Celebrations begin on Sunday to mark the 450th anniversary of Christ's Hospital of Abingdon, the oldest charity in Oxfordshire and 39th oldest in the country.

Christ's Hospital was incorporated 450 years ago, in 1553, and a service is being held on the exact date of the anniversary at St Helen's Church at 10am.

The charity is responsible for Long Alley, Mr Twitty's and Brick Alley almshouses, all in St Helen's churchyard. It also runs almshouses in Ock Street and the St John's almshouses in the Vineyard. At present there are 30 elderly residents and a warden.

Next Thursday (22 May) a special lunch will be held in the Guildhall. The speakers will be Major General Anthony Leask, the director of the National Association of Almshouses, and Helen Ronaldson, the Master of Christ's Hospital.