Deaconess Margaret Amelia Rodgers AM (1939-2014)

Movers Tong, A.M.

Dr Robert Tong AM moved, Dr Karin Sowada seconded,

That this Synod records its thanks to God for the life and witness of Margaret Rodgers who devoted her life to serve her Saviour and Lord particularly within the context of the Anglican Church of Australia.

As a student at Deaconess House she completed a ThL with first class honours and then went on to earn a BA and BD (Hons) at Sydney University. Archbishop Marcus Loane invited her to become Principal of Deaconess House in 1976. She had the unenviable task of modernising the institution following the iconic tenure of Deaconess Mary Andrews AM. Educational standards were lifted and a fresh vision for women’s ministry was articulated.

The appointment to the position of Research Officer for the General Synod in 1985 allowed Margaret to combine her training in theology and history and apply this to national questions of policy and practice in the Anglican Church of Australia and beyond. Her final two positions as CEO, Anglican Media, Sydney in 1994 and subsequently in 2004, Archbishop’s Media Officer, enabled her personal skills, wide circle of friends and many years of Anglican networking to be harnessed in service to her home diocese and its Archbishop.

Margaret’s extensive ‘extracurricular’ activities were largely undertaken in Margaret’s own time, during periods of annual leave or in some instances where her employer decided it would be beneficial for all concerned for Margaret to be involved as ‘part of her employment’. Within the Diocese of Sydney there was membership of the Standing Committee for some 30 years, the cathedral chapter and Chair of New College in the University of New South Wales. Nationally, there were two decades of membership of the Standing Committee and the National Council of Churches.

International Anglican ministry included substantial media involvement with several Anglican Consultative Councils and the tumultuous 1998 Lambeth Conference. There was also the Joint Presidency of the Christian Conference of Asia.

Margaret was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2014.

1 July 2014

Resolution year: 2014
Resolution number: 35/14