Baptist History Highlights tour with 'Pilgrims & Prophets'

The first English Baptists came from the villages and markets of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire from where the movement spread to America, taking with it ideas of religious tolerance uniquely developed by this small group of faithful people.

This tour combines history with the present, allowing you to meet local Baptist leaders and find how the tradition still thrives today.


Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire

Tour provider

Pilgrims & Prophets Christian Heritage Tours

Contact and booking


Welcome to Sturton-le-Steeple!

The 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 skilled guides will 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, you can also explore earlier baptisms – the site of the first mass baptism known in English history at Littleborough in the seventh 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 the tour for a second day and you'll head 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 you'll even get to see where Captain John Smith - of Pocahontas fame - came from! Finish the day with a contrast... choral evensong at Europe’s best cathedral.

Marnham Church

Customisable Options

Pilgrims and Prophets can arrange additional local excursions and experiences as part of your tour. Please ask for details and prices when you make your booking enquiry.

  • Cream tea at Hodsock Priory.
  • Lincoln Cathedral choral evensong
  • Traditional English bell-ringing
  • Real ale beer-tasting
  • Europe’s largest antiques market
  • Sherwood Forest 'Red Bus' Tour

More about the package

Price: From £150 for full-day tour - excluding transport, attraction entry, church donations and lunch.

Group size: Most group sizes can be accommodated.

Duration: Full day, 10 hours. Option to extend to two days.

Special equipment needed: Comfortable shoes and warm clothes (as the churches can sometimes be cold).

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