Brooke, the international horse welfare charity, held its annual Christmas Carol Service in the beautiful Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London – and War Horse Memorial was invited to join over 250 supporters, celebrities and friends for the service and VIP reception afterwards. There were readings from the charity’s patron, ITV news broadcaster Alistair Stewart, and from impressionist, Rory Bremner; West End star Jodie Prenger and former BBC newsreader Jan Leeming. Festive carols were led by the choir, with prayers from the Chaplain, The Reverend Patricia Mann.
The charity’s Chairman, Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, thanked the congregation for their continued support and explained some of the wonderful work Brooke is able to do to improves the lives of horses, mules and donkeys so that people in the developing world are afforded the opportunity to work their way out of poverty.
Afterwards, at a reception in the Queen Mary Undercroft, the Chaplain gave a fascinating insight into the history of the Chapel, which was built by Thomas Ripley to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren and was the last major part of the Royal Hospital for Seamen to be constructed. Alistair Stewart spoke movingly about his recent visit to Senegal where he visited communities and met local service providers to learn about Brooke’s work in West Africa. And the final speech of the day was made by Chief Executive Petra Ingram who explained how the Brooke story started in 1934 after Dorothy Brooke travelled to Cairo in Egypt to find abandoned war horses of the First Wold War and how the organisation is now one of the world’s largest equine welfare organisations, working in over 10 countries. We look forward to working with Brooke next year.