A Bury St Edmunds vicar is heading to Russia to lead Moscow’s sole Anglican church.
Canon Malcolm Rogers has been parish vicar for St Mary’s and St Peter’s Churches, on Honey Hill and in Hospital Road, since April 2005.
He has accepted the post of chaplain of St Andrew’s Church, in Moscow and Archbishop’s Apokrisarios (representative) to the Patriarch.
Mr Rogers and his wife Alison, who is a teacher at Guildhall Feoffment Primary School, are Russian speakers and have previously served in Russia.
They were based in St Petersburg between 1993 and 1995 after they were sent by the Church Mission Society to build links with the Russian Orthodox Church.
He said: “I will be very sad to leave Bury St Edmunds and the parish, but we are looking forward with excitement, and also some nervousness, to a new challenge.”
Asked about his proudest achievements during his time in Bury, Mr Rogers said: “We’ve seen quite significant growth at St Mary’s - our 9.30am service on a Sunday has grown from about 30 to 110. We’ve tried to make a service that’s very friendly and accessible to people who are not used to coming to church.”
There has also been financial growth and they have been able to appoint an associate vicar (Nick Alexander) at St Peter’s.
“That’s something the Church wanted to do for 150 years or so and we were able to do it,” Mr Rogers said.
On moving to Russia, he added: “We’re both convinced this is where God is calling us to go.
“We know it can be hard and we’re taking our warm coats with us. It will be exciting and a great opportunity.”
Andrew Soman, chairman of Churches Together in St Edmundsbury and District, added: “Many people in Bury will miss Malcolm for all he has done within the life of the church and in the community. We pray that he will know God’s blessing as he moves to Russia.”
All are welcome to his final service on Sunday, July 16 at 10.30am at St Mary’s.