Neil George Kelley

Ninth Vicar of Saint Faith's; 1st of the United Benefice of St Faith's and St Mary's


FATHER NEIL KELLEY was inducted as first Vicar of the newly created United Benefice of Saint Faith, Great Crosby with Saint Mary the Virgin, Waterloo Park in April 1999. 

Born in Portsmouth, he was educated on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course. He was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied with Nicholas Danby, Geoffrey Parsons and Norman Del Mar.  He has also held the organ scholarships of St Alban’s Cathedral and St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.  As organist, he has performed in the Royal Albert Hall  and many of the cathedrals in this country, as well as three American tours and performances in France, Germany and Canada. Whilst studying theology and training for the priesthood at Cambridge, he was Director of Music at Pembroke College Chapel.  He has broadcast for Classic FM and has worked for BBC Television both as a performer and conductor.

Fr Neil served the parishes of S Mary the Virgin, Bedfont, and S Nicholas, Chiswick,  before moving to Liverpool to the parish of S Chad, Kirkby. Since his arrival in Crosby and Waterloo in 1999, much of Fr Neil’s ministry has been focussed on the importance of encouraging the full participation of the laity in all aspects of the church’s life and ministry.  The two parishes have an annual joint PCC meeting and produce a comprehensive Diary of Events for the United Benefice. A link has been established with Sierra Leone through the local Waterloo Partnership.

Fr Neil stands firmly in the catholic tradition of the Anglican Church but believes that tradition should not be rooted just in the past but should be open to embrace new possibilities. In recent years, developments in worship at S Faith’s have seen  a monthly service of Compline and Benediction, informal Advent Taizé services, the formation of a monthly Rosary Group and full involvement of Eucharistic Ministers. There is a monthly Healing Service and a team of Eucharistic Ministers takes the Blessed Sacrament to the sick and housebound and to those in hospital.  Pilgrimages to Walsingham,Conques in France and Santiago in Spain were highly successful and retreats to Mirfield and Parcevall Hall provide quiet time for spiritual renewal and friendship.  

Monthly all-age eucharists are a recent  feature of life at S Faith’s where young people play a prominent role in the liturgy. A week-long Holiday Club is now organised for young people in August and there are numerous  social events throughout the year. A formal  liturgy is also flexible enough to include the Sunday School presenting their work during the notices and the singing of “Happy Birthday” before the final hymn on Sundays! In months with five Sundays, there is a 'Liturgy and Lunch' act of worship at alternate churches, followed by lunch for the combined congregations.

In 2006, Fr Neil was appointed Diocesan Adviser on Worship and Liturgy, being licensed for the role by the Bishop of Warrington in September, 2006. He left the \United Benefice on June 24th, 2012, to become vicar of St James, Bushey, in the Diocese of St Albans

 Hear the voice of Fr Neil Kelley. Listen to him singing here!

 See  Fr Neil presiding at one of the BBC Advent services. (Warning: large file - approx 1.4mb to download)

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