Shotter was educated at Humberstone Foundation School and Durham University and ordained in 1961. He began his ordained ministry as a curate at St Peter's Plymouth, after which he was intercollegiate secretary of the Student Christian Movement (SCM). From 1966 to 1989 he was Director of Studies at the London Medical Group when he was appointed Dean of Rochester, a post he held until retirement in 2003.
Shotter is most notable for founding the London Medical Group in the mid-1960s. This was a forum for the discussion of the ethical issues of medicine and grew out of his work with the Student Christian Movement, the Diocese of London and the London Medical Deaneries. This group was widely exported to other UK medical schools. The group, its activities and members presaged the Society for the Study of Medical Ethics, later the Institute of Medical Ethics, which set up the Journal of Medical Ethics. Shotter continues to be involved with the IME. Despite being involved with the LMG and its descendant organisations for over four decades he never lectured on the any particular medical ethical topic. He only ever chaired two meetings of the LMG, once because of the last-minute cancellation of the arranged chair. Ensuring that LMG was not seen as a 'chaplaincy exercise' was important to its success; Shotter ensured its impartiality and an even-handed representation all parties in debates.
- Among other books, he has written or edited Matters of Life and Death (1970); Life Before Birth (1986); and The Saints of Rochester (2003).
- Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
- Crockfords(London, Church House 1995) ISBN 0-7151-8088-6
- Debrett's People of Today London, 2008 Debrett's, ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
- Whong-Barr, Michael. “Clinical Ethics Teaching in Britain: a History of the London Medical Group.” New Review of Bioethics 1, no. 1 (November 2003): 73–84. p. 77
- Reynolds, L.A., and E.M. Tansey, eds. Medical Ethics Education in Britain, 1963-1993. London: UK: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL, 2007. Available from: http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/14885/ p. 117
|Church of England titles|
John Robert Arnold
|Dean of Rochester