Dom Robert Igo
Bishop Terry To Bless New Ampleforth Abbot

Bishop Terry will preside in a ceremony at a date to be arranged to bless Dom Robert Igo, who has been elected ninth Abbot of Ampleforth.

Dom Robert was elected on Tuesday January 5 in the presence of Abbot Paul Stonham OSB, delegate of the president of the English Benedictine Congregation, and the Rt Rev Christopher Jamison OSB.

Dom Robert takes on the role of abbot with immediate effect and replaces Abbot Cuthbert Madden, whose eight-year term of office had come to an end. The new abbot will now hold overall responsibility for the monastic community and its works.

Dom Robert was born and educated in Manchester and worked at Manchester Royal Infirmary as a student nurse for three years in the 1970s. He was ordained priest in the Anglican Church in 1980 and served in parishes in Sunderland and Hartlepool.

He was received into the Catholic Church in 1987 and joined the monastic community at Ampleforth, the UK’s largest Benedictine community, in August 1988.

He was ordained a Catholic priest on June 27 1993 and three years later joined a small group of Ampleforth monks in Zimbabwe, at the monastic foundation established by the Ampleforth community in 1996, the Monastery of Christ the Word in Macheke. Since 2005 he has been prior at the Monastery of Christ the Word.  

The Order of St Benedict designates those monks who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict written in the sixth century.

The order spread from Italy to all continents, with all Benedictine monasteries basing their life on St Benedict’s Rule.

The English Benedictine Congregation is the only survivor of the congregations formed in the 13th century, making it the oldest of the 21 congregations in the order.

Previous Abbots of Ampleforth

1900 – Oswald Smith: first Abbot of Ampleforth, re-elected in 1908 and 1916, died November 1924
1924 – Edmund Matthews: elected December 1924, re-elected 1932, died April 1939
1939 – Herbert Byrne: elected April 1939, re-elected 1947 and 1955, retired as Abbot 1963, died October 1978
1963 – Basil Hume: elected April 1963, re-elected 1971, appointed Archbishop of Westminster 1976, died June 1999
1976 – Ambrose Griffiths: elected 1976, parish priest in Leyland 1984-1992, appointed Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle 1992, retired as Bishop 2004, died 14 June 2011
1984 – Patrick Barry: elected 1984, re-elected 1992, retired as Abbot 1997, died 21 February 2016
1997 – Timothy Wright: elected March 1997, died 29 May 2018
2005 – Cuthbert Madden: elected 15 February 2005, re-elected 12 February 2013

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