Fr Dennis Webster, Vicar

DMW1Fr Dennis Webster came to St Stephen’s in 2009. His previous appointment was as vicar of Pascoe Vale/Oak Park (2003-09), during which time he was Area Dean of Coburg.

Fr Dennis’s early training was as a musician. He was awarded a studentship in Music Education at the University of Tasmania where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Education) in 1986. Following this, Fr Dennis was worked for the Tasmanian Education Department, and held teaching posts at Howrah Primary School, Campania District High and Woodbridge District High, and later, St James’ College, Cygnet. Dennis was involved with St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, serving in the choir, as cantor, authorised lay reader, sacristan, youth leader, and councillor.

Fr Dennis attended Trinity College, Melbourne, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity from the Melbourne College of Divinity in 1994. During the first decade of his ministry Fr Dennis served in the parishes of Holy Trinity, Launceston, Burnie, Channel/Cygnet and Ss Peter & Andrew Braybrook.  Fr Dennis came to St Stephen’s from Holy Trinity, Pascoe Vale.

Fr Dennis has diverse interests. He is a passionate follower of the Carlton Football Club, and enjoys cricket and swimming, in which he has worked as an umpire and time-keeper. He enjoys football at all levels. He has a a collaboration with poet Peter G Baker on giving the Psalms an Australian Voice, and one of their pieces has won a national Christmas Carol competition. He remains active as a composer for liturgy, producing many chants and responses for use at St Stephens. Some of his responsorial psalms feature at St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne.

Since coming to St Stephen’s, Fr Dennis has served as Area Dean of Melbourne, is involved in various committees of the Diocese of Melbourne, is an a member of the Council of the Diocese and the Social Responsibility Committee. He is also the Public Officer for XL Arts Incorporated.

Fr David Conolly, Honorary Associate Priest

Fr David Conolly was ordained in Melbourne in 1964, and has enjoyed a varied ministry.  He served curacies at Glenroy and Cheltenham before taking overseas appointments in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Willesdon Green, London.  He returned to Melbourne in 1970 and became Vicar of East Thornbury, later moving to to St John’s, East Malvern (1977) and St Faith’s, Burwood (1987).

Fr David came to St Stephen’s on his retirement from Burwood in 1999, where he makes a valued contribution to the life of the parish.  A Conolly sermon is something to really treasure, and there will always be some gems in there regardless of where you are in life, faith or hope.  Come and listen next time Fr David is preaching.

Rev’d Judith Lake, Honorary Assistant Priest

Judith Lake trained as a Mothercraft nurse, and worked in maternity hospitals, the Childrens Protection Society, and daycare centres.  After training for Mothercraft nursing was moved into the TAFE sector, Judith obtained a Diploma of Social Sciences in childcare.

Judith has two grown children, and was closely involved with various school council and committee positions for fifteen years.  During that time Judith became a member of the Mothers Union, and served as a Deanery President and was a member of the Social Responsibilities Committee.  Judith enjoys a warm continuing association with the Mothers Union as Chaplain to the Diocese of Melbourne.

After taking a few small steps into theological and pastoral studies, Judith began to explore the possibility of ordained ministry.  This was especially encouraged by friends from the Mothers Union.  Judith served placements at St John’s, Epping, the Lazarus Centre, and Holy Trinity, Pascoe Vale.  This was followed by a curacy at All Saints, Rosebud, and an intentional ministry at the Parish of Hume following the 2009 bushfires.  An experienced pastoral carer, Judith was employed by Cystic Fibrosis Victoria as a social support worker. Judith spent several years as an intentional deacon, and was priested by Archbishop Philip Freier in November 2013. Judith presently works as a visiting chaplain for the parish at Epworth Hospital Richmond and Freemasons, and is the chaplain to the Richmond Churches Food Centre. In March 2015 Judith received her Bachelor of Ministry through the University of Divinity.

The Right Rev’d Peter Danaher, Honorary Associate Priest

Almost completing a full circle, Peter returns to his home area of Richmond as our honorary associate priest. Ordained in the Diocese of Melbourne, and at one time Bishop Administrator of the Diocese of Bathurst, Bishop Peter has recently been Vicar of All Saints, Newtown. A most generous and spiritual man, he brings strength to our team both pastorally and liturgically. He has a love of singing, and leadership style that is both unique and refreshing. Bishop Peter will be with us fortnightly. Bishop Peter is also the current President of the Victorian Council of Churches, and together with his wife Caroline, we are most blessed by his coming amongst us.

(photo from The Geelong Advertiser)

Parish Office Bearers


Adrian Porteous (Vicar)

John Wilson (People)

Georgia Smith (People)

Parish Secretary

Dr Garry Warne AM

Parish Treasurer

Dr Tim Gilley