Torchbearers is international and interdenominational and is supported and endorsed by all major denominations and church groups throughout the world. Capernwray Torchbearers was established in England after World War II under the direction of Major Ian Thomas. The spiritual vacuum in the lives of those affected by war, both English and German, was apparent. This need led to the purchase of “Capernwray Hall” in 1946 in Lancashire, just south of the famous Lakes District of northern England. It was in a rundown state, yet became a centre for short term Bible Schools in the winter and a Bible conference programme in summer. (Since that time Capernwray Hall has been restored to its former glory as a 19th century mansion set in 175 acres of parkland). Thus in 1947, “Torchbearers” began!
The ministry extended to Europe and now operates in many countries around the world, including England, Germany, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.S.A., Canada, Indonesia, India, New Zealand, Japan, Costa Rica, Phillipines, Malaysia and Australia. Each of the 26 centres already established is a base centre for evangelistic outreach, intensive short-term Bible School, conferences and camps.
The founder, Major Ian Thomas, was reared in a “respectable” home but learned little, or nothing of the Bible. He became a Christian at the age of 12. At 15, convinced he should devote himself to the service of Christ, his life became full of ‘Christian Activity’. Major Thomas says, “Out of sheer desire to win souls, to go out and get them, I was a windmill of activity.
Every moment of my day was packed tight with doing things… thus by the age of 19, I had been reduced to spiritual exhaustion, with no hope or reason for going on… then,” Major Thomas explained, “God gave me a message through Galatians 2:20 that Christ was my life!
I got up the next morning to an entirely different Christian life…, but I want to emphasize this: I had not received one iota more than I already had for 7 years.”
“Christ gave Himself for us to give Himself to us! His presence puts God back into the man! He came that we may have life – God’s life…!”
The purpose and goal of Capernwray Bible School is to instruct students in the content of Scripture in order that they might discover through the written word the reality of the Living Word; and to provide for each student the opportunity to discover the complete sufficiency of Christ in life and service so as to create an attitude of willing abandonment to Him irrespective of the personal consequences; and to do this in an environment of mutual respect, courtesy and love that models and expresses the character of Christ.
I believe in the triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God, in equality with the Father, and that by Him, and for Him, the Father created all things.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ became man through the miraculous activity of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was without sin, and that He, as the Lamb of God without blemish, died willingly in the place of sinners to become the Redeemer of this fallen world. I believe that He is the only Mediator, through whose redeeming Blood and by faith in whom alone we receive the forgiveness of sins.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has risen bodily from the dead, that He appeared to His disciples and returned to the Father; that on the day of Pentecost He came in the person of the Holy Spirit to dwell within the hearts of all who had received Him, and thereby established His Body on earth, His Church, the fellowship of all true believers, of which He is the Head.
I believe in God the Holy Spirit, co-equal Member of the Trinity. I believe that He is present in the hearts of all who through faith have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and who thereby are born again, children of God, and are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.
I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to deliver just judgement and to bring all things to completion.
I believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is the revelation of God for mankind, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Finally I declare that I myself am converted, in that as a sinner in need of salvation I have already turned to the Lord Jesus Christ and have received Him as my personal Saviour and Lord. I believe that in accordance with His promise He has accepted me and saved me, not according to my merits, but according to His infinite grace, and that He now lives in me by His Holy Spirit, has given me eternal life, and made me a child of God. I confess Him, The Lord Jesus Christ, as My Saviour, Lord and Life before all men.
As the National Director, I have the privilege of working alongside a great staff team. My primary responsibilities involve oversight of the centre, leadership of the Bible School and of the broader ministry of Capernwray Australia. I am also the head of the faculty staff, and spend a great deal of time teaching both here at Capernwray, and also at churches and events around the country. My first experience of being Director, was back in the 1980’s here at Wongabri, which was also when I met my lovely wife, Elizabeth. We have spent the last 25 years directing the Capernwray Torchbearers in New Zealand, but it is good to be back here in Australia!
I love seeing the transformation that takes place in student’s lives as they discover fullness in Christ. When I’m not doing my job, I love reading, exploring this great land and finding the best coffee shops in the world!
