Ampleforth Abbey

13 December 2017

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), formerly known as the Goddard Inquiry, was set up in March 2015 and will investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions in England and Wales have taken seriously their responsibility to protect children from sexual abuse, and make meaningful recommendations for change in the future. The Inquiry covers a wide range of institutions including local authorities, the BBC, schools, hospitals and children’s homes.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales is one of these institutions and among the first of its bodies to be examined is the English Benedictine Congregation. Ampleforth Abbey and College are part of this case study, and we are cooperating fully with the Inquiry as a core participant. 

Ampleforth Abbey is committed to providing the highest possible standards when it comes to looking after those entrusted to our care, and welcomes the opportunity to cooperate with IICSA.  We have submitted a number of statements to the Inquiry from across the organisation and cannot comment on any details during an ongoing investigation.

We offer a heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered abuse in our schools, monastery, parishes or other ministries. Victims and survivors who wish to talk to us are welcome to do so and are encouraged to contact Mick Walker, Safeguarding Coordinator on 01439 766013 or Mick.Walker@ampleforth.org.uk. We also have a confidential helpline run by Survive York for anyone seeking help who does not want to speak to us; please contact 0808 145 1890 or 01904 803927.

The Inquiry has a number of steps:

  • The Truth Project where victims and survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) are invited to share their experiences. These can be submitted at any time during the Inquiry.
  • A Preliminary Hearing took place on 5th October to prepare for the Public Hearing in November 2017.
  • The Public Hearing in our Case Study is scheduled to begin on 27th November. Witnesses and core participants will be asked to answer questions over a three week period.

At Ampleforth Abbey and College we have a robust set of safeguarding policies and processes in place (please see downloads below). We invited external safeguarding experts, such as Professor Sue Proctor, to scrutinise and test these and we continue to implement her advice. We have learned from our past mistakes and are continuously striving to improve safeguarding across all our varied works.

Contacts:

To contact Ampleforth’s Safeguarding Coordinator, Mick Walker, please telephone 01439 766013 or email Mick.Walker@ampleforth.org.uk.

To contact a dedicated, confidential helpline run by Survive, please call 0808 145 1890 or 01904 803927.  

To learn more about the Inquiry, please visit the IICSA website www.iicsa.org.uk.

For all press enquiries, please contact Sarah Opie, Director of Marketing & Communications, on 01439 741103 or Sarah.Opie@ampleforth.org.uk, or Launch PR, on 0207 758 3900 or Ampleforth@hellolaunch.co.uk.

Downloads:

Ampleforth Child Protection Policy

Independent Schools Inspectorate Report

Opening Statement from Matthias Kelly QC to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse