Since we first set out on the journey to secure Ampleforth’s long-term future, we have received much generous support from our family and friends. The road goes on, however, and we have some distance still to travel. We hope you will spare a few moments to read about our projects and consider walking with us a little way.
In the past the extended Ampleforth family has been extremely generous in raising funds for particular projects or in particular moments of need. Now we know that our long-term survival depends rather on sustained support. We want to leave behind the cycle of appeals so we can look confidently ahead to an Ampleforth that is stable and secure for years to come.
We have already started to realise our vision. The monastic community has worked very hard to raise money through the sale of paintings and other assets of no historical value to Ampleforth. Together with some generous private donations, this has raised nearly £7 million.
Now we are ready to appeal to you, our family and friends around the world, to help us complete this picture (at least for now). With your help we can begin to put Ampleforth on a solid footing for once and for all.
For our monks to make a difference they must be able to pray hard and work hard. That calls for at least a basic degree of comfort. But currently their living conditions are not good. The monastery today is dark, noisy and lacking in privacy. Living quarters are basic and frequently damp, with the majority of monks competing for only three bathrooms on each floor.
Conditions are especially difficult for our growing family of elderly monks. These old men who have given their lives to our community and to the service of others deserve better than this and now it is time they were taken proper care of. We also need to think of the younger men who may be considering joining us. New vocations are our future, after all.
With your support we can provide a simple, homely and welcoming place for our community to live in. Somewhere that is conducive to the peaceful, prayerful way of life that allows our monks to serve God and others to the best of their ability.
Today the church has seen more than half a century of daily use by the monastic community along with our schools, alumni, parents and friends. Although it is still structurally sound, the building suffers problems with damp. Its electrical and heating systems are outdated and the roof and guttering need replacing. At the same time the organ is in danger of losing its voice. It needs a full and expensive overhaul if we are to keep hearing its magnificent sound for years to come.
We want no one to be denied the opportunity of an Ampleforth education, whatever their background or means. The best way to ensure this is to expand our bursary fund. We hope eventually to fund a significant proportion of our students through bursaries. Between 2008 and mid-2011 we quadrupled the size of the fund to £2m – an excellent start, and in the last two years we have increased it by a further £2.45m against our medium-term target of £3m. It is important to us that we continue to widen Ampleforth’s welcome, especially to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Bolton House is one of several imposing buildings by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott on the Ampleforth campus. It was built in 1933 as two boarding houses, St Edward’s and St Wilfrid’s, and served us well for over 70 years.
Today we need to develop this splendid building as year-round hospitality accommodation, as well as for the conference groups that will generate much-needed revenue for the monastic community. In the short term we will also use it to house the monks while the monastery is being refurbished, as well as the boys of St Oswald’s and St Dunstan’s while Nevill House is being overhauled.
How would the story end? A world without Ampleforth? It seems inconceivable. Yet in this fiercely materialistic and competitive age, it is not altogether impossible.
We paint this picture differently from those of the past. We have already begun to leave behind the cycle of appeals in favour of a future where Ampleforth is stable and secure for the long term. The support – and momentum – you give us now is crucial.
You don’t have to be wealthy to help us, but you do need to care about Ampleforth. If, for whatever reason and wherever you are, you carry something of the valley in your heart, please help us complete this picture and contact Jozef Mycielski or Claire Evans in the Development Office.