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The Centre for the Art of Dying Well

Art of Dying Well LogoThe mission of the Centre for the Art of Dying Well is to help people to live and die well and be supported in their grief.  It brings together many of the best minds, partnering with organisations and individuals to support and develop companionship and community in life and in death.

Originally an initiative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Centre has been based at St Mary’s University Twickenham since 2018.  Turning research into tangible action is one of the principle ways in which we pursue our mission, alongside practical companionship; training and support for care givers; and engaging the public, shaping policy and changing the national conversation about death and dying.

End of life companions image - terminal conditionVoices of the Dying Online, our ground-breaking research on the Internet and the end of life, carried out with Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos, has collected over 100,000 internet posts to better understand where online discussions about death and dying are happening, what kind of help people are looking for, what support they receive, and what they still need. This research will contribute to the much-needed debate about how to die well and help improve public policy and practice.

Professor Julia Riley

Former Consultant in Palliative Medicine at Royal Marsden and Royal Brompton Hospitals, Founder and Clinical Lead of Coordinate My Care; Visiting Professor of Palliative Medicine & End of Life Care, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College, London. 

Dr Kathryn Mannix

Retired palliative care doctor and author of With the End in Mind and Listen.  

Jim McManus

National Director of Health and Wellbeing, Public Health, Wales, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, UK, Visiting Professor of Public Health at the University of Hertfordshire.

Paul Allcock

Founder Allcock Family Funeral Services; former President of The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). Former Chairman of CRUSE Norwich and part of the training team for nationwide bereavement counsellors. Currently SAIF Government Liaison Officer and a Fellow of SAIF.   

Fionnuala Donovan

Highly Specialist Neurophysiotherapist at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS.

Audrey Ardern-Jones OBE

Honorary Onco-Genetics Senior Research Nurse at The Institute of Cancer Research & Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust; poet and artist. Teaches creative writing for the Maggie Centre in Sutton. 

Professor John Ellershaw

Professor of Palliative Medicine and Head of the Palliative Care Unit, Liverpool University. Chair of the International Collaborative for Best Care for the Dying Person. 

Nicola Meyrick

Former Head of BBC Radio Current Affairs, Trustee of the Sandford St Martin Trust which promotes excellence in religious and ethical broadcasting. 

Professor Julia Verne

Professor Julia Verne BSc, MBBS, MSc. PhD, FFPH is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine with over 20 years’ experience working regionally, nationally and internationally and has a long-standing interest in improving the quality of health services particularly for cancer patients and in end of life care. Julia is a Deputy Director in DHSC Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) having transferred from Public Health England where, in 2010, she established the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network.

Anthony Carey

Anthony Carey was a partner at Mazars, the accountancy firm, for many years and his non-executive appointments now include being a board member of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, treasurer of the Royal College of Radiologists, and a member of Council at Lancaster University.

Oliver Pawle

Chairman of the London based Korn Ferry Board Services Practice focusing on chairman non-executive and executive board appointments succession management and leadership development.

Dr José Luis Pereira MBChB, CCFP (PC), MSc, FCFP, PhD

Professor of Palliative Care recognised in Canada and internationally for scholarship (education innovation and research) in palliative care. He is a Palliative care physician with extensive clinical experience across care settings and services, including specialist palliative care units and hospices, and palliative care consultation teams in hospitals, the community, and long term care.

External Advisor to the Centre 

Dr Amy Gadoud

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Palliative Medicine and National Institute for Health Research Integrated Clinical Academic Training Lead at Lancaster University and International Observatory on End of Life Care.

New projects

We actively seek out new projects in collaboration with external partners, both from individuals and organisations.

More information about the work of the Centre, including our award-winning podcast series, can be found at

Director of the Centre: Margaret Doherty