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RIP Fr Jonathan Cotton OSB

Firstly, I am sure you will join me in offering support and best wishes to the monastic community following the sad news about the death of Fr Jonathan Cotton (H60).

Fr Jonathan was a founder member of St Hugh’s House and a monk for 62 years. He died peacefully having been fortified by the anointing of the sick an hour before and with Fr Oswald and Fr Prior praying by his bedside. May he rest in peace.

Congratulations to Amelie, Anna and Jemima who have been invited to compete for North Yorkshire at the Northern Counties race after impressive runs in a competitive selection race last weekend.  Boys' hockey got off to a flying start with the U18A, U18B, U14A and U13A teams securing wins against Barnard Castle whilst the 1st VII and 2nd VII girls' netball saw draws against The Mount School. Football is played competitively at Ampleforth from Year 11 and the 1st and 2nd XI, in their first outings as teams, played against well-seasoned teams from The Grammar School Leeds. Despite their losses, Head Sports Monitor Cosi couldn't have summed up their disappointment better when he spoke eloquently in Assembly this week saying: "One of the blessings that we have here at Ampleforth is that we know we are refined, not defined by our failures - we are taught to use them as opportunities to learn, and sport teaches us that every day". My thanks go to Lt Col Blackford and the swimming team for a super Inter-House Swimming Competition last Sunday - congratulations go to St Margaret's and to St Cuthbert's & St Thomas' who won overall for the girls and boys respectively. The enthusiastic support from the poolside epitomised House spirit here in the valley – my thanks to the staff at the St Alban’s Sports Centre for all their help and support this busy week. 

My thanks also go to Edward Seymour and the Schola who travelled to London last Saturday to sing Vigil Mass to a full congregation at Westminster Cathedral, the mother Catholic church of our nation. Fr Ambrose celebrated Mass and OA Chris Too (J18) played the organ – he is currently the Organ Scholar at the Cathedral. Henry Laird (O16), who sings in the Westminster Cathedral Choir, sang with the tenors and Roger Muttit, our new Organist and Head of Keyboard, concluded Mass with a tremendous voluntary on the Grand Organ. On arrival in London the group enjoyed a tour of the sites of central London (with Fr Ambrose on the mic), a slap-up Italian meal, and a tour of the Cathedral including a trip up the 90m tower for magnificent views over the city. It was a fantastic day and a hugely enriching experience for the Schola.

Last night, students and staff enjoyed the latest Headmaster's Lecture from Dr Ella Simpson, a criminologist and poet who spoke about English prisons and rehabilitation. Her highly engaging talk stimulated a lively and thought-provoking discussion afterwards.

Special mention to Sasha, Maxime, Niwa, Josie, William, Benedict A-B and Benedict A who reached the semi-final of the Ethics Cup (designed to promote an interest in philosophy and promote civil discourse on issues of public concern) - a fantastic achievement.  This weekend, Dr Pomroy will be taking a group of Year 9 - 13 students to Stonyhurst for a Model United Nations Conference and we are looking forward to welcoming children coming to take Year 9 entry assessments to join us in 2025. I am looking forward to meeting our future Amplefordians.  

Marie and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Best wishes,


A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18