To educate, challenge and involve the people of Northern Ireland in the Christ-like and unique mission of The Leprosy Mission worldwide, and to contribute to its overall operations and development.
The Leprosy Mission NI
t: +44 (0)28 9262 9500
Wellesley Bailey was born in Abbeylieux, Ireland in 1846. On 17 March 1866 he became engaged to his childhood friend, Alice Grahame. But before their marriage, Wellesley wanted to make his fortune, so he set sail for Australia and New Zealand.
Alice, a keen Christian, asked Wellesley to go to church whenever he could. When unable to sail from Gravesend, because of fog, Wellesley went to a service.
Afterwards, words from Isaiah kept echoing through his mind:
"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will lead them; I will turn the darkness into light before them, and make the rough places smooth. These things I will do; I will not forsake them."
He knelt by his bed and committed his life to Jesus Christ.
By 1868, Wellesley had returned to Dublin without the fortune he'd been seeking. He decided to try India where his brother was in the Indian Police force. Wellesley joined the American Presbyterian Mission and was sent to Ambabla in the Punjab to work as a teacher. There, Dr Morrison had built some simple huts for leprosy beggars.
When Wellesley met people affected by leprosy for the first time he remembers:
"I almost shuddered... yet at the same time [I was] fascinated, and I felt, if ever there was a Christ-like work in the world it was to go amongst these poor sufferers and bring them the consolation, the hope of the gospel".
Dr Morrison went on home leave, leaving Wellesley to care for those with leprosy. He visited them regularly, helping with food and shelter and sharing the Gospel: "soon I discovered that I had there, at my door, a splendid sphere of work for the Master".
Wellesley and Alice married in October 1871 at Bombay Cathedral after Alice went to India to join Wellesley in his work. However, just two years later they returned to Dublin due to Alice's weak health. Wellesley spoke with such passion about leprosy affected people to their friends, Isabellea, Charlotte and Jane Pim, that a public meeting was arranged.
In 1874, the first support group of the Leprosy Mission was formed. They pledged to raise £30 a year. In their first year they raised £600!
When Wellesley retired from TLM, aged 71, there remained a dynamic Christian mission: "born and cradled in prayer;prayer has been the foundation of its success."
It is a Mission that is still working today to bring about a world without leprosy.