‘One Small Candle’: Make Your Own Lantern for Illuminate 2020!

Get creative with our lantern toolkit and light up our community this November.

This November, Gainsborough’s annual Illuminate event commemorating the town’s links to the Mayflower Pilgrims’ story will be a bit different, like so many other things that have changed recently. For the past three years, a fantastic parade of lanterns has taken place in town but that’s sadly not going to be possible this year. Instead, we’re inviting you to get creative at home using our specially designed toolkit full of templates, ideas and inspiration for making your own lantern.

Display your lit lantern in a window at home on the evening of Thursday 26th November (the date of Thanksgiving), and share a photo on social media tagging in #OneSmallCandle to be part of the commemorations and to join others across our region connected by a shared heritage.

Gainsborough is joining with Pilgrim Roots partners in Boston and North Nottinghamshire to mark the commemoration on the same evening, by asking people to light up their communities with lanterns displayed in windows to give thanks in our own special way for the things that are important to us – what will you give thanks for?

The 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage from England to America, which took some of the Pilgrims from our region on a historic journey, was in September. Gainsborough is part of the national Mayflower 400 programme, connecting places across the UK linked to the story, and the regional Pilgrim Roots partnership of places where many Pilgrims came from.

West Lindsey District Council are leading the ‘One Small Candle’ campaign for this year’s Illuminate in Gainsborough as part of the town’s Arts Council England-funded Mayflower 400 cultural programme.

The annual commemoration is inspired by a quote from Pilgrim leader William Bradford, who wrote:

“as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many”, reflecting on the Pilgrims’ journeys and life experiences.

How to take part:

1. Make your lantern! 

Take a look at some of our inspiring lantern creations, made using things you have at home. If you live in the Gainsborough area, you will receive a printed template with the free Gainsborough Life magazine to get you started. You can also download the instructions here – Illuminate Lantern Toolkit

Follow the instructions to decorate a clear jar or container, pop in an LED tealight and put it in a window. Check out all of our templates and instruction leaflets using the link above.

Need some inspiration? Check out our ‘how to’ video below:

2. Send us a photo! 

We’d love to see your creations – post a video or photo of your lantern on social media on 26th November. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

3. Be part of something bigger!

Include the hashtag #OneSmallCandle with your post – and see what others have made too! How many lanterns will we be able to count on the night – 102 (the number of Mayflower passengers)? 400 (the anniversary)? 1,620 (the voyage date)? Or even… 2,020?!