Born to Salvationist parents in Cardiff, Wales, Wesley grew up attending Cardiff Stuart Hall Corps, where he was an active soldier, corps cadet and bandsman. At age 14, he left school and joined the Cardiff Western Mail newspaper staff as a cub reporter. Two years later, Wesley offered himself as a candidate for Salvation Army officership and was appointed to serve in a small mining village in the Welsh valleys. That appointment became distinguished by the impression he made on miners and their families, particularly with the children who saw him as a youthful “Pied Piper.”
Wesley was commissioned in London, England, in 1948 as a cadet in the King’s Messengers Session and served as a corps officer throughout the United Kingdom. In 1955, Wesley married Captain Margaret Sansom, which began their lifelong shared ministry in corps and administrative appointments, and they welcomed two children, their son, Peter, in 1957, and daughter, Christine, in 1967.
In 1973, Wesley became the general secretary in the Scotland Territory, where he served for three years before being appointed assistant editor-in-chief and then editor-in-chief at International Headquarters in London. In 1978, Wesley and Margaret were appointed to the Australia Southern Territory, where he served as the chief secretary. This was followed in 1982 by an appointment as territorial commander in the Scotland Territory. With a promotion to the rank of commissioner, Wesley became the territorial commander in the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory in 1986. In 1990, Wesley and Margaret were appointed as territorial leaders for the Canada and Bermuda Territory where they served with distinction until they retired in 1993 and settled in Australia.
In retirement, Wesley continued to minister in a variety of ways, including as a corps officer, regional commander and divisional commander, as president of the Retired Officers’ Fellowship and the Army Historical Society, as a religious education teacher at a local school, and as guest speaker at Salvation Army conferences in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. He was the author of 11 books, articles and poems for Salvation Army publications, and songs, two of which are included in The Song Book of The Salvation Army.
Wesley is lovingly remembered by his wife, Margaret; children Peter and Christine, and their families; and many friends.
Service of Thanksgiving
Tuesday, May 25, at 11 a.m. (AEST)
7-11 Bowen St., Camberwell (Vic)
To join the service via livestream, visit https://youtu.be/50nFliL0bDo.
To view the service at a later time, visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1IJVrgyWZdRD0V1i97Pb2A (under the “Past livestreams” section).