Illuminate Rotherhithe Festival 2019, celebrating our history

As we are getting closer to the Mayflower 2020 celebration, Illuminate Rotherhithe festival is back with a full programme of free activities among them, the popular Illuminate Lantern Procession.

The Mayflower was an English ship that transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30, but the exact number is unknown. The connections with London can be traced back to Rotherhithe and its legacy can be seen in The Mayflower Pub, the Pilgrim statue or in St Mary’s Church.

This year the number of free lantern making workshops expanded to Bermondsey with a second parade departing from the Blue and joining the Rotherhithe one at St James’s churchyard.

Illuminate Free activities

Family Barn Dance, Saturday 9th November 1-3pm, Mayflower Hall, Neptune Street

Collection Creatives writing & art group

Saturday 9th November 5.30pm-7.30pm | Canada Water Library

Pilgrim Statue Illumination

Saturday 16th November 6:30pm-7:00pm |Cumberland Wharf SE16 5QH

The statue called ‘The Pilgrim’s Pocket’ is located at Cumberland Wharf in Rotherhithe and it was intended many years ago as a memorial to the Mayflower separatists and as a street lamp.
Thanks to local campaigners, this iconic landmark will be re-illuminated again.

Tales and Songs of Migration Concert

Saturday 16th November 7.30pm |Sands Films, St Marychurch St

Free registration here

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The Tales & Songs of Migration concert is a collaboration between Illuminate Rotherhithe ( )  and The Citizens of the World Choir. Songs of migration from around the world are sung by the choir and local people describe their family migration journeys to Rotherhithe.

The COTW is a choir for refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and friends. We provide a safe space for refugees to express themselves through the healing power of music, as well as creating a diverse, friendly social community. We use our platform to advocate for refugee rights and human rights, and demonstrate the powerful contribution refugees and immigrants make to our society.

The Citizens of the World Choir was established in March 2017 by a group of humanitarian and musical professionals. In a short time, the choir has brought together people from over fifteen different nationalities in a musical project that has already had two very successful seasons. 

Illuminate Film Screening Weekend

Sands Films, St Marychurch St

Illuminate Rotherhithe Community Show

Saturday 30th November 7.30pm, Finnish Church, Albion Street

Illuminate Rotherhithe presents Illuminate Rotherhithe Community Show

Come along to this free event and enjoy music, poetry, cabaret, folk, choir, performance and merriment. You only need to bring yourself!

Illuminate Bermondsey Procession

Bermondsey Lantern Procession, Friday 29th November assemble from 3.30 at The Blue, Market Place, Bermondsey, arriving St James’ church . . . bring your lanterns!

Procession-route safety advice

click to enlarge
  • Walkers, wheelchairs and pushchairs please use the pavement. Parents please walk on the outside (right) of your child.
  • Pleases wait for stewards in hi-vis jackets to stop traffic before crossing any junctions. Please take extra care crossing the junctions by the railway arch.
  • Please cycle in the left lane only.
  • Please cycle at walking speed. No overtaking. No wheelies or tricks please. Please dismount bicycles when entering the Park.
  • Watch out for traffic passing on the right.
  • Look out for each other and enjoy the procession!

Illuminate Rotherhithe Procession

Friday 29th November assemble from 4- 4:30pm |St Mary’s Churchyard Gardens, Rotherhithe

They procession will depart from sites in Rotherhithe which marks our links with the Mayflower and parade following the route on the map until arriving at St James’s Churchyard Gardens in Bermondsey. . . Don’t forget to bring your lanterns!

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