Rev. Roger James Thomas

 Roger James Thomas was born 23rd July 1937 in Bristol. He married Rosemary in 1962, A son, Mark, was born in 1966 and a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1970. He trained at Wells' Theological College and came to Hardenhuish in 1969 following a curacy at Stapleton. He moved to Hartcliffe in 1975 becoming Rural Dean of Bedminster in 1979.

Roger died in February 2003

 We are grateful to the Bristol Diocesan newspaper the 'Three Crowns' for permission to reproduce the following

 It was with greatest regret that the death on February 11 was announced of the Revd Roger Thomas. A greatly loved clergyman, Father Roger had been Rector of Frenchay and Vicar of Winterbourne Down for 21 years until his retirement last summer.
He was an enthusiastic and gifted violinist, deriving much pleasure from both the orchestral and the chamber repertoire, and his musicianship was something he shared with his wife Rosemary, who is a singer and an organist. Roger, too, sang beautifully.
From July 1997 he was chairman of the Bristol branch of the Prayer Book Society, and under his gentle and inspiring guidance it flourished.
Whether he was preaching or chairing a meeting, his characteristic wisdom, generosity and humour were always in evidence. His knowledge of the diocese, its churches and clergy, was profound, and he was a fund of marvellous stories, which he told with a genuine and most endearing twinkle.
Before going to Frenchay he had been at Hartcliffe, and before that at Kington St Michael and Hardenhuish, Chippenham. At his last Prayer Book Society committee meeting we were planning a summer outing, which happens this year to be to Langley Burrell and Hardenhuish, on the trail of the Victorian clergyman diarist Francis Kilvert.
Part of the pleasure was to have been to have had Roger there, in his former parish. That he will not now be with us will be a particular reminder of the great sadness that we and all his friends feel at his loss.
David Selwyn
Secretary, Bristol Branch of the Prayer Book Society

Rosemary Thomas adds:
The family thanks clergy and lay people in the diocese for all their cards and letters. I have had hundreds, and don't think I can acknowledge them all individually. They have been really appreciated by the whole family. Things people have said have made us very proud.

The funeral sermon at St John the Baptist, Frenchay, was preached by the Revd Philip Hughes, former Vicar of Ashton Keynes and a long-time friend. Among his observations on his early life were:

Roger was a native Bristolian able, if required, to lapse into the distinctive local lingo. He was born..on July 23, 1937, and spent his early years at Elmore Road, near where the tram lines ended at Horfield Common. He was baptised at Holy Trinity.
(Toward the end of a lively and mischievous childhood) he attended St Michael, Bishopston with his grandmother, and became a server.
Later, when he spoke to Canon (later Archdeacon) Leslie Williams, about his desire to become a priest, the Vicar told him that he had been waiting for some time to hear him say this...