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Father Keith Dalby chosen as Fifth bishop of the Diocese of the Murray

A home town advantage and ministry experience in both the bush and the city has put the rector of Gordon, the Rev Keith Dalby, into the leadership of Australia’s most diverse diocese. Mr Dalby has been chosen as the next bishop of the Diocese of the Murray in the southeast of South Australia.

10 years in the country and 20 in the city 

“I have spent about 10 years in country ministry and almost 20 years in the city,” Mr Dalby says. “So I feel well equipped to serve a diocese that has both these elements in it. The southern suburbs of Adelaide – which are the fastest-growing in Adelaide – are in the diocese, as well as the whole southeast of South Australia, including the towns on the Murray River from the border almost into Adelaide.”

The Bishop Election Committee of the diocese chose Mr Dalby to succeed Bishop John Ford as the fifth bishop over the 22 parishes in the diocese, created in 1970. 

“I guess it’s a good fit because it is God’s timing,” Mr Dalby says. “Gordon is in a good place for someone new to take it forward – I have been there for almost 15 years. We love the place, but it is time to go. The other great thing about The Murray is that it is home for us. I have both my sisters living in the diocese and my parents have lived there for close to 25 years.”

Mr Dalby and his wife Alice have five children. He spent most of his early life in South Australia and began his ministry in Adelaide after serving as a submariner in the Royal Australian Navy for 12 years.

His theological training was at St Barnabas’ Theological College in Adelaide and, during his time in Gordon, he was awarded an MA in theology from Moore College.

The opportunities for ministry are great 

He is looking forward to returning home and the variety of the role. “I can go from dealing with everyday city issues to drought, Murray Water issues, and anything in between,” he says. “The opportunities for ministry are great. Bishop Ford has set the diocese on a course for mission and renewal and I am keen to take that forward.

“I am delighted to be able to continue encouraging the diocese to engage with the wider community and enable them to be more aware of the good news of Jesus Christ.”

Written by Russell Powell at

Nomination Process Starts for the New Rector of St John’s, Gordon

With the announcement of the elevation of Father Keith to be the fifth Bishop of The Murray in South Australia, the nomination process now commences for the selection of the eleventh Rector of St John’s, Gordon. The process for selection is laid out by the Diocese and can be searched at

Whilst the Nominators will keep the parish informed of progress in general terms, the nomination process is, of necessity, for the privacy of the candidates, confidential and they ask for your patience in the coming months. However they do welcome any suggested names of candidates provided to them in confidence by parishioners. Everyone is encouraged to make known such recommendations directly to the Parish Nominators, particularly in the early months of the process.

The Nominators and Wardens also ask that:

  • We give thanks to God for the ministry of Fr Keith and his family over the last 14½ years and that their future episcopal role will be endowed with God’s grace and wisdom in their mission in the Diocese of The Murray;
  • We also pray that the Nominators will be blessed with God’s guidance, wisdom and perception and act with unified purpose in their search for our new Rector at St John’s; and
  • We pray for our interim Ministry team that will be continuing our Parish Mission and pastoral work that they will find strength and purpose in their work as we prepare for our next era.

Prayer at the Time of Choosing an Incumbent

Bountiful God, give to this parish a faithful pastor who will faithfully speak your word and minister your sacraments; an encourager who will equip your people for ministry and enable us to fulfil our calling. Give to those who will choose, wisdom, discernment and patience, and to us give warm and generous hearts, for the sake of your son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

written by our former Rector, Father Bill Weston

God our Father, send your Holy Spirit upon the people of this parish.  Give us a greater love for all.  Make us more compassionate for the sick, the lonely and all in need, more zealous in the inspiration of the young, more concerned about the wider mission of the Church and more generous in our giving of service and money.  Help each one of us to know what we ought to do and give us strength and courage faithfully to do it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

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