Wilson Carlile was born in 1847 in Brixton. He suffered from a spinal weakness all his life, which hampered his education. He entered his grandfather's business at the age of thirteen but soon moved on and learnt fluent French, which he used to good advantage in France trading in silk. He later learned German and Italian to enhance his business, but was ruined in a slump in 1873. After a serious illness, he began to take his religion more seriously and became confirmed in the Church of England. He acted as organist to Ira D Sankey, during the Moody and Sankey missions and in 1881 was ordained priest, serving his curacy at St Mary Abbots in Kensington, together with a dozen other curates. The lack of contact between the Church and the working classes was a cause of real concern to him and he began outdoor preaching. In 1882, he resigned his curacy and founded the Church Army, four years after the foundation of the Salvation Army. He continued to take part in its administration until a few weeks before his death on this day [26 September] in 1942.
[Source: Report on the Calendar, Lectionary and Collects, 2000, by
The Liturgical Commision of the Church of England, July 1995.]