History of our Priests

The following are still serving in the Diocese of Lancaster:

Parish Priests:

  • Rev Jim Allen arrived October 2019 left October 2022
  • Rev Mathew Pinakkatu arrived 8/12/2017, left Easter 2019, priest of the Syro-Malabar Community
  • Rev Peter Burns, arrived September 2007, left May 2014
  • Rev Peter Clarke, arrived September 2004, left September 2007
  • Rev John Gibson, 1990 to 2004
  • Rev John Collins, 1987 to 1990
  • Connected with the parish:
    Rev Andrew Allman, parishioner, ordained July 2005

Deceased Clergy who have served the Holy Family, Freckleton and Warton

The Very Rev Mgr Francis Gillow. He was a member an old Catholic families based at Leighton Hall, near Carnforth. He studied at Ushaw, was ordained in 1880 and appointed to Willows church in Kirkham in 1895. He started the mission at Freckleton in 1899 and organised the building of the church of the Holy Family and later the presbytery. He also endowed the parish. Initially the church was served from the Willows. At Blackpool he started the Revoe mission Died October 1927.

Rev Joseph Roche was at the first resident Priest at Holy Family from 1907 to 1922. He was educated at St Edward’s College, Liverpool and ordained there in 1892. He was secretary to Bishop O’Reilly for two years, then appointed as assistant to St Peter’s, Lancaster, then St Anne’s-on-Sea. He retired in 1933 and died in January 1955. Opened the first school about 1913.

Rev Francis Carr was born in Liverpool in 1876 and ordained at Upholland in 1895. He was curate in various parts of Liverpool, before being appointed Parish Priest in Thatto Heath. He was next appointed to Holy Family from 1922-1927 and is the compiler of the ‘Liber Status Animarum’ transcribed for the parish. He died in January 1940 and was buried “during the great snow week” in the porch at Scorton.

Rev Thomas Kenny was the son of Thomas and Margaret Kenny born in Newton-le-Willows in 1887 and educated at St Edmund’s College. He was the brother of Rev James Kenny DD PhD DCL VF. He was ordained priest in 1914. He was curate at several parishes before being appointed parish priest at Holy Family in 1927. He died at Holy Family on the 25th November 1929 four days before his 42nd birthday.

Rev Francis E Hayward was a native of Bolton-le-Sands and was ordained for the Congregation of the Holy Ghost at St Maurice, Switzerland in February 1920. After four years on the African Mission his health broke down and he returned to England. He was Superior at Castlehead, near Grange-over-sands and then Bishop Pearson accepted him into the Diocese of Lancaster. He was appointed to Holy Family in 1930 and stayed for five years. He died in Millom in October 1957.

Very Rev Canon Edward McGough was born in 1898 a native of Carlisle, which was then in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle. He was the first priest to be ordained for the new diocese of Lancaster in May 1925 at Carlisle by Bishop Pearson. He was appointed to Freckleton in 1935 and stayed until 1937. He was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter in 1969.

Rev James Malachy O’Sullivan was Administrator at Holy Family during Fr McGough’s illness. Very little is known about Fr O’Sullivan although he signed a few entries in the registers from 17th October 1937 to 23 January 1938 either as “Jacobus Malacheas O’Sullivan” or “Jacobus M O’Sullivan”.

Rev Bernard Hornby was born at Condor Green, Thurnham in 1878 and went to Ushaw his training to the priesthood. He was ordained in 1904. He was appointed to Holy Family in 1938 and retired from active work in 1939. He retired to Great Eccleston and died there in 1958.

Very Rev Joseph Rawlinson was born in 1903 in Barrow-in-Furness  and educated at Upholland. He was ordained at Barrow in 1930. He was fond of music, but he was also proficient at carpentry and woodwork. He was also a competent in car maintenance and was known for his prowess on a motor cycle. He was appointed to Freckleton in 1938, when he had an accident, and then again 1940 to 1951. He used to say Mass for German Prisons of War and was able to preach in their own language. He was also a Religious Instructor at an emergency Training College for teachers established at Freckleton. He died in June 1987.

