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Former Abbot of Ampleforth dies

May 26, 2018 8:26 AM
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Abbott Timothy Wright had been receiving medical treatment for cancer, and he will be buried in the vault at Ampleforth Abbey following a funeral Mass on Wednesday, May 30.

Martin Wright - Timothy was his monastic name - was born in New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, and was educated at Ampleforth along with his three brothers, Stephen, Timothy and Ralph.

All three joined the monastic community, and Timothy was ordained priest in 1972. Prior to ordination, he had studied Geography, and so when he joined the academic staff of Ampleforth College in the early 1970s it was as a teacher of Geography and Religious Studies, and, later, Geology.

He was also invited to become an Officer in the Combined Cadet Force, and led expeditions along the Pennine Way, the Western Highlands Way, the Pyrenees and the Italian Alps. From 1977 to 1991 he was Senior RE Master, and developed new exam papers for the Oxford & Cambridge Examination Board. He was also given responsibility for the voluntary social works for the sixth form at weekends, visiting a Cheshire Home, a Hospital and helping elderly people.

In September 1980, Fr Timothy was appointed Housemaster of St John’s House, a post he held for seventeen years. In that time, he also held a number of other roles, including Deputy Headmaster, Acting Head, governor of Westminster Cathedral Choir School, Deputy Head of Development and Appeal Director.

He was elected as seventh Abbot of Ampleforth in March 1997, and a spokesperson for the Abbey said his eight years in the role brought stronger links to other religions.

The spokesperson said: "His abbacy saw the flourishing of a Catholic-Shia Muslim dialogue, with the Abbey hosting a number of meeting with Catholic and Shia experts in theology and spirituality. Abbot Timothy subsequently worked as delegate for the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation in developing monastic inter-religious dialogue."

Towards the end of 2016, Abbot Timothy was diagnosed with cancer of the colon. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and was residing at Ealing Abbey in London, where he died on May 13.


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