Chris Rogers was born into a ringing family on 27th September 1943 at Isleworth, Middlesex. He learned to ring aged 10 at All Saints, Isleworth (10 bells), being taught by his father, Harold. After a good grounding in the standard methods on 8, 10 and 12 at Isleworth and with the former London County Association, Chris went up to Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1962 and soon became an enthusiastic member of the Cambridge University Guild. There he greatly increased his ringing repertoire and learned much about conducting Stedman and other methods.
Returning to Middlesex after University, he rang rather more with the Middlesex County Association, becoming Secretary and later Chairman of the South and West District and a Central Council representative. From 1968, following his marriage and a move to Ashford and later Hampton, his local tower was Sunbury-on-Thames, with its excellent Taylor eight.
Chris had joined the Ancient Society of College Youths in 1965 and was elected Master for the year 1972-3, following a year each as Junior Steward and Senior Steward. He has remained an active member of the Society, regularly attending practices and meetings and has taken part in many Society ringing weekends and tours, notably an excellent ringing tour to Australia in 2011. He served as Trustee from 2004 to 2016, and over 500 of his 1,676 peals have been with the Society.
In 1972 Chris was elected a Supernumerary Member of the Westminster Abbey Company of Ringers following the augmentation of the Abbey bells from 8 to 10. He became a Principal Member in 1991 and continues in this role, which involves ringing for some 50 plus church festivals and saints’ days, royal anniversaries, civic occasions and special services each year. He was Secretary to the Company from 2000 to 2014.
Chris and his family moved to Guildford in 1980, where he joined the band at the Cathedral. Having been elected a non-resident member of the Guildford Diocesan Guild in 1967 prior to a peal at Holy Trinity, Guildford, he became a resident member in 1980 and has been an active member of the Guild, especially in the Guildford District, ever since. He was a Central Council representative from 1981 to 2017 and has been Guild Treasurer since 2003, managing both the General Fund and the Bell Restoration Fund. He has been a member of the Executive Committee since 1981 and took a leading role in the organising committee for the visit of the Central Council to Guildford in 2013.
He has taken a particular interest in bell restoration in the Guildford Diocese. He was project manager for the installation of the ring of six at Alfold and has assisted in several other restoration schemes. He is currently managing a project for the restoration of Ewhurst bells, which includes the replacement of two 15th century bells (the present 5th and 6th) by two new bells.
During his 48 years on the Central Council he served at various times on the Administrative, Peals Analysis and Bell Restoration Committees and was the Council’s Secretary from 1993 to 2001. He attended all Central Council meetings during his period of membership, which were held in nearly all parts of England and Wales, plus one in Ireland. As Central Council Secretary, he was also Secretary to the board of The Ringing World Ltd, for which he later served for five years as Finance Director.
Despite moves to Witley in 1992 and Hambledon in 2013, he has continued to ring regularly at Guildford Cathedral, where he much enjoys being part of a band capable of good 12-bell ringing in a variety of methods and is currently Tower Captain.
Chris’s working life was spent in public sector finance and administration with successively the Greater London Council, the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority and the House of Lords. He retired in 2004. His daughter, Clare, a consultant surgeon in Doncaster, learned to ring at Guildford Cathedral and is a member of the band at Belton and Epworth in north Lincolnshire. His son, Timothy, is not a ringer but is a recently-ordained clergyman serving in a group of parishes in south Norfolk.
In addition to ringing, Chris also enjoys gardening, especially fruit and vegetables, country walking and visiting National Trust and other significant properties. He is secretary to a local walking group.