The first Chorley event to mark its participation in the national Mayflower 400 commemorations will take place next weekend.
In 2020, it will be 400 years since the ship set sail with the Pilgrims to find land in America and one of the people on board is believed to have been born and lived in Chorley.
One of the Pilgrim Fathers was passenger was military officer Myles Standish. Many historical accounts say the military adviser was born and raised in Chorley’s own Duxbury Hall – and the reason behind why the seaside town of Duxbury in Massachusetts is named just this.
There is a year-long programme of events in Chorley and it all starts on Saturday when St Laurence’s Church, a key location on the heritage trail of Myles Standish, will be lit up in style.
Lincoln Shields, chairman of the Myles Standish 2020 Working Group, said: “We’ve been building up to this moment for a long time and we can’t wait to get started.
“The church is the perfect location with its links to the Standish family and it’s something everyone will be welcome to attend. Both St Laurence’s Church and Chorley Town Hall will be lit, with a firework display at 6.40pm to mark the start of the anniversary celebrations.”
The main entertainment will then be inside the church with the first act of a three-part drama series telling the story of Myles Standish. It has been specially commissioned as part of the year-long programme of events and will be performed by local drama group CADOS.
Refreshments will be available at the church from 6pm with people gathering outside the Town Hall for 6.30pm where a few introductory words will be said before the firework display from the church and drama act inside. The event will close at 7.30pm.
The next Mayflower 400 event will be Astley Illuminated on Saturday, November 23, at Astley Hall.