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Transforming lives
through Christ

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.

The History of Capernwray

Torchbearers was born out of the devastation of World War II when 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). It was German youth who came in those early years to Capernwray who began calling themselves the ‘Fackeltraeger’ or carriers of the torch’ Thus in 1947, “Torchbearers” began!

While Major Ian Thomas was serving with the British Army in Germany, he sent a telegram to his wife, asking her to go and bid for Capernwray Hall at the auction. Into the Town Hall at Lancaster on the day of the auction came a reluctant Mrs Joan Thomas, little knowing or realising the full significance that day was going to have for her, her family, and for thousands of people from every corner of the world.

The successful purchase of Capernwray Hall meant that Major and Mrs. Thomas could begin to see fulfilled what they believed was God’s new purpose for the property: to make it a place where young people could come and stay and be introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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 25 centres already established is a base centre for evangelistic outreach, intensive short-term Bible School, conferences, and camps.

Capernwray Campus today…

Statement of Faith

The basis of Faith of the Missionary Fellowship of Torchbearers

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.

Meet the Team…

Adam Ismail

Director

I was Born in Berlin, Germany to a German mother and a Lebanese father and moved to Australia at the age of 4. Although I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, I came to faith in Jesus as a teenager at a Christian camping ministry. And although this may have been the occasion where I received Jesus as my Saviour it wasn’t until many year later that I came to a “much more” fuller understanding of what this actually meant, Romans 5:10 says:
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, MUCH MORE, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
The reality that Jesus didn’t only die for me, but did so to give Himself to me so as to live His life through me changed everything, It took my my walk with Him from a place of my inadequate best