Service and party mark Oakham’s almshouses restoration anniversary

Jeremy Orme, governor of St John and St Anne's, with Julie and Adam Lowe
Jeremy Orme, governor of St John and St Anne's, with Julie and Adam Lowe
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The 30th anniversary of the restoration of Oakham’s almshouses has been celebrated at a special service.

The St John and St Anne’s housing complex is the oldest charity in Rutland, having received its first charter from Richard II in 1399.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the charity’s revival when the restored chapel and 28 flats in St Anne’s Close were officially opened by the Queen.

The anniversary celebrations were attended by the mayor of Oakham, Adam Lowe, his wife Julie and the High Sheriff of Rutland, Trish Ruddle. The Rev Canon Lee Francis-Dequani conducted the service.

Dr Vivian Anthony, the chairman of governors of St John and St Anne, said: “The residents are very proud of their almshouses which are among the most comfortable of their kind anywhere in the country.

“The governors make every effort to ensure that high standards are maintained for the benefit of the residents.

“We had a most successful celebration with a service in the chapel and a birthday party.”

There are now 28 apartments at St Anne’s Close which are grouped around a garden courtyard surrounding the 14th century Chapel of St John which was restored and re-opened about the same time as the almshouses.

The Queen performed the opening ceremony and other ceremonies were later carried out by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough and by the former Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, Sir Jock Kennedy.