The Wellingtones Bring Harmonious Joy to Almshouses’ Community Christmas Lunch

The residents of the Almshouses in Henley had a real treat last Thursday at the Chantry House when they enjoyed a Christmas lunch provided by The Pavilion and then entertainment by The Wellingtones, acapella choir from Wellington College.

Charlotte Miles Kingston, a Trustee at Henley Municipal Charities who organise the event, offered her charity auction prize of The Wellingtones she had won at her son, Alex’s school as Valley Road School choir were unable able to make it this year.  The 13 piece choir are pupils from years 12 and 13.

Henley Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton said, “I absolutely love coming to Municipal Charities events.  When I was last Mayor, it was one of my Mayoral appointments to join this charity and it’s the only one I stayed on after finishing being Mayor then.  Whilst I am here as Mayor, I’ve been a Trustee since 2017 and its great group of people and committee, it’s a fantastic charity that’s doing really great work.  I love this event because although we go for monthly visits and we see the residents regularly, this is a time we all come together and celebrate.  It’s a lovely community event.”

Wendy Bowsher, Clerk to the Trustees said, “Pavilion have provided a wonderful meal.  We have 23 residents here today.  We organised for the residents of Western and Vicarage Roads to come down by the Henley Handibus.  This year we have helped someone who was homeless and someone who was in an unfortunate situation you wouldn’t want to find yourself in.  We’ve had some amazing tradesmen who have had to do a lot of work really quickly to enable those residents to move in at speed.  Everyone has helped each other which is what we like.  Community is a key word.  This year another part of the Municipal Charities, Relief in Need has been helping with funds for energy and food and children who have suffered as consequence of home learning during Covid.”

Residents, Bob & Gerry said “We’re glad to be here today and to chat to people we don’t see regularly.  The food was good.  It’s a nice treat and afternoon out.”

The Wellingtones, led by Director of Music Simon Williamson said, “It’s a great treat to come and sing here and it is not too far to come.  We’ve missed one lesson to come, we could have come earlier and miss more lessons.”

The lunch guests joined the choir to start the singing with We Three Kings before the choir performed Mary Did you Know?, Last Christmas (Glee Version) with stunning harmonies. Everyone then joined in with Silent Night and Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.  The highlight of the choir’s performance was the incredible All I Want For Christmas is You by Maria Carey which saw Charlotte’s son Alex start with a solo and Harriet Woods hitting the high notes which they were due to perform the following day at the school’s .  Afterwards, Harriet said, “I’ve been singing ever since I was tiny.  I started having singing lessons in Year 8 and I auditioned for the choir 4 years ago.  It’s lovely to perform here as I live in Henley and went to Rupert House School and I used to have parties here at the Chantry House when I was little.”  The singing ended with everyone singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas and an encore of All I Want For Christmas is You.



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