These are excerpts from email messages in which Roger introduced himself to new members of internet forums :
Sat, 6 Jan 2001
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For new members I'm Roger Stott left brethren in 1970, now 62, recently through the forum fell in love with another member - Pamela Wilson and we now live together in the delightful city of Exeter. I have five children and five grandchildren and -through Pamela- another three stepchildren in Australia. I was a kind of minor ministering brother in the EBs but I am now an agnostic who gets all his spiritual riches through the arts rather than through any form of religion. In other words: I used to be (yes, really!) turned on by JND/FER/JT but am now turned on by Michaelangelo/Bernini/Rembrandt/ Shakespeare/Keats/Yeats/Dostoievski/Joyce/Bellow/Beckett/Heaney/Hughes/ Johann/Amadeus/Ludvig/and divers others.
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Tue, 16 Jan 2001
Subject: New members (and a bit of extraneous philosophising).
A warm welcome to recent new members. I am Roger Stott, 62 years old, left ebs after Aberdeen in 1970 (and left the other 'leavers' 18 months later). I have five children, all in their thirties, and five grandchildren. Have ceased to be a practising Christian. But still interested in all the questions that religion raises. Worked as a researcher and then as producer/director for BBC Religious Programmes (Everyman series) for 12 years and in those years gained a wonderfully valuable 'overview' of religious belief. But literature (poetry, drama and serious novels) remains my main door to spiritual experience. (With a large helping of music including opera.) I was the last member of the ebs to graduate from Cambridge before the JT Jr guillotine came down. I read English and one of my lecturers was C. S. Lewis. I find the fallible honesty of great literature to be a safer insight than any 'revealed' dogma could be. Agree with Jung that 'religion is the main barrier to religious experience' and with Goethe that 'everything that exists is a metaphor.'
Didn't mean to be quite so indigestible on a Tuesday lunchtime but got momentarily carried away. Those who know me will tell you that it happens sometimes. I was married to Phoebe (née East) but we were divorced 24 years ago. I now live with Pamela Wilson (née Howden) who has spent most of her life in Perth, Australia (and has 3 offspring there). We plan to be married (probably in Perth, probably in Spring 2002) but meantime we live very happily in the historic city of Exeter. We were -as far as I know- the first 'forum romance', having met through this excellent institution.
I hope you find the forum as warm, various and interesting as I do.
Love and greetings
Thu, 7 Jun 2001
Subject: new member
John Henry married a cousin of mine - Eleanor Porteous. The last time I took 3-day meetings was in the old Glasgow Town Hall and I stayed with John and Eleanor. That must have been Autumn 1971. Subject of the 3DM: Saul as a dictatorial bureaucrat, David as a music maker. Made some kind of history by quoting Shakespeare and Paul Simon during the Sunday afternoon reading.
Welcome to the forum Mary Rose. I am Roger Stott, partner of Pamela Wilson, living in Exeter. Left brethren at the turn of the year 1971/2. Now do not believe in belief as such. Father of five children: Christopher, Rebecca, Benjamin, Matthew and Anne-Marie. My brethren background I deplore, my children I am proud of.
Love and blessings