Monday, 26 June 2017

Ealing WILL be kept in the Inquiry

Following the hearing on 6th June, Alexis Jay, chair of the inquiry, has announced a decision as follows.
Having considered all of the submissions, my decision is that the EBC [English Benedictine Congregation] hearing should take place as planned in November and December 2017 and that evidence in relation to Ealing Abbey/St Benedict's will be heard but not before the relevant criminal proceedings have concluded. Reasons for this decision and my decisions in respect of any other matters will follow.
What this means is that the IICSA hearing in November/December will cover Ampleforth, Downside and Worth. But they have made a definite commitment to hold a further hearing on Ealing at a later date once the forthcoming criminal trial is over. This is different from the original proposal which was to wait until after the trial and them make a decision as to whether any hearings on Ealing were necessary at all.

This at least does provide some reassurance to the Ealing survivors that Ealing Abbey will be looked into, rather than them being left in a limbo for at least a year and a half since they were designated as core participants waiting to know whether they will have anything to participate in. We don't know when the Ealing hearings will take place - it depends on how long the criminal trial takes.

There's no news yet as to whether Fort Augustus will be kept in the inquiry. I wish I had something more positive to say other than that I think there is a strong case for keeping Fort Augustus in, and that must at one time have been accepted by the inquiry otherwise there could have been no justification for designating Fort Augustus survivors as core participants when this happened last year. I hope that reasoning is treated with due weight by the chair.


  1. Good news indeed Jonathan - I hope any enquiry will not be delayed for too long after Soper's trial. I trust that Fort Augustus victims get the same good news very soon.

  2. Thank you, Jonathan, for keeping us up date with developments. As a product of Worth Prep and Downside , and still practicing RC, (and monks of Downside, Ealing and Worth in the family in past generations) I never experienced csa but there were always 'mutterings' around the school. I have a very high regard for the many monks I have known ,and still know, but accept there were several cases that have been/are being dealt with. My hope is that the new Abbot President of the EBC, Dom Christopher Jamison, ex Abbot of Worth and Downside School boy in the 60s, will make sure every bad apple has been weeded out and openly and honestly dealt with. Keep up the good work.