Tributes to Roger Forster

Leaders from our member churches remember this pioneer of the English charismatic movement and founder of the Ichthus Christian Fellowship.

Rev Roger Forster, the founder and apostle of the Ichthus Christian Fellowship passed away on 17 January 2024. He was a pioneer of the charismatic movement in England.

National Presiding Bishop, Church of God of Prophecy and President of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Forum, Tedroy M Powell.

The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their music.  The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. (Lam 5:14-15 KJV)

To Rev Roger Forster’s family, and Ichthus Christian Fellowship, we, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Forum of the CTE, extend our profound condolences with prayers and join with you, in grief, on the passing of a uniquely gifted Apostolic Elder.

Rev Roger Forster’s distinguished apostolic, evangelical and ecumenical ministry; exemplary transformational leadership, wise and enduring eldership, and service of love to the life and journey of his family, Ichthus church and national ecumenism stands as a monument and legacy of grace, rooted and established in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Observing the arc and influence of his leadership trajectory from my early years of ministry formation, I have concluded that his passion to share the gospel of Christ, his vision, values, and indomitable faith were hallmarks of his approach to ministry and mission. Roger lived and demonstrated a Christian character that was inclusive, loving, transcending culture and race. He was truly a transformational leader who stood as a giant among leaders of leaders at the national church gates of our cities and country and was known and personified for his clear and unequivocal approach to the advancement of the gospel, regardless of company or context, standing or status. His undiminished energy to evangelise was fuelled and driven by his growing love for Jesus Christ.  May you Rest in Eternal Peace.

Churches Together in England General Secretary Bishop Mike Royal

We honour, recognise and celebrate the phenomenal contribution and service that Roger gave to Churches Together in England, the ecumenical landscape in England and the life of the UK and Global Church.  

As a key pioneer in the modern charismatic movement in England, we pray that his legacy will live on and will continue to impact many lives for generations to come.  

Leader of Ichthus Christian Fellowship, Henry George  

Roger Forster, the deeply loved apostle and founder of Ichthus passed away peacefully at home on 17 January 2024. We honour his incredible and inspirational life of service to our Lord Jesus, as an evangelist, theologian, pastor, mentor and most importantly, devoted disciple of Jesus. We also deeply feel his loss, and mourn with his wife Faith, his children and grandchildren. He was a ‘father of the faith’ to thousands of people in the UK and all over the world, and he ‘ran the race’ right until the end. 

Hugh Osgood, President of Churches in Communities International, Co-convenor of the UK Charismatic and Pentecostal Leaders’ Gathering, Past President of CTE. 

I first met Roger at a Christian Union event when I was 19. Roger was 33. I was so impressed with his teaching that over the next few years he became a speaker at CU meetings I organised. After a few more years I too was speaking at CU/UCCF events and the link between us strengthened. Once I was based in South London, not far from Roger and the Ichthus hub, I was able to tap into his wisdom as I took on various London-wide responsibilities. Our wives also worked together, so in Roger’s passing we have lost a colleague as well as a role model.  

It would be remiss not to mention how much Roger and Faith have achieved together over the decades.  They have gathered some amazing leaders around them, and seen Ichthus training programmes, prayer strategies and church planting initiatives inspire many. The Revival Camps held at Ashburnham have allowed Ichthus to introduce some key international speakers to the UK. However, it has been Roger’s theological grasp, always shared so unassumingly, that has undergirded the charismatic movement for nearly six decades, and his understanding of God’s Kingdom should be seen as a gift to the whole Church.   

Former CTE Principal Officer for Pentecostal and Charismatic Relations, Bishop Dr Joe Aldred

Roger was a pilar of clarity and profundity in a challenging Christian ecumenical context; a reservoir of wisdom, gravitas and graciousness. I recall Roger in three epiphanic moments. The wisdom with which he led Ichthus’ membership application into CTE – no easy task for a pioneer of an independent charismatic fellowship. The gravitas Roger displays in a chapter he contributes to, ‘Pentecostals and Charismatics in Britain’ (SCM 2019). Here he lays out with mathematical and theological precision ‘The rise of the Charismatic Movement in the UK’. The graciousness Roger showed as a member of CTE’s Pentecostal and Charismatic Forum at which he never aspired to primacy. We knew we had in our midst a titan of the charismatic movement and of the Church of Jesus Christ. This Cambridge graduate learned humility and service as a good and faithful disciple of Jesus. Knowing Roger, was a kingdom delight. Sincere condolences to Faith and family. RIEP.

CTE Company Secretary and senior leader in the Ground Level Network, Richard Bradbury

Roger Forster was a man who had a significant influence on the Ground Level Network at important moments over the years. His ability to open up the Word of God authoritatively and clearly on issues that confronted us all has equipped and enabled the charismatic church in this country to move forward. He challenged our thinking, particularly around the issue of women in leadership, and caused many of us to go back and reevaluate our approach in this respect.  

Speaking personally, I first heard Roger speak at Spring Harvest in 1980. He spoke with authority and an empathy which caused me quickly to warm to his approach. But despite being comfortable on the big platform, he was humble enough to come and speak at a weekend convention at my local church.  

The network Roger established, Ichthus, has punched above its weight in terms of influence in the nation and I for one will be forever grateful that God raised up this man in our generation for such a role. He will be sorely missed. 

President of the Ascension Trust, Rev Les Isaac

It has been my pleasure to know Roger since the early 1980s.  I remember when he first came to my church in Vauxhall to preach.  As his introduction to his sermon, he said: “I’ve come to check out Les Isaac’s theology and his Church!” 

Roger has been an apostle to many of my generation.  He was a great teacher, a good pastor, an evangelist and to many a special friend.  I remember in the 1990s spending time with him at my home; having breakfast with him and others, discussing evangelism for the city of London and the nation. 

Due to Roger’s ministry, many leaders have been trained and developed over the decades. I am grateful to have spent time with him.  Listening to him and working with him in ministry has enriched and encouraged me, and made me a more dynamic Christian servant in this nation.  

Faith and family, and the whole community of Ichthus, you know that Roger has kept the faith, he has run the race and he’s now with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  May the Lord strengthen the Forster family and the whole of the Ichthus community at this time.  

If you would like to submit your own tribute to Rev Roger, you can send one to the Ichthus Christian Fellowship.

Find more information about the Thanksgiving Service for the life of Roger Forster on Saturday 4 May at 2pm.

Ichthus Christian Fellowship is a national Member Church of Churches Together in England.