John Searle OBE

The Revd Canon Dr John Searle OBE

John came to Exeter in 1974 working as a consultant anaesthetist and consultant in charge of intensive care at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. His concern for the care of the dying began as a medical student where he was worried by the poor standard of care which terminally patients often received. Later he was inspired by Dame Cicely Saunders and her pioneering work at St Christopher’s Hospice in London. In 1979 he accepted an invitation from Philip Pasterfield, the Bishop of Crediton, to bring together a small group of people to improve palliative care in and around Exeter. From this dedicated and enthusiastic group of people Hospiscare was born. The original vision was for a comprehensive palliative care service across Exeter, East Devon and beyond. So many people worked to make it the reality we know today.

John was ordained as a minister in the Church of England in 1995. He has worked in a parish and as a Bishop’s chaplain. He trained clergy for ten years and more recently worked as a Residentiary Canon at Exeter Cathedral, where he is now Canon Emeritus.

He trains regularly to keep fit. His wife, Elizabeth, who has been closely involved with Hospiscare from the beginning, is a marathon runner. Over the last six years she has raised over £30,000 for Hospiscare by running the London Marathon. They have four children and twelve grandchildren.