Ampleforth Abbey is a monastery of Benedictine monks a mile to the east of Ampleforth, North Yorkshire, England, part of the English Benedictine Congregation. It descends from the pre-Reformation community at Westminster Abbey through the last surviving monk from Westminster, Sigebert Buckley (c. 1520 - c. 1610). As of 2023 the monastery has 46 monks, and sometimes will have 50 nuns of the monastery organization.[2]

Ampleforth Abbey
The Abbey Church of St Laurence, Ampleforth
Ampleforth Abbey is located in North Yorkshire
Ampleforth Abbey
Ampleforth Abbey
Location within North Yorkshire
54°12′06″N 1°05′05″W / 54.2018°N 1.0847°W / 54.2018; -1.0847
OS grid referenceSE598788
LocationAmpleforth, North Yorkshire
DenominationCatholic Church
Founder(s)Lady Anne Fairfax
DedicationSt Laurence the Martyr
Functional statusActive
Heritage designationGrade I[1]
Designated9 September 1985[1]
AbbotRobert Igo

History edit

Monastery, Abbey Church and Main Hall

The Abbey was founded in a house given to Father Anselm Bolton by Lady Anne Fairfax, daughter of Charles Gregory Fairfax, 9th Viscount Fairfax of Emley.[3] This house was taken over by Dr Brewer, President of the Congregation, on 30 July 1802. Since leaving Dieulouard in Lorraine, where its members had joined Spanish and Cassinese Benedictines to form the monastery of St Laurence, the community had been successively at Acton Burnell, Tranmere, Scholes, Vernon Hall and Parbold Hall, under its superior, Dr Marsh.

On its migration to Ampleforth Lodge Dr Marsh remained at Parbold and Father Appleton was elected the first prior of the new monastery. Shortly afterwards Parbold was broken up and the boys of the school there were transferred to Ampleforth. The priory was erected into an abbey in 1890 by the Bull 'Diuquidem' and an important and flourishing college was founded. John Cuthbert Hedley, Bishop of Newport, was an alumnus, as was a superior of Ampleforth, Abbot Smith. The monastery was completed in 1897.[4] The first abbey church was begun in 1857 and demolished in 1957. The existing Abbey church was begun in 1924 and consecrated in 1961, having been designed by notable architect Giles Gilbert Scott, replacing the mid-19th-century church of Charles Hansom.[5][6]

Coat of Arms

Coat of arms edit

Blazon: Per fesse dancetté Or and Azure a chief per pale Gules and of the second charged on the dexter with two keys in saltire Or and Argent and on the sinister with a Cross Flory between five martlets of the first. (College of Arms, London 1922). Ensigned with an abbot's crosier in pale behind the shield Or garnished with a pallium crossing the staff argent and a galero with cords and twelve tassels disposed on either side of the shield in three rows of one, two, and three all Sable.

List of abbots edit

  • 1900–1924: Oswald Smith OSB
  • 1924–1939: Edmund Matthews OSB
  • 1939–1963: Herbert Byrne OSB
  • 1963–1976: Basil Hume OSB
  • 1976–1984: Ambrose Griffiths OSB
  • 1984–1997: Patrick Barry OSB[7]
  • 1997–2005: Timothy Wright OSB
  • 2005–2021: Cuthbert Madden OSB
  • 2021–present: Robert Igo OSB[8]

Foundations edit

Ampleforth College edit

The monastery founded a school at Ampleforth in 1802.[6] It is now the coeducational independent boarding school Ampleforth College, with about 600 pupils. In 2017 the college separated from the Abbey by splitting the site and each having its own independent governance.[9] Monks from Ampleforth Abbey continue to oversee the spirituality scheme of the College.[10]

Parishes edit

In addition to the work at Ampleforth, some of the monks are assigned as parish priests to parishes across four dioceses.[11]

St Benet's Hall edit

Ampleforth had a permanent private hall at St Benet's Hall, Oxford, which was founded in 1897 for the purpose of enabling monks to study for secular degrees. It accepted lay undergraduates and graduate as well as monastic members.[12] It ceased operation as a permanent private hall at the beginning of October 2022.[13]

Saint Louis edit

Ampleforth founded a daughter house, the priory at St Louis, Missouri, in 1955. The priory gained independence in 1973 and became Saint Louis Abbey in its own right in 1989.[6]

Zimbabwe edit

In 1996 Ampleforth set up the community of Christ the Word in Zimbabwe, which had three members as of 2020.[14]

Child-abuse scandal edit

In November 2017, as part of its larger mandate, the national Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) undertook an investigation into the prevalence of paedophilia in the English Benedictine Congregation and its failures in protecting young people over many decades, focusing on the abbeys of Downside in Somerset, Ealing in London and Ampleforth in North Yorkshire. The final report outlined a series of failures at Ampleforth but also noted the ongoing efforts of both the Abbey and College to address the safeguarding concerns.[15] It found credible allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse perpetrated by monks and lay members of Ampleforth. In addition safeguarding concerns were noted about some monks relating to grooming, inappropriate touching and pornography addiction. The Ampleforth monks named in the report included: Piers Grant-Ferris, Gregory Carroll, Bernard Green (deceased 2013) and a number of unidentified monks referred to as RC-F3, RC-F8, RC-F27, RC-F16, RC-F18, RC-F91 and RC-F95.[16]

Abbot Christopher Jamison, then newly elected President of the English Benedictine Congregation, welcomed the report, apologising for the abuse and the congregation's failure to address it and urging other victims to come forward.[17] Piers Grant-Ferris was convicted in 2006 of twenty counts of indecent assault.[18] Peter Turner, formerly known as Gregory Carroll, was jailed for more than 20 years for his offences of child abuse.[19]

Gallery edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Historic England. "The Abbey Church (1315767)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Monastery | Ampleforth Abbey". Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  3. ^ Turner, Bede. "The Story of the Abbey Land" (PDF). Monastery Library & Archives. Ampleforth Abbey. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  4. ^ The Abbey of Ampleforth. Catholic Encyclopedia (1913).
  5. ^ "Abbey Church | Ampleforth Visitors". Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b c The Benedictine Yearbook. London: English Benedictine Congregation Trust. 2020. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-901089-58-8.
  7. ^ "Our Benedictine Connection - Abbot Patrick Barry, OSB". Le Mée Studies. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  8. ^ Dodd, Liz (5 January 2021). "Former Anglican elected Abbot of Ampleforth". The Tablet. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  9. ^ "St Laurence Education Trust". Ampleforth College. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Spirituality". Ampleforth College. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Parishes & Partnerships | Ampleforth Abbey". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  12. ^ "History". St. Benet's Hall. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  13. ^ "St. Benets Hall buildings to be vacated by October 2022". The Oxford Student. 2 June 2022. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
  14. ^ The Benedictine Yearbook. London: English Benedictine Congregation Trust. 2020. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-901089-58-8.
  15. ^ "Ampleforth and Downside (English Benedictine Congregation case study) Investigation Report-- Part B: Ampleforth". Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Ampleforth and Downside (English Benedictine Congregation case study) Investigation Report-- Part B: Ampleforth-- Allegations". Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  17. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (9 August 2018). "Damning catalogue of sex abuse at top Catholic schools". The Tablet. London, UK. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Child sex abuse inquiry: Priest 'tried to control' investigation". BBC. London, UK. 4 December 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  19. ^ "Peter Turner: Former Ampleforth College monk jailed for child abuse". BBC. London, UK. 12 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2021.

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "The Abbey of Ampleforth". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

External links edit