SE16 Mayflower 400 | Countdown to 2020

Thanksgiving Festivities/ Thursday 24th November 2016

SE16 Mayflower 400 is a series of free festivities in Rotherhithe on Thanksgiving and everyone is welcome. The village is the place to be as the local community launches the countdown to 2020 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s famous voyage and its links with Rotherhithe.




The focus of these free festivities is St Mary’s Church in the heart of the old Thames-side village. This historic venue lies only moments from where the ship set sail for Plymouth and the New World, and is where its master, Captain Christopher Jones, is buried.

Here the amazing David Idowu Choir will perform an upbeat mix of soul and gospel songs. Their performance will be followed by an outdoor lantern-lit procession with a short history talk by Stephen Humphrey.

There will be free themed nibbles (kindly donated by local establishments) and the famous Brunel Museum’s Midnight Apothecary drinks thanks to a cash bar to include mulled cider and pumpkin cocktails, which will help round off the evening in style at the Brunel Museum’s Engine House and roof garden.

In addition, Sands Films will be running two free screenings of the 2015 documentary The Pilgrims (120 mins) in their beautiful cinema, at 4pm and 8.30pm. Booking is advised as there will be limited seats available.

Further sustenance can be had locally in the Mayflower Pub (early booking required: a choice of two sittings are available, 6pm and 8.30pm), the Ship Pub and Simplicity Restaurant; you are spoilt for choices in this charming, cobbled, riverside neighbourhood, just a two minute walk from Rotherhithe Overground Station.

This promises to be the first of many Thanksgivings to remember! All ages welcome. Dress warmly as temperatures can be low at this time of the year.

There will be a retiring collection in the church at the end of the performance.


Schedule of Events in Rotherhithe Village


Events are free, all ages are welcome

4.00 pm Film screening of ‘The Pilgrims’ at Sands Films (more details below)
6.30 pm (doors 6pm) The David Idowu Choir (retiring collection) at St Mary’s Church
7.30 pm Lantern Procession from the church (Please, bring your own lantern if you have one)
7.45 pm Historical Insight: Stephen Humphrey
8.00 pm Repair to Brunel Museum and Midnight Apothecary for drinks (cash bar) and free nibbles
8.30 pm Repeat Film screening at Sands Films



SE16Mayflower400Music with The David Idowu Choir at St Mary’s Church

St Mary’s Church, St Marychurch St, SE16 4JE The Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF

This dynamic vocal ensemble, created in 2011, is aimed at exposing young people to the enriching power of choral music-making and at enabling students from different secondary schools in Southwark to experience the positive effects of working together in an atmosphere of respect. Intensive rehearsals take place during school holidays under the direction of Laura Howe, Charlene Jones and Ross Power. The choir works in partnership with the David Idowu Foundation, whose mission is to educate young people and their families on the dangers of gun and knife crime.

Free film: The Pilgrims at Sands Films Studios

Sands Films, 82 St Marychurch St, SE16 4HZ

The Pilgrims brings to life the real story of the men and women of the Mayflower: both the ardently evangelical English Protestants who led the mission, as well as the less fervently evangelical
“Strangers” who went with them. Embedded in the deep social, political, cultural, economic and religious currents of their own world, from the first decade of the reign of Elizabeth I through to the first decade of the Thirty Years’ War in America, the film uncovers the challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves, challenges concerning the tension of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration that even today, remain relevant and vital.

  Book your ticket to see Pilgrims at 16:00  Book your ticket to see Pilgrims at 20:30


Rotherhithe’s Mayflower Links:

  • In 1620 the ship set sail from its mooring close to The Mayflower Inn.
  • Her captain and part owner, Christopher Jones, lived in Rotherhithe and was buried at St Mary’s Church.
  • Part owner John Moore and first mate John Clarke also came from Rotherhithe, as did many of the ship’s crew and passengers.
  • Some of Christopher Jones’ children were baptised at St Mary’s Church. The ship returned to Rotherhithe in 1621 and was broken up there.




Getting there

Tube: Rotherhithe Station on London Overground (trains every 3 minutes, 2 minute walk)

Buses: 381, C10, 47, 188 and P12 all serve the locality however due to the current closure of Tower Bridge Road, we do not advise travel by bus.

On foot or cycling: the Thames Path is a beautiful and safe way to approach Rotherhithe Village



Food venues for a Sit-Down Meal

There are plenty of choices when it comes to dining in the Rotherhithe Village. Traditional pubs and restaurants in which to indulge for a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Click on a link to learn more about the menus and locations of each venue. (NB Piccalilli Caff is not open in the evenings. The Yellow House is a very quick two stop journey to Surrey Quays on the Overground.)

  The Ship Rotherhithe or call 020 7237 4088 to book a table.


Learn more about SE16 Mayflower 400

There so much to explore in Rotherhithe to understand the links with the Mayflower. SE16-Worg has been sharing their knowledge about the local area in both online and offline by taking part in events such as the Scandimarket and distributing the Rotherhithe Map with useful information about local places.

Do not forget to share your images and follow the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook



St Mary’s Church

Discover the fascinating history of St Mary’s The Virgin church in Rotherhithe. Christians have worshipped on this site for at least 1000 years.

Sands Films Studios

Sands Films Studio survived thanks to the generosity of the community by allowing individuals to become shareholders  and maintain this cultural hub standing.

The Brunel Museum

Rotherhithe will not be explored properly without a visit to the Brunel Museum to understand the London connections of Sir Marc and Isambard Brunel.

The Norwegian and Finnish churches

The Norwegian and Finnish churches are essential in the culture and most recent history of Rotherhithe. Both churches organise the famous three Scandimarket events during the year

The David Idowu Choir

The David Idowu Choir works in partnership with the David Idowu Foundation, whose mission is to educate young people and their families on the dangers of gun and knife crime.

Tuned In

Music has its place in Rotherhithe thanks to the hard work of Tuned In bringing the best of world music to Sands Films

Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society

The Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History group organises talks and events to understand and appreciate the heritage that this part of Southwark offers.

The Harwich Mayflower Project

The Harwich Mayflower Project is building an authentic replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to America to a better life in the New World.

Time and Talents

Time & Talents knows that ‘community’ doesn’t just happen by itself. It has to be nurtured, supported, and brought together.

United St Saviour’s Charity

United St Saviour’s Charity has supported the residents of Southwark since 1540.


Special thanks to to the Mayflower Pub, the Ship Pub, Piccalilli Caff (at Surrey Docks Farm), the Yel- low House, the Finnish Church and the Norwegian Church for their generous support of this celebration by way of the food we are offering after the procession, and to United St Saviour’s Charity for their award of a grant.

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