Ruth Scott is an Anglican priest, author and broadcaster who has travelled widely, particularly to the Middle East and Northern Ireland where she has been involved in exploring the dynamics and complexities of transformative relationships across conflict divides. Not surprisingly, she has many stories to tell – stories of hope, understanding and humanity that will touch the hearts of her audiences. Ruth will inspire and entertain you.
Millions of people will know her as a regular presenter of ‘Pause for Thought’ on BBC Radio 2’s ‘Wake up to Wogan’. An experienced radio broadcaster, Ruth written and presented a number of programmes for BBC World Service, appeared with Aled Jones on ‘Good Morning Sunday’, provided dramatic monologues for Radio 4, and now presents ‘Pause for Thought’ with Chris Evans on Radio 2.
Her working life began as a nurse in St Thomas’ Hospital, London and she went on to train as a midwife before becoming a Sister Counsellor. At this point her life changed direction when she was selected to train for ministry in the Church. She was among the first women ordained as priests in the Church of England in 1994.
Whilst working with churches in Richmond, Surrey, Ruth trained in the arts of mime and physical theatre and went on to run workshops internationally for adults, and occasionally worked as a clown, magician and fire-eater to entertain children.
During this time she became increasingly involved in interfaith dialogue where she encountered people affected by conflict; people who had somehow come through despite appalling personal circumstances. Conversations with these men and women gradually led her into using storytelling within conflict situations, after completing training with the Institute for Healing Memories in Cape Town, South Africa.
She has listened to survivors in Auschwitz Concentration camp, lived with Palestinians under siege in Hebron, heard the stories of Israelis hit by Qassam rockets in Sderot, spent time with Israeli and Palestinian ex-fighters or bereaved families who are working together for a just peace. She has spent time in Belfast learning from people caught up in all sides of the conflict there. She has worked with serious offenders in prisons, slept rough on the streets of London and been touched by the stories of asylum seekers, many of whom live with HIV/AIDS as a result of rape.
Some of her accounts are particularly harrowing, some are amazingly uplifting, and her question and answer sessions can go in many directions making Ruth Scott a most memorable speaker.
She has lectured at St George’s House, Windsor Castle in the presence of HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Her most important teacher in the field of conflict transformation is Alistair Little, an ex-paramilitary now working internationally with men, women and children caught up in, and harmed by conflict. Together with Alistair she has written his story, ‘Give a Boy a Gun’, as a means of exploring why ordinary people turn to violence to deal with the issues that confront them, individually or communally, and what enables them to move away from violence and to work to build peace. It was published by DLT in 2009.
'Ruth was fantastic – an initial look at the evaluation forms for the event indicate that she went down extremely well with comments such as “inspirational”, “exceptional”, “brilliant”. She stood up to speak later than planned due to a delayed conference dinner, and at the end of a long working day, and she did a wonderful job for us. We really appreciated her time and effort and hope that she also enjoyed the event. I would certainly recommend her to anyone.' Ruth was the after dinner speaker at a Care Homes Conference, March 2011