Profiles of Canon Adrian J Towers, VF, and Rev John Cliffe

Canon Adrian J Towers, VF, was ordained priest on 14th November, 1981, by Bishop B Foley at SS Mary and Michael’s, Garstang.  He was installed as Canon at Lancaster cathedral on 25th November, 2014, and he is now the Dean of Preston.

Before taking up his appointment at Cottam in September, 2003, Canon Adrian previously served as Assistant Priest at St Joseph’s, Preston, and St Clare’s, Preston, (where he was also chaplain to the Royal Preston Hospital) and as Parish Priest of St Wulstan’s, Fleetwood.  Since Advent 2009 he has also been Priest in Charge of St Mary’s, Lea Town.

Canon Adrian has degrees in Theology from Durham University and Moral Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.  He taught for several years at St Joseph’s College, Upholland, and at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw (Major seminary and college of Durham University), where he was Lecturer in Moral Theology.  From 2002-2012 he was Director of Formation for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese.  In June 2012 Bishop Michael Campbell appointed him as a member of the Diocesan Tribunal.

In addition to his above duties, Canon Adrian was appointed Rector of the Parish of St John XXIII in Preston which is based at St Joseph's and incorporates the Catholic communities of The English Martyrs and what were previously known as the parishes of St. Ignatius, St Teresa and St Augustine.

However, having now overseen the successful transfer of the church of the English Martyrs to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and with Fr John Millar - previously Assistant Priest - becoming the Parochial Administrator, Canon Adrian is no longer the Rector although he will continue to provide support as Dean of Preston when required.

Canon Adrian is a member of the Catholic Theological Association of Great Britain, and of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Rev John Cliffe, a Prestonian, was ordained deacon by bishop Michael Campbell, O.S.A., at St Andrew's on Wednesday, 16th July, 2008.

John has been married to his wife, Julie, for 38 years, they have three children - Eileen, Mike and Victoria - and five grandchildren.

Deacon John is a member of the Knights of St. Columba, a member of the Lancaster Lourdes committee and he is chaplain to the S.V.P society.  He is also vice chairperson of Our Lady's Catholic High School, a member of St. Andrews finance committee and a former chair of the social and fundraising committee.

The pastoral work John is involved in as a deacon is visiting sick and housebound people and those in nursing homes.

John has also set-up and is now running a baptism instruction course.

It was when John was in Lourdes a few years ago that he first thought about becoming a deacon and that is why he felt compelled to go back immediately after his ordination to offer his thanks.  John regards Lourdes as being a very special place indeed.




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