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Professor Anthony Towey RIP

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our colleague Professor Anthony Towey.


It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our colleague Professor Anthony Towey. The thoughts and prayers of the St Mary’s community are with Anthony’s wife Karen, daughter Bethany, and wide circle of family and friends.

A Mass for the repose of Anthony’s soul will be held in the University Chapel at 1:05 PM on Tuesday, 28th June and a Memorial Mass will be arranged for early next term, after consultation with Anthony’s family. Details will be shared as soon as they are available.

Anthony McClaran, Vice-Chancellor St Mary’s University, Twickenham, wrote to the St Mary’s community this morning (June 24th, 2022):

Following the sudden onset of Anthony’s illness, the St Mary’s community has come together every week to pray for his recovery and for his wife Karen and daughter Bethany, led by the Chaplaincy and close friends of the University, the Sisters of the Assumption. We know that this meant a lot to Anthony and his family during his final days, and I would like to thank colleagues for taking the time to take join these hours of prayer.

Anthony has been a leader in Theological and Catholic Pedagogical research throughout his career and has been a much-loved and well-respected member of the St Mary’s community for many years. The University recently recognised Anthony’s contributions to our community by presenting him with a St Mary’s Medal, the highest honour the University can bestow.

Prof Anna Lise Gordon, Director Institute of Education at St Mary’s University commented:

Colleagues across the Institute of Education at St Mary’s are deeply saddened by news of Anthony’s death. Anthony was such a wonderful colleague, living out St Mary’s values in all aspects of his work in Catholic education and research. Anthony was an inspiration to so many colleagues and students - wise, considerate, thoughtful, inclusive, encouraging and a wordsmith par excellence. We will miss him hugely.

Dr Jacob Philips, Director Institute of Theology and Liberal Arts at St Mary’s University added:

Anthony was a colleague we will never forget. He was fiercely passionate, always loyal to the Catholic faith, had a big heart and even bigger laugh. He has left an indelible imprint on the way we do Theology at St Mary’s, and on the hearts and minds of the countless students he taught here over the years.

Following the completion of his PhD at the Gregorian University in Rome on the Eucharistic Thought of Thomas Aquinas, Anthony served as Academic Tutor at the Venerable English College, and the Head of RE at Loreto College, Manchester, before joining St Mary’s as Head of Theology, Philosophy and History.

More recently Anthony was the Director of the Centre for Catholic Education, Research and Religious Literacy, making a number of important contributions to academic and public life. Anthony was directly involved with the 2016 Department for Education A-Level and GCSE reforms and developed a new curriculum for AQA. Anthony also served as a member of the RE Commission convened by the Religious Education Council 2018, was an Ofqual subject expert and regularly participated in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Religious Education.

Anthony also played a large role in ecclesiastical life. He consulted for the Bishops’ Conference on Inter-Faith & Humanist Dialogue and was part of an academic group advising on the new Religious Education Curriculum Directory. He regularly hosted theological conferences at St Mary’s, spoke at events and retreats, and was editor of the Pastoral Review journal.

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