Annual feast to honour Warwick benefactor

The annual Thomas Oken’s Feast, honouring one of Warwick’s greatest benefactors, takes place on Friday (January 29) after a service for the public in St Mary’s Church.

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 7.00 pm.

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, led by Mr Mason and the Warwick mayor Coun Mandy Littlejohn, and closes with the annual feast in the Guild Hall at the Lord Leycester Hospital, where invited guests will include Chris White MP, the mayor, town councillors, members of Warwick’s Court Leet (founded in 1554) and other dignitaries.

One of Warwick’s oldest charities, the Charity of Thomas Oken and Nicholas Eyffler was founded in 1571. Today it owns 14 alms houses in Castle Hill and Bowling Green Street and makes significant grants most years for ‘relief in need’ in the town. Recent grants have included Myton Hospice, Lord Leycester Hospital and Warwick Apprenticing Charity.

Oken's Feast
The chairman of the Thomas Oken Charity, Clive Mason, with Dr Ann Thurley and the Rev Vaughan Roberts at St Mary’s Church, Warwick.