Ampleforth Abbey Trust Safeguarding Commitment
Rooted in the Scriptures and in the Rule of St Benedict, Ampleforth Abbey Trust is deeply committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults at risk. This commitment arises from our firm belief that each human life has dignity because it is created by God. Jesus himself taught important things about children and the vulnerable and his key teaching is this: what we do to the least of our brothers and sisters we do to him (Matt 25:45)
St Benedict takes up this important teaching in his Rule for monks when he says that we see Jesus in everyone, no matter who they are; and so, we respect all people as images of Christ (Rule of St Benedict 2:2;63: 13-14; 36:153:1,7; 72). Here then is our Christian and monastic basis for all safeguarding. As Pope Francis writes about safeguarding children and all those who are vulnerable:
‘The protection of minors and vulnerable persons is an integral part of the Gospel message that the Church and all its members are called to proclaim throughout the world. Christ himself, in fact, has entrusted us with the care and protection of the weakest and defenceless: “whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me” (Mt 18:5). Therefore, we all have the duty to welcome openheartedly minors and vulnerable persons and to create a safe environment for them, with their interests as a priority. This requires a continuous and profound conversion, in which personal holiness and moral commitment come together to promote the credibility of the Gospel proclamation and to renew the educational mission of the Church'.
Pope Francis ‘On the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons’ 2019
Our commitment to safeguarding:
Our commitment to safeguarding is not only required by law, but is rooted in our God-given belief in the value and dignity of each person.
Protecting and safeguarding the welfare of children, young people and adults at risk is of paramount importance to us.
We offer a heartfelt and honest apology, reparation and, as they wish, support to survivors and victims who have experienced abuse by monks, staff or volunteers of Ampleforth Abbey.
We offer pastoral support to any survivor or victim of past abuse wherever this occurred.
Our culture places the safeguarding of children, young people, and adults at risk above all other considerations through committed leadership, vigilance, curiosity, care and kindness.
We do our utmost through clear policy and regular training to ensure that all staff, volunteers, and monks know how to recognise and respond to safeguarding concerns.
We say to everyone that if you’re concerned about safeguarding, ‘do something’, and if you’re not sure what to do then ‘take advice’. Our experienced safeguarding team is here to give advice and support.
When safeguarding concerns are identified, we follow robust procedures which include reporting those concerns to the statutory authorities as if mandatory reporting were in place, and when necessary remove people (monastic and lay) from the Abbey site as a precautionary measure.
We seek to make sure that we only employ people who are suitable to work with children, young people and adults at risk.
We are committed to working in partnership with statutory authorities, Ampleforth College, visiting schools and our commercial clients in order to keep everyone who engages with Ampleforth Abbey Trust safe and free from harm.
To avoid becoming complacent we regularly examine our own practices and performance regularly and always strive for improvement.