Rogers, Edward M.A., B.D. (1909-1997)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

EDWARD ROGERS: born in Fleetwood on 4th January 1909. His mother died when he was six and his father, a trawler master, was killed in 1918 minesweeping in the Indian Ocean. He was brought up by his grandmother, a devout Primitive Methodist. 

He went to Manchester University, where he obtained his MA in politics and economics, and then to Hartley College, where he took his BD. He served in the London Mission (Canning Town), Bakewell, Birmingham (Sutton Park) and Southport (North) circuits before moving to the Christian Citizenship Department in 1950. Here his brilliant and fertile mind was in its element. He never wasted his words, but was a master of debate and a lucid and authoritative writer. 

He was President of the Conference in 1960 and later Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council, as well as making outstanding contributions to the thinking of the British Council of Churches and the World Methodist Council over many years. Before retiring in 1975 he became the first General Secretary of the Division of Social Responsibility, with particular and passionate responsibility for Relief and Development affairs. 

He was a Director of the Methodist Recorder from 1949 and Chairman of the Editorial Committee from 1985 to 1997. He compiled the Recorder’s Conference Digest for twenty years, wrote hundreds of leading articles, many perceptive and witty Conference Notebook pieces, and a large number of science fiction reviews. He calculated that he had spent eighteen months of his life in Methodist Conferences. 

He enjoyed two happy marriages, to Edith and to Lucy. He was held in great affection and esteem by the people of the Croydon circuit where he lived for forty-eight years. He died suddenly on 27th October 1997, in the eighty-ninth year of his age and the sixty-sixth year of his ministry.


Edward was born on 4 January 1909 at Fleetwood, Lancashire, to parents Edward Eccles Rogers, a fisherman (1911), and Margaret Broadbent.

He married Edith May Sutton (1904-1978) in the summer of 1937 in the West Ham Registration District, Essex.

He married Lucy Eveline Howlett (1918-2018) in late 1979 at Croydon, Surrey.

Edward died in late 1997 at Croydon, Surrey.


  • Hartley
  • 1933 London M Canning
  • 1937 Bakewell
  • 1939 Birmingham Sutton P
  • 1947 Southport N
  • 1950 Sec Christian Citizenship Dept
  • 1975 Croydon (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1998/46

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Susan,

    Thanks for your comment.
    In preparing the outline family history on each of these pages, I have limited family information to the parents of the subject, and any children, where relevant, subject to the information being readily available in online records.
    I would normally only mention siblings of the subject if they were also featured on this website.

    By Geoff Dickinson (19/09/2023)
  • He was my uncle. I am his brothers daughter. Why is there no mention of his brother?

    By Susan Kearns nee Rogers (19/09/2023)
  • Peter,

    Thanks for pointing out the typo, which I have now corrected.

    By Geoff Dickinson (07/04/2021)
  • I would like to respectfully comment that Edward Rogers married Lucy Eveline Howlett in late 1979, not 1879!

    By Peter Gibbons (07/04/2021)

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