STATEMENT FROM ABBOT MARTIN SHIPPERLEE

As the IICSA hearings have shown, there has been a series of serious failings in Safeguarding and some of those failings have been mine. Much has been achieved to correct this in recent years and I have confidence in the present structures and policies.

However this does not take away from the seriousness of what went before. In order for the Abbey to look forward with confidence new leadership is now needed and so I have resigned as Abbot so that this may be possible.

It is not now for me to speak for the Abbey, but for myself. I wish to express my profound sorrow for my mistakes and my failure to properly manage potential offenders.

I apologise unreservedly to all those I have let down; my brethren, St Benedict’s School, the wider Ealing community, those who might look to the Church to be simply much better than I have been, but above all to all those who have been abused and hurt by monks and have not been sufficiently protected. Most of this harm was done a long time ago, but its consequences are still with us and I must accept those consequences for myself.

8 February 2019