Past Rectors



Born in 1808, he came out to South Australia with his wife and two children in 1846, under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, bringing with him flattering testimonials from a former governor, Colonel George Gawler. He was a strong Evangelical and a man of independent thought. He became a Canon in 1849 and Archdeacon of Adelaide in 1856. He was one of the founders of the Collegiate School of St Peter and a House of that school bears his name. He died in 1868, aged 60.

CHARLES MARRYAT (1868 – 1906)

His election as the second incumbent was challenged in the courts because Bishop Short, who was one of the trustees and acted as chairman, exercised as casting as well as a deliberative vote in the election. However, the court decided in favour of Canon Marryat as he had accepted the living and taken possession of it in being handed the keys of the church.

Marryat was a man of great energy and ability and belonged to a celebrated family. He had been educated at Eton and Queen’s College, Oxford, and ordained priest at Canterbury in 1851. He had been a Canon of Adelaide since 1857 and, on suceeding Woodcock at North Adelaide, was appointed Archdeacon of Adelaide. In 1886 he became the Dean of Adelaide, a post he held together with the incumbency of North Adelaide until his death. In 1905, he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding and he died on 29 September 1906.


Born in 1868 at Bristol, England, he was educated at Clifton College and Worcester College Oxford. From 1891-99 Jose had worked with his wife as a CMS missionary in China. After ordination in England and curacies at Gloucester and Oxford he and his wife came to Adelaide in 1903 where he was in charge of St Cyprian’s, Lower North Adelaide. He was appointed a Canon of Adelaide in 1918 and Archdeacon of Adelaide in 1929. He resigned the incumbency of Christ Church in 1933 to become Dean of Adelaide until his retirement in 1953. Jose wrote the Annals of Christ Church in 1921, The Story of Jesus Christ in 1930 and a three volume history of The Church of England in South Australia (1937, 1954, 1955). He died in 1956.

Jose himself was deeply involved in war work, being chaplain AMF 1915-19 and Deputy Senior Chaplain 1916-18. He was personally affected by the tragedy of war for his son Wilfred was killed in action in France. Another son Ivan also enlisted but returned having been awarded the Military Cross.


Murray came from Melbourne and was instituted as Rector of Christ Church on 1 November 1933. In 1936 he also became priest in charge of St Cyprian’s Lower North Adelaide. To help him care for the two parishes he had two assistant curates. His gifts as a preacher and religious educator caused him to be much in demand. He also became chaplain of Queen’s School, St Peter’s Collegiate Girls’ School, and Creveen School, all in North Adelaide and was active among university students in the Students’ Christian Movement. He also became a lecturer at St  Barnabas’ Theological College. He was instrumental in the creation of the Lady Chapel and the introduction of Eucharistic vestments.

In 1938 he left Christ Church to return to Melbourne where he became Vicar of Christ Church, South Yarra. Murray was appointed Bishop of Riverina in 1944. Tragically, Murray was killed in 1950 in the Australian National Airways Douglas DC-4 aeroplane crash, along with the Dean of Newcastle, the Reverend Norman Blow, and 27 other passengers and crew.


Born in  England in 1894, Bulbeck came to South Australia with his family in 1911. He enlisted in the AIF in 1915 and served until 1919 when he re-entered St Barnabas’ Theological College to complete his training and was ordained priest in 1921 when he served his curacy at Christ Church under Canon Jose. Following ministries at  Mannum, Henley Beach, Renmark and Clare, he became Rector of Christ Church in November 1938. He took leave from the incumbency of Christ Church in 1940 to become Chaplain of the 1st Australian Corps of duty overseas.

Canon S.T.C. Best was appointed locum tenens at Christ Church and maintained the parish, with the help of young assistant curates, for four years until the Rector returned in 1944. At that time Bulbeck was Deputy Assistant Chaplain-General, 3rd Aust. Corps. He was appointed Senior chaplain in South Australia in 1947. Also in 1947 he was appointed Archdeacon of The Broughton and a Canon of the Incorporated Chapter in 1949. He resigned in 1957 and died on 29 September 1964.


McWilliams was ordained priest in the Diocese of Melbourne in 1934. He was a RAAF chaplain at the outbreak of war and served until 1947. He was in the Far East Command and in the North Eastern Area. After the war he was a priest in Melbourne until taking  the incumbency of Christ Church.

Like his predecessor, McWilliams found that his years as chaplain in the forces had given him the ability to get on well with all sorts of people, and especially with men. He differed from all his predecessors in that he was a bachelor. However, he loved company and was generous in hospitality. He suffered a heart attack in the rectory and died on 27 September 1965.


Like his predecessor, Southey came from Melbourne and was ordained in 1936. He served as an army chaplain from 1940-43. His incumbency was of short duration for his health deteriorated and he resigned the living after six years. He lived in retirement with his wife in Clearview until his death on 25 September 1984.


Cameron was one of the first group of ordinands who were trained for the priesthood at St Michael’s House at Mt Lofty. During World War II he served in the Royal Australian Navy and was ordained In Victoria in 1954. He became Rector of Fullarton in 1965 before his appointment to Christ Church. He was appointed a Canon in 1982. His ministry was noted for the exemplary manner in  which he ministered to the needs of the burgeoning  hospice and hospital population within the parish. His own health failed and he died on 23 August 1990.

JOHN PAUL COLLAS (1991 – 2002)

Prior to taking up his appointment as the ninth incumbent of Christ Church, Collas served in a number of parishes in the diocese, the last being as Rector of Glen Osmond (1978 – 91). He was appointed Archdeacon of Sturt in 1990, and after coming to Christ Church, was collated Archdeacon of Adelaide in the Cathedral in March 1996. In 2004 he was appointed Administrator (sede vacante), and was Vicar General of the Diocese until his retirement in 2006.

SIMON BAILEY (2003-2007)

Christ Church was Bailey’s first parish in Australia, having studied and worked in the United Kingdom. He was awarded a MusB (Hons) in 1977 from the Victoria University of Manchester; a PGradCertEd from Cambridge University in 1978 and a BComSt from Nottingham University in 1983. Bailey studied at Lincoln Theological College and in 1984 was ordained in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds. After working in parishes in the Dioceses of Ripon, Leicester and Bradford, he moved to Australia with his family to become the Rector of Christ Church in 2003. Bailey was Area Dean of Adelaide from 2006 to 2007 and became the Rector of the Parish of Glen Osmond in 2007.


Sulzberger, Christ Church’s eleventh rector, was trained in Adelaide at St Barnabas College 1997-1998. He was appointed Assistant Curate at St Michael’s Mitcham in 1999. In 2001, he moved to St Luke’s Mosmon as Assistant Priest and then Priest. Sulzberger came to Christ Church in 2007 as Rector and resigned in 2012.