Father Joseph Kelly was born on Christmas Day 1874 to James and Sarah Kelly (nee Kelly) in Macclesfield.His father was a Staff Sergeant in the 2nd Cheshire Militia.
Father Kelly was educated at both Douai and Ushaw between 1893-1902, and was ordained by Bishop Allen on 29 June 1902 at SS Philip & James, Stockport. He became Secretary to the Bishop between 1902-1916, serving at the Cathedral as a Curate, but resided in Seacombe between 1908-09.
From 1909 to 1916, Father Kelly was Rector at Holy Name, Birkenhead, and became Chaplain to the Forces during the Great War (1916-19). He was appointed Parish Priest to Holy Name (1919-1922) and St.Alban’s Liscard between 1922-1941. In 1935 Father Kelly became Vicar General and Prelate of Honour.
He died on 13 April 19441 and is buried in Rake Lane Cemetary, Wallasey.