Rogers Govender

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Rogers Govender

Dean of Manchester
Church Church of England
Province York
Diocese Manchester
In office2006–present
Predecessor Ken Riley
Ordination1985 (deacon)
1986 (priest)
Personal details
Rogers Morgan Govender

(1960-06-29) 29 June 1960 (age 62)
Durban, Province of Natal, South Africa
Alma mater St Paul's College, Grahamstown
University of Natal

Rogers Morgan Govender MBE (born 29 June 1960) is a South African Anglican priest. Since 2006, he has been Dean of Manchester. He is a sixth generation South African and he was England's first black cathedral dean.


Early life

Govender was born on 29 June 1960 in Durban, Province of Natal, South Africa. [1] He is a sixth generation South African of South Indian ancestry. [2] In 1983, he entered St Paul's College, Grahamstown, an Anglican theological college, to train for ministry in the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. [3]

Ordained ministry

Govender was ordained deacon in 1985 and priest in 1986. [3] He was priest in charge at St Mary's Church, Greyville, Durban from 1988 until 1993 when he was transferred to St Matthew's Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg where he was rector and subsequently St Thomas's Musgrave Road. He graduated from the University of Natal with a Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree in 1997. [3] He emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2002 after 15 years of service in the Diocese of Natal.

On arrival in England, he was priest-in-charge of Christ Church, West Didsbury in South Manchester and Area Dean of Withington. In 2006 he was appointed Dean of Manchester. [3] The Dean is based in Manchester, England and is the head of the Chapter of Manchester Cathedral. At the time of his appointment was England's first black cathedral dean, and the third most senior black or Asian churchman in the Church of England. His aim is to accommodate people of all races in the inner city.

Govender filled in for Tom Hanks in a spoofed Da Vinci Code movie poster in 2006, [4] to promote a "Da Vinci Code Mass" at the cathedral intended to address issues raised by the controversial book, and the movie based on it. The mass was inspired by a poll revealing that the book and movie may have undermined public trust in the Catholic Church. [5]

Personal life

Govender is married to Celia. They have two children, Jonathan and Claire. [2]


In 2018 Govender was awarded an MBE for his services to interfaith relations and to the community in Manchester. [6]

See also

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  1. "Govender, Rogers Morgan" . Who's Who . A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. 1 2 "Black history in the making". BBC Manchester. 21 October 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Rogers Morgan Govender" . Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing . Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  4. Ekklesia (31 May 2006). "Cathedral stages Da Vinci spoof". Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  5. staff writers (16 May 2006). "Poll suggests Da Vinci code undermines trust in Catholic church". Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  6. Abbit, Beth (28 December 2018). "New Year's Honours list: The people from Greater Manchester recognised this year". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 29 December 2018.