The Basics

Thomas Christie, the seventeenth century founder of the almshouses, was a Bedford solicitor and MP.  A philanthropist and visionary, he realised there were vulnerable people in Bedford who needed help. So he built eight small homes for “poor, single persons of good repute” and set up a trust that’s enabled hundreds of people to live in the Thomas Christie almshouses over the last four centuries. 

In the 1960s, the charity moved to the Embankment and now Christie House and John Crosse House enjoy a superb location with splendid views of the river and easy access to all that Bedford offers.

The Thomas Christie Charity has an excellent reputation for providing top quality homes for older people in need, whether that need is financial, physical or emotional – for example, loneliness and isolation following bereavement. So because we define the “need” widely, it's always worth enquiring about an application to become a resident at Thomas Christie. And of course we treat all enquiries with respect and discretion.

All our residents have their own front door and value their independence while remaining part of a community. Being close to Bedford’s town centre, they can also enjoy what it has to offer while knowing they have the security of a live-in warden. All residents can contact the clerk, warden or any trustee if they have a worry, however small. The weekly maintenance contribution (WMC) includes all the utility costs so the only extra bills are council tax and telephone.

The clerk carries out day-to-day management of the charity while the trustees look after governance and strategy. The warden lives on site and checks on the residents each day. There are two deputy wardens who cover for days off and holidays.  We have a handyman who deals with minor repairs while our architect deals with the major fabric issues.  Our caretaker keeps the common areas clean and tidy and helps with the gardens.

Providing quality accommodation in an independent yet secure environment,
leading to fuller, happier lives for older people in need in North and Central Bedfordshire