Who Was John
John David Young was educated at Bryanston School Dorset, where he was greatly influenced by Thorald Coade,
the Headmaster, and Jack Winslow, the Chaplain. After two years National Service in the Royal Artillery, he trained
at University College, London, and graduated MBBS in 1958. After six years as a general practitioner in Norfolk
and Suffolk he underwent psychiatric training, and took the post as Consultant Psychiatrist at St George’s Hospital,
Stafford in 1971. He went on to become the first psychogeratrician in the West Midlands. He pioneered major
improvements in the care and treatment of the Elderly Mentally Ill, founding St Chad’s EMI Unit at St George’s for
this purpose, which was a prototype of its kind.
In 1983 he was Ordained at Lichfield Cathedral and, whilst continuing his work at St George’s, served in the Parish
of Stafford, based at the Collegiate Church of St Mary.
He took early retirement from the NHS in 1987 and after a year as Research Fellow at Queen’s College
Birmingham, became Director of the Churches’ Council for Health and Healing, based at St Marylebone. The
Council was founded in 1944 by Archbishop William Temple to bring the Church and Medicine closer together.
This work caused John to travel extensively in Britain and the Europe’s, as well as India and Australia. He was
concerned to disseminate a Christian concept of healing which distinguished between curing and healing; curing
being the removal of symptoms, healing being the restoration of the wholeness, using the experience of illness in
forming a new relationship with God and enabling a process of personal growth to develop new attitudes to
difficulties and thereby overcome them. The process might or might not be accompanied by a cure of the illness.
He energetically discouraged the idea that healing was about theatrical instant miracle cures and the abandonment
of established medical treatments.
In his life he utilised his understanding of personality to bring together people of opposing views and to help resolve
differences, a gift he used both in the Health Service to enhance his role in medical committees and in the Church
where he worked for reconciliation and unity as a dedicated supporter of the ecumenical cause.
Today the importance of the spiritual aspect of healing is more widely recognised. John saw the need to regionalise
and opened a Centre in Stafford in 1990. He was ideally placed being a respected member of both the medical and
clerical professions. Unexpectedly he died after a brief illness the following year. The new centre was threatened
with closure and a charitable trust was set up to continue in some measure the work he had begun. This was
named The John Young Foundation.