The Provincial of the Jesuits in Britain

Fr Damian Howard, as the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Britain, is responsible for all aspects of the work of the Jesuits in England, Wales and Scotland.

The Chair of the Safeguarding Commission

James Reilly was appointed Chair in February 2019 and brings 33 years experience to the role. He spent most of his career in Social Services in the London Boroughs of Brent, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham. In the five years prior to his retirement in February 2016, he served as Chief Executive of the Central London Community Healthcare Trust.

The Safeguarding Coordinator

Julie Ashby-Ellis brings to the role of Safeguarding Coordinator many years of experience, including work with the NHS and British Red Cross. She is the contact person for anyone raising concerns, and is also responsible for arranging safeguarding training.

E-mail: or

Phone: 07715 669128

Management and monitoring of safeguarding

In the Province of the Jesuits in Britain

All Jesuits understand that they have individual responsibility for safeguarding. Each Jesuit Community has one person, usually the local Superior, who has lead responsibility in this area, and works with the Safeguarding Coordinator as and when necessary. Safeguarding for the Jesuits in Britain is managed by The Safeguarding Commission - a group of people most of whom are professionally involved in the care and safety of vulnerable people and dealing with abuse of any kind.

This Safeguarding Commission has three main tasks:

1. To oversee the training of people in all Jesuit works, both Jesuits and others who work with us, to ensure that as far as possible they can keep those they work for free from abuse of any kind.

2. If anyone has been hurt by abuse by any Jesuit or co-worker, to work to ensure that they can be helped, as far as is possible, to cope with the distress caused by that abuse.

3. To manage the disciplinary procedures which would follow from any such abuse; including working with the police, social services, and the Catholic Church’s own legal processes.

The commission meets about six times per year, and most of the people who serve on it are lay people: Kevin Barry the chair, formerly of the probation service and the Ministry of Justice, a serving police officer with particular experience and expertise in child protection, a psychologist and a psychotherapist who are each Jesuit priests, the Head of a University Department of Social Work and Social Care, and a retired Judge. There is a specialist slot for an expert in the care of the elderly and vulnerable people (currently being filled), and two further members who contribute as experienced non-specialists.

Julie Ashby-Ellis, the Safeguarding Coordinator, attends the meetings of the Commission. Her role is to be advisor to and also the executive arm of the Safeguarding Commission. Her role includes the care and support of victims, development of policy and good practice, training and advice to the Provincial, the Safeguarding Commission and to all of the Jesuit superiors in the province.