Obituary of John Cowdall

John's service to Church recognised by Papal Knighthood

John Cowdall, who was one of the first lay trustees of the Archdiocese of Liverpool and who served as a trustee for over 15 years, died on Friday 11 January.

John was appointed a trustee in 2004 and also served as secretary of the Historic Churches Committee for the Dioceses of Lancaster, Liverpool, Salford and Shrewsbury and as a member of the Patrimony Committee for the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

He was a former chairman of Stonyhurst College, the Jesuit boarding and day school in the Ribble Valley, and a member of the Board of Regents of Liverpool Hope University, the only ecumenical Christian University in Europe.

John served as chief executive of West Lancashire District Council from 1973 to 1990 having previously been town clerk and chief executive of Clitheroe Borough Council for four years. He was also appointed by the Secretary of State as a governor of Edge Hill College of Higher Education (now Edge Hill University) in 1989, serving until 1992, and was non-executive chairman of the Chorley Partnership between 1994 and 1997.

Pope Francis honoured him with a Papal Knighthood for his service to the Church and the wider community in 2016 and he received the award of Papal Knight of the Order of St Gregory from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon at a Service of Evening Prayer.

A resident of Chorley, John was married to Eileen, with a daughter, Alison.