Residents invited to celebrate one of Warwick's greatest benefactors

Residents in Warwick are being invited celebrate one of the town's greatest benefactors.

The annual Thomas Oken's Feast takes place on Friday, January 31 after a service for the public in St Mary's Church.

Clive Mason, chairman of Thomas Oken Charity with fellow trustee Terry Brown and the Rev Vaughan Roberts beside the Thomas Oken memorial plaque at St Mary's Church in Warwick. Photo submitted.

Clive Mason, chairman of Thomas Oken Charity with fellow trustee Terry Brown and the Rev Vaughan Roberts beside the Thomas Oken memorial plaque at St Mary's Church in Warwick. Photo submitted.

The trustees of the charity, which bears the name of the 16th century benefactor, hope that as many townspeople as possible will attend the service, which begins at 7pm.

Charity chairman Clive Mason said: “It’s a wonderful service that is held in accordance with Thomas Oken's wishes and everyone in the town is invited to come and enjoy the music and hymns."

The evening will begin with the traditional parade of trustees, dignitaries and townspeople from the Court House to the church, and closes with the annual feast in the Guild Hall at the Lord Leycester Hospital, where the speakers will include Dr Nick Yates, the Mayor of Warwick Cllr Neale Murphy, past mayor Mandy Littlejohn, Henry VIII trustee Rupert Griffiths and Oken trustee Terry Brown.

One of Warwick's oldest charities, the Charity of Thomas Oken and Nicholas Eyffler was founded in 1571. Today it owns 12 alms houses in Castle Hill and Bowling Green Street and makes significant grants most years for 'relief in need' in the town.

Recent grants include South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, South Warwickshire Citizens Advice Bureau and the new Woodside Care Home.