Rev Francis Xavier Whiteside was born in Blackpool in February 1911. In two generations his family gave 11 priests to the church. He attended St Kentigern’s school before going to Ushaw and was ordained at the Cathedral in July 1935. He joined the army in 1941 and served until 1946. He was appointed to Holy Family in 1951. The first school closed about 1953 and he bought the land for the new school. He also established the first parish hall. He left in 1971 and died June 1985.

Rev Thomas Carey was born in November 1911 at Kirkham. He went to Upholland to train as a priest and was ordained there in June 1939. He volunteered as a Chaplain to the Forces and served in Burma. After the war he was asked to establish Mass centres for the workers at the atomic establishments at Sellafield and Nethertown. The present parish at Seascales owes much to him. In 1971 he moved to Freckleton and the altar extension was built in his time. Never in his priestly career had he had a parish school, so it was a great joy to him when the new school opened in January 1974. He died in Lytham Hospital in November 1974.

Rev J Bernard Roney was born at Millom in 1920. He was ordained in Barrow with Mgr Monaghan in 1946. He went to Thornton to establish the new parish of St Nicholas Owen from the Sacred Heart. He came to Holy Family in 1974 and left in 1977. He died in August 1988.

Canon Anthony J Boyle was born in County Derry in 1920 and ordained at St Columb’s college, Derry in June 1945, the same year he came to the Diocese of Lancaster. He was made a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter in 1971, because of the work he did as Treasurer. He came to Holy Family in 1977. The porch was built in his time here. He died in May 1987.

Father John Hawkins was Administrator for some months in 1987 after Canon Boyle died. He was born in 1943 and ordained in his home parish of St Albans in St Anne’s-on-the-sea in 1968. He was a keen sportsman from his school days. He died in Barrow after a long illness in August 2014.

Deacon John Forster born Coventry September 1943; married at Holy Family February 1974. Ordained permanent deacon at the Cathedral July 2010, appointed to Holy Family, and died April 2011.

Fr Kevin Lowry born on 13 June 1950, in Carlisle, Cumbria, where he was also educated. joined the Augustinian Order (OSA) straight from school in 1969, making his first profession in 1970. 0rdained a priest in the chapel at Austin Friars on 18 September 1976. Served various Augustinian parishes in the UK, before going to Inchon, South Korea (1985-1993) arriving there in September 1985, where he remained until March 1993.
In 1999, joined his home Diocese of Lancaster, incardinated into the Diocese in 2003. Briefly returned to the Augustinians (2011-2013). 2014 to 2017, Parish Priest at Holy Family, Freckleton and St Anne’s, Westby.

Priests Connected to the area now included in the Parish of the Holy Family
– Very much a work in progress and contributions welcome
Rev Richard Bradley, S.J., b. at Bryning Hall, Lancs., 1605, of a well-known Catholic family, seized and imprisoned, but died before trial at Manchester, January 20, 1645; His brother died, fighting for the King at the Battle of Marston Moor.

Rt. Rev James Sharples, son of William Sharples, a timber merchant in Liverpool descended from an ancient family settled at Freckleton-in-the-Fylde. In 1843 he was consecrated to the See of Samaria in partibus. He assisted in the negotiations for the restoration of
the hierarchy (1850). (cf CRS Vol 15 pub 1913)
Rev Henry Sharples (younger brother of Rev James Sharples)

“Rev. Roger Taylor, born July 7, 1828, at Lodge Hall, Warton in the Fylde, which his father George Taylor, farmed under the Cliftons of Lytham. Subsequently, the farmstead was remodelled, enlarged and converted into a residence for the present venerable occupier
Mr Augustus Wykeham Clifton, and renamed Warton Lodge.” CRS Vol 15 pub 1913

Canon Taylor brother of the above and assisted in founding the parish

Rev Robert Vincent Adamson OP, born about Nov 1799 Freckleton in the Fylde. Family originally from Goosnargh. Recusants from Elizabeth I’s time to George I. He was professed at Hinckley, 1817, ordained 1823. Assistant priest to sisters at Hartpury Court, Gloucestershire and died there May 1831.

“Rev John Cowban (Colbourne) alias Butler, born about the feast of St Michael, in Sept 1701, probably the son of Lawrence Colborne, of Freckleton in the Fylde, of which manor his ancestor, Butler Colborne, of Freckleton Hall, was lord in the seventeenth century (vide C.R.S. vo, 182)”
CRS 15 pub 1913