Rogers, Edward
1909-1997; e.m. 1932

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Born at Fleetwood on 4 January 1909, the son of a trawlermaster, he was brought up in Primitive Methodism. He was educated at Manchester University, obtaining a BA in Economics, and at Hartley Victoria College. In 1950 he became a secretary and, in 1953, General Secretary of the Christian Citizenship Department. He wrote A Commentary on Communism (1951, based on his Fernley Hartley Lecture) and many other books, but his most sustained literary output was his weekly column in the Methodist Recorder, a masterpiece of compression and informed comment on contemporary affairs. For many years both before and after retirement he contributed a Conference diary to that paper, full of humour and incisive comments. He was the only person to deliver all three Conference Lectures: the Fernley-Hartley in 1951, the Beckly in 1957and the Peake Memorial (on 'Christian Realism') in 1971. He was President of the Conference in 1960 and Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, 1961-62. In his retirement he became actively involved in George Lovell's AVEC and in the Christ and the Cosmos initiative. He died on 27 October 1997.


'One of Ted's principles was "Never use two words where one will do, or better still, keep quiet." When, faced with a most complex social issue, I expressed my dismay, he would say, "If you don't know, just look as if you do."

'He would arrive at a committee carrying a huge batch of papers. Then he would brush them all to one side and deliver a detailed analysis of some international crisis. It was this gift of superb clarity that he brought to the writing of the leading articles in the Methodist Recorder.'

Kenneth Greet in Methodist Recorder, 4 August 2011

'Ted Rogers had a razor-sharp mind and a superb ability to master a complex brief and present it with crystal clarity. Soon after I joined him at Westminster I confessed to him that I found the task of understanding some of the complex issues with which we were dealing somewhat daunting. His typically laconic response was, "If you don't know, look as if you do." '

'To say that Ted Rogers had little small talk would be, in the judgement of many who had entertained him for a weekend, a gross understatement. As I travelled around the Methodist Connexion I picked up all sorts of stories about attempts made by genial hosts to engage their visitor in conversation. More often than not the only response was a puff on his pipe and something resembling a grunt. Yet there were great rewards if one could get him launched on some favourite subject, like science fiction. He devoured huge quantities of this kind of literature and has always had deep interest in the fascinating world of the advanced sciences. Once when I said that I could not understand the technical jargon employed by many writers on the subject his response was, "I've had to learn it."'

Kenneth Greet, Fully Connected (1997), pp.49-50

  • Methodist Recorder, 7 July 1960; 6 Nov 1997; 14 May 2009
  • Conference Handbook, 1960
  • Kenneth Greet, Fully Connected (1997), pp.49-50, 53
  • Colin Morris, Snapshots (2007), p.55
  • John Pritchard, Edward Rogers - A Portrait of a Christian Citizen (Evesham, 2009)