I grew up in Victoria, which is in the south of Australia. However, as my parents worked with Wycliffe Bible translators I also spent time in Papua New Guinea. I am passionate about art and once I returned to Australia I studied graphic art in Queensland. I attended Capernwray Australia as a student in 1987, and later joined the staff for two years before Peter and I were married in 1988. We moved to New Zealand to run the Bible School there, during which time our two children Callum and Alexandra were born. As a family we returned to Capernwray Australia in 2013. Whilst I am currently overseeing the gardens and house managing, my primary role is Dean of Women, through which I have the privilege of encouraging student women in their walks with the Lord Jesus.
I am privileged to work at Capernwray Australia as the Ministries Coordinator, having attended Capernwray Hall and Tauernhof in 2011. Since my own ‘Capernwray experience’, I have been travelling around some of the most beautiful places in the world and have been blessed to serve at other Torchbearer centres in many varied ways, from helping lead youth camps to working for Torchbearers International as a part of the concept and development team. I am very blessed to have a heritage in Capernwray, and being able to serve the Lord in this ministry has really been a blast!
I am involved in teaching, discipleship, ministry training, and oversight of taking the students into high schools, churches and onto the streets as they learn to share their faith in real-life situations. I get a real kick out of seeing young men and women grow in their faith, as they realise their identity is in Christ and that the power of the gospel is Christ IN them! In my spare time I love to longboard, surf, snowboard, drink excellent coffee (nothing else will do!) and travel both the world and Australia with my beautiful wife Jazlyn.
As the Office Manager and Registrar at Capernwray Australia, I am very much on the ‘frontline’ when it comes to answering student enquiries and processing applications. Capernwray has been an important part of my life since I was a teenager. I grew up attending weekly fellowship at Capernwray Australia and in 2003 I attended Capernwray New Zealand as a student. Upon returning from New Zealand, I moved to Queensland where I attended university, and gained a Bachelor of Business. I went on to work at a Christian School on the Gold Coast. In 2016, God brought me back to the Southern Highlands, and has blessed me with this position at Capernwray Australia. I really love my Aussie sport, in particular A.F.L. (go the Swans!) and I also enjoy reading a good christian novel when I have the time.
As the Operations Manager and Conference Director, I am passionate about creating an environment which runs smoothly and is well resourced, so that the Bible school can flourish. I serve at Capernwray Australia along with my wife and two little girls. Prior to this, we lived and worked at another Australian Christian conference centre in similar roles, and we are passionate about places that bring people together in community, with a focus on the gospel. Capernwray Harbour holds a special place in my heart, as it is where I was able to experience life as a student, and also be trained in operations by their beautiful staff family. I am a qualified primary school teacher, outdoor educator and audio engineer. While none of these things directly relate to my role here, I can see how God has used each of them to prepare me for this place. I have the best job in the world!
When I’m not stuck behind a desk, I love getting into the outdoors, mountain biking, bushwalking and 4 wheel driving. I’m a bit of a gear freak (drones are my latest obsession) and I think that searching gumtree (for a good deal), is a great way to relax!
As the Assistant Pastoral Dean I serve in a supporting role here at Capernwray Australia. I am responsible for coordinating the pastoral care of the girls and while much of the week you will find me sitting over cups of tea with female students, I am also involved in music for conferences and directing kids camps. Originally a primary school teacher, I am passionate about children, furry friends with four legs and I love playing guitar and writing songs. I have two beautiful little girls of my own, and it is my joy to support my husband Dan in his service here as the Operations Manager. I gave my life to Jesus when I was 11 years old, and living life with God holding the reigns has been a greater adventure than what I ever could have imagined for myself. I had the privilege of being a spring school student at Capernwray Harbour. I love to read and to write, and love living in Christian community here at Capernwray. I also enjoy a good spontaneous adventure and travelling the world with friends and with my family.
