SAFEGUARDING

Ealing Abbey Parish

ANDREW SOPER – STATEMENT FROM EALING ABBEY,  December, 2017

Andrew Soper has finally been brought to justice.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his victims.  We admire them for their courage in coming forward as witnesses in order to secure his conviction.

We apologise to everyone who is affected by the crimes Soper committed while he was a monk of Ealing and a teacher at St Benedict’s School in the 1970s and 1980s.  The prosecution of non-recent sexual offences is an important element in ensuring that, so far as possible, such events do not occur in future.

Soper, whose religious name was Laurence, was Head of St Benedict’s Middle School between 1975 and 1984 and the Abbot of Ealing from 1991 to 2000.  After stepping down as Abbot he became Bursar at S’Anselmo, the Benedictine University in Rome.  When allegations were made against him these were subject to investigation by Police and Social Services with the co-operation and assistance of the Abbey and St Benedict’s School.  Soper was immediately placed under restrictions at S’Anselmo, which included no unsupervised contact with children or young people and restrictions on his movements away from the campus.

Having agreed to co-operate with the Police by returning to London for further questioning, in March 2011 he failed to return for a police interview and left the monastery in Rome.  To our knowledge nothing further was heard from or about him until he was arrested in Kosovo in May 2016.

Soper was dismissed from the monastery in 2011.

We apologise again to all those who have been affected by the crimes of Soper during his time as a monk of Ealing and teacher at St. Benedict’s School.

SURVIVE is an independent support service for survivors of sexual abuse. A dedicated section has been set up exclusively for all those who suffered abuse at Ealing Abbey or St Benedict’s School. Contact 0808 1451890 – free phone number from all UK phones.

 

Contact for media inquiries:

Alex Carlile 07983 410149

Barry Hudd 07770 538693

 

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE ABBOT OF EALING BY

Barry Hudd KSG  Mob: 07770 538693   barry.hudd@btopenworld.com

Safeguarding Statement

 

The Parish of St Benedict, Ealing Abbey, is committed to the Safeguarding policies of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, to take all reasonable steps to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from any form of abuse or maltreatment and to promote a safe environment for them.

This commitment flows from the fact that we are all made in the image of God and the Church’s common belief in the dignity and uniqueness of every human life.

We start from the principle that each person has a right to expect the highest level of care and protection, love, encouragement and respect that we can give.

We will liaise closely and openly with statutory agencies to ensure that any concerns or allegations of abuse that are raised are promptly reported and properly responded to, victims supported and perpetrators held to account.

Ealing Abbey Safeguarding Representative: Maura Lyons  07931303592

 

Ealing Abbey Parish follows the National Safeguarding Policies and Procedures of the Catholic Church of England & Wales. These are published in electronic only form to ensure that they remain up to date.             See  www.csasprocedures.uk.net

 

Other Agencies

 

NSPCC 0800 800 5000 or 42 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3NH or www.nspcc.org.uk Textphone service (for deaf people) – 0800 056 0566

 

Child Line       Free phone 0800 11 11          www.childline.org.uk

 

Help the Aged 0207 278 1114                        Helpline 0800 169 8787        www.helptheaged.org.uk

 

Action on Elder Abuse Helpline   0808 808 8141               www.elderabuse.org.uk

 

Domestic Violence     For emergency help dial 999

 

CEDAR (Catholics Experiencing Domestic Abuse Resources) for confidential advice and support call 24 hour helpline run in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge 0808 2000 247    www.cedar.uk.net

 

Broken Rainbow Service to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people experiencing domestic violence. Helpline: 0300 999 5428      www.brokenrainbow.org.uk

 

Lucy Faithfull Foundation    Information on safeguarding     www.lucyfaithfull.org

 

Stop It Now  For confidential advice for those who have concerns about others and for those who have concerns about their own thoughts, feelings or behaviour. Confidential freephone helpline 0808 1000 900Email  help@stopitnow.org.uk

This statement will be reviewed on or before 1st April 2018

Ealing Abbey Parish follows the National Safeguarding Policies and Procedures of the Catholic Church of England & Wales. These are published in electronic only form to ensure that they remain up to date.             See  www.csasprocedures.uk.net