the Pilgrims links to our church school vision.



Dignity- The Pilgrims had their own plans and ideas- they created their own community where they could live together the way they wanted to.

Community- The Pilgrims separated from the established Church to form their own special community together.

Wisdom- The Pilgrims did a new thing- they separated and moved to a place of religious freedom.

Hope- The Pilgrims worshiped secretly because they were not allowed to openly profess their beliefs.  They took steps to bring about the future they wanted.