Father Roger Kelly

Father Roger has been Vicar of St James the Great since December 1977.

During his first twenty years as Priest-in-Charge of St James's, he also enjoyed wonderful ministries in Anglican Schools, first as the Chaplain of Wadhurst Junior School at Melbourne Grammar (for eight years) and then as Chaplain of Yarra Valley Grammar School (for twelve Years). For six years during this time, he also served as the Diocesan Chairman of Chaplains in Anglican Schools.

In 1999 he was appointed Incumbent of St James the Great. Then in 2000, he was appointed as Area Dean of Port Phillip. He is committed to ministry in the inner suburbs and to St James the Great maintaining its presence in East St Kilda in the midst of ultra orthodox Jewry.

Born in Glasgow and baptised in the Scottish Episcopal Church, Father Roger was educated at Rutherglen Academy in Scotland and in Australia at Nunawading High School and at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities. He was prepared for Holy Orders at St John's Morpeth and at Ridley College Melbourne.

Roger is a professed brother of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd and is now the Prior of the Melbourne College of the Oratory. He is committed to the call to holiness as epitomised in Religious Life.

Father Roger is also the founder and Guardian of the Little Company of the Good Shepherd, a community of men and women affiliated to the world-wide Oratory of the Good Shepherd.

It would be fair to say that Roger is dedicated to his life as a religious and as a parish priest, yet he has many interests beyond the life of the church. He enjoys the inner suburban lifestyle and the world of theatre and the arts, including opera and ballet, with a particular fondness for baroque music. He also loves cinema and television. Dining out with parishioners and friends is a favoured pastime (as is cooking in the Vicarage kitchen). Occasionally his people take him to the football and the races at Flemington to enjoy the colour and excitement of these great events.

Recently Father Roger was honoured for his 30 years as a Member of the Australian College of Educators (MACE).  He is also a member of the RACV Club, the National Gallery Society, the Council for Christians and Jews, the Prieaulx Library (Guernsey) and the Scottish National Trust as well as a variety of other societies and interests.

An ardent traveller, each year he visits friends and family in his beloved UK and Guernsey (in the Channel Islands). He has served long-term locums in the U.K. and Guernsey in Europe and Japan. He has also served as a chaplain on several pilgrimages of Anglicans and Roman Catholics to the Holy Land, the UK, Europe and Scandanavia. He has twice enjoyed the privilege of studying at St George's College in Jerusalem. And he would love to make the great pilgrimage to the Shrine of St James at Compostella in Spain.

He is grateful for the privilege of serving as the priest of this unique parish community for alnmost 35 years. This makes him the longest serving Vicar of the one parish in this Diocese - and possibly even in Australia!


The Good Shepherd icon of the worldwide Oratory of the Good Shepherd a copy of which hangs in the nave of St James the Great