Mayflower 400 festival

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620 it is no exaggeration to say that its voyage changed the course of history and it would ultimately lead to the establishment of the United States of America.

The event of the Mayflower ship is not only a moment in world history, it is also our story. It is the story of Crossway and its links to the first Pilgrim Church here in Southwark.

About the festivalCrossway and the Pilgrim Church

About the festival

We are working in partnership with People’s Company, based at Southwark Playhouse, in developing a whole week of activity around the anniversary of the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620 from Southwark to America. The festival content is either virtual or socially distanced activity.

The People’s Company project is being developed in partnership with Crossway United Reformed Church, United St Saviour’s charity and the Mayflower 400 celebrations. Over the week of the 18-25 September a variety of community events will highlight the unique historical relationship between Crossway, the early Pilgrim Church and the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620. It will see a whole week of free activity.



An amazing and exciting journey through the history of Crossway. The Pilgrim Church and its links to the Mayflower 400 story,

Animated coach tour


The Mayflower’s v oyage to America in 1620 animated by actors from People’s Company.



Making Haste from Babylon

People's Company Theatre

Crossway and the Pilgrim Church

Crossway is the only church in Southwark that links back to the story of the non-conformists or separatists that journeyed from Leyden in Holland on the Mayflower to New Plymouth in 1620. As part of the exhibition we will highlight the story of the ‘Pilgrim Church’ which was incorporated into Crossway in 1972. It will highlight how the Pilgrim church was destroyed during the blitz in 1940, only to rise from the ashes in 1956 with help and support from the descendants of the Mayflower in America. It will also highlight a message of 10 October 1956 from the then president of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower:

“Please give my greetings to the members and friends of The Pilgrim Fathers’ Memorial Church in London.

As co-heirs of a great tradition, this congregation has a secure place in the hearts of all who cherish the spirit of religious liberty. Long ago, when the Mayflower carried early pilgrims from your church to our shore, they helped to establish one of the strongest bonds which unite, the peoples of our two Nations”

All our activity is free during the week-long festival, and Crossway is looking forward to opening its doors for all in the community both virtually and socially distanced at this difficult time. John Whelan, the artistic director of People’s Company said of the project, “the story of Crossway and the links with the first Pilgrim Church and the voyage of the Mayflower in 1620, is an amazing part of our local history that needs telling! This project will animate the story in so many interesting ways and it is great that we get to tell the story of Crossway and its links with this journey through this weeklong festival