Rogers Govender was born in Durban in Natal and ordained in 1985. He was priest in charge at St Mary's Church, Greyville, Durban from 1988 until 1993 when he was transferreed to St Matthew's Hayfields, Pietermaritzburg where he was rector and subsequently St Thomas's Musgrave Road before emigrating to the United Kingdom in 2002 after 15 years of service in the Diocese of Natal. On arrival in England, he was priest-in-charge of Christ Church, West Didsbury in South Manchester and Area Dean of Withington. Rogers is a sixth generation South African, and at the time of his appointment was England's first black cathedral dean, and the third most senior black or Asian churchman in the Church of England. His aim is to accommodate people of all races in the inner city.
His wife Celia is the administrator of the central Manchester City Learning Centre, and they have two children, Jonathan and Claire. The centre has a role in education, visiting schools and hosting events connecting contemporary culture with the Christian faith.
Rogers filled in for Tom Hanks in a Spoofed Da Vinci Code Movie Poster in 2006, to promote a "Da Vinci Code Mass" at the cathedral intended to address issues raised by the controversial book, and the movie based on it. The mass was inspired by a poll revealing that the book and movie may have undermined public trust in the Catholic Church.