Name: Malcolm Rogers
Occupation: Vicar in the Church of England, in the parish of St Mary with St Peter, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
About me: I am 53, married to Alison, with three great boys. I've been a vicar for about 20 years, and I've worked in churches in Ipswich, St Petersburg (Russia) and Islington (London).
My roots are in the evangelical tradition, but I have been influenced by the 2 years that we spent in an Orthodox theological college in Russia. I seek to be faithful in my teaching to what the bible teaches and to what the Church has taught. I long to see the name of God and his Son Jesus Christ honoured in this world, with people turning to him in repentance and faith, discovering forgiveness and new life and the glorious destiny that can be theirs.
I have come to treasure the simple prayers that Christians have prayed since the earliest days, most notably the Lord's Prayer:
Our Father in heaven
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours,
now and for ever, Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
These are not only prayers to be said, but they set out an agenda for life.
I also have a political agenda:
Our lives are shaped by the stories that we hear. The story of Jesus Christ, his death on a cross and his resurrection, is a story which has, for many centuries, been at the heart of this nation. Today, many people do not know that story, and it would be hard to find any other single story that is at the centre of our nation. We are each invited to choose our own. And if there is no common story there is a danger that increasingly there will be fewer shared values, and ultimately social disintegration.
I pray that Christian believers will tell the story of Jesus with a renewed conviction, authority and zeal; that the story might again be told and retold and celebrated, in our homes, schools and institutions, and that it will shape our attitude to this world, to each other, to ourselves and to God.
This is a story which is worthy of being at the centre of our national life, even if many treat it as a fable rather than historical truth. It speaks of the astonishing dignity and worth of each individual person, that each person matters and has a potential glorious destiny, of unconditional self-sacrificial love in the face of rejection and hatred, of the freedom that comes from forgiveness (we no longer need to prove ourselves), of judgement and mercy, of love for enemies in order that they might become our friends, of hope in the darkest of situations and of the ultimate victory over death.
It is also true.
St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church