Dom Robert Igo has been elected ninth Abbot of Ampleforth, the largest Benedictine community in the UK. The election took place at Ampleforth on 5 January, in the presence of Abbot Paul Stonham OSB, delegate of the President of the English Benedictine Congregation, the Right 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.
Fr 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 in August 1988. He was ordained a Catholic priest on 27 June 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 blessing of the new Abbot will take place at a special ceremony presided over by Bishop Terence Patrick Drainey of Middlesbrough, on a date to be arranged.