RIP – Fr Richard Lear

On the Monday of the half-term holiday, Fr Richard, a Josephite living at St George’s College, started to feel unwell. From Wednesday onwards he was not getting any better although this did not stop him from watching a rugby match on TV during Saturday afternoon. By this time, a test had confirmed he was Covid-19 positive. Unfortunately, his condition rapidly deteriorated on Sunday (25 October) and he was taken to A&E at St Peter’s Hospital. On Monday he was well enough to be transferred out of A&E but again, as the week progressed, he started to deteriorate once more. Last Saturday morning, 31 October 2020, he died very peacefully just after 4.00 am. He is the first Josephite to have died due to contracting Coronavirus.

Richard was a former Head Boy of the College who won his Colours for Rugby. He also rowed for the College and for his College at Cambridge. As a Josephite he spent time as a missionary in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Later he became the Superior General of the Josephites. He was also the Parish Priest of Addlestone and worked in the Parish of Kinson just outside Bournemouth. After retiring from Parish work, he was the Chaplain based at the Emmaus Retreat Centre run by the sister congregation to the Josephites – the Daughters of Mary and Joseph. His last years were spent living in the White House at St George’s with Fr William and Fr Martin. During this time Richard could often been seen working among the trees and shrubs in the grounds of the College especially during the afternoons.

Richard will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

The Month of November
The Christian Church dedicates the month of November to all those who have died that they might be remembered and prayed for throughout November.

On Wednesday evening, 18 November 2020, there will be a said Requiem Mass in the College Chapel for all those known to us individually and the wider Georgian Family who have died. Due to current restrictions this Mass will be live streamed via Microsoft Teams.

Words: Fr Martin

If you would like to pass on your condolences or memories of Fr Richard, please email

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