I grew up in Didsbury, Alberta (Canada), but have called Australia home for the past 17 years. I am trained as a furniture restorer/finisher and as a small business manager and I am currently undertaking training in chaplaincy and pastoral care. Here at Capernwray, however, I am the Catering Manager! This involves keeping hungry students well fed, organising student teams in the kitchen and overseeing all the meal plans and ordering for everything from kids camps to conferences! I have been a Christian since I was little and attended Capernwray Australia as a student back when I was 18. I returned here to join the staff team in 2011. Through trouble and uncertainty, God led my children and I very clearly to Capernwray – I don’t remember ever being so obviously put somewhere before! I was so grateful and I still am! It is an honour and a privilege to serve in such a special place where so many people (whether they intend to or not), meet and come near to God. While being at Capernwray can be constantly challenging, I have met God here and have seen Him personally change my heart, mind and purpose. I know for certain that there is more challenge, change and goodness to come. He is faithful!
I was born in Edmonton, Canada and lived there until the age of 5. I have since lived in the Moss Vale area for about 17 years. I grew up working in my parents furniture factory, learning all about maintaining and repairing timber. At Capernwray I serve in two roles, both as a cook and also on the maintenance team as a property handy man, taking care of plumbing, furniture and general maintenance. I have never attended Capernwray as a student, however, I have been serving here since early 2011 and I also spent a short period of time volunteering at Capernwray New Zealand. Having been raised by a Christian Mum, I always knew about Jesus, but didn't trust Him personally until I was about 17, when a good friend showed me how much I truly am loved by God. With the love I have found in Him, I have grown and been challenged in many ways. I love a good adventure outdoors, a well-timed joke and showing the students what a real cup of coffee tastes like!
Originally from Tasmania, Australia, I love playing guitar, writing songs and getting to travel to far off places whenever I have the chance. I grew up in a Christian home and while I can remember accepting Christ at quite a young age, it wasn't until I was 17 that I chose follow Jesus with all that I have. In the midst of some difficult family circumstances I found that my faith truly became alive and my own. When I left school I completed a 4 year plumbing apprenticeship and toward the end of those 4 years, I really felt the Lord put it on my heart to ground myself in His word. The Lord led me to Capernwray Australia where I had the privilege of being a student for 2 semesters in 2015. I then travelled to Capernwray Hall in England to be a student in their spring school program, following which I spent 3 months volunteering at the Torchbearers centre in Sweden. I am now back at Capernwray Australia working on staff as an Assistant Ministry Coordinator. Over the last 2 years I have experienced God's leading in amazing and powerful ways! I am so excited to be here observing the transformations, as students come to understand whose life it is lived within them. The Lord Jesus’ himself!
Originally from Tennessee in the United States, I have known the Lord since i submitted my life to Him at a young age. I am exceedingly thankful for His presence in my life. During dark trials in my teen years, I experienced His closeness, as I sought His strength and peace. Since high school I have had a desire to travel and serve God in full-time ministry. I have had many opportunities to lead and serve on mission trips in many countries the world over, working in different christian organisations, as well as living overseas serving in an orphanage. After receiving my degree in Social Work, I was led to serve at Capernwray Australia. I had previously been strongly impacted through my own time as a student at two of the European Torchbearer Bible schools. As a staff member at Capernwray Australia, I am a part of the faculty and ministries team, serving as the Local Ministries Coordinator and a Resident Assistant for the female students. I love being able to disciple and walk beside students as they seek to know who they are in Christ and understand the power of His saving life. The transforming life of Christ in us is truly the greatest joy and ultimate adventure we can possibly embark upon.
A local to the Southern Highlands, I have been serving on the staff team at Capernwray as the Accounts Manager since January 2014. Prior to this, I worked as an accountant, a health and fitness coordinator and an outdoor education instructor. It wasn't until I was in my mid 20s that I came to know Christ and as a result it is a joy to me to see many students younger than this already devoting time to learn and grow in Him here. My husband is a pastor of one of the local churches, as well as a physiotherapist and we have three gorgeous daughters, two of which are in high school with the youngest in primary school. I spend 2 days a week in the office at Capernwray, as every other minute I have is spent running our Physio practise, juggling church commitments and driving my very sporty girls to their various games. I am passionate about playing sports myself, and have a love for animals great and small. As a result you may often find me down on the Cecil Hoskins track with a furry friend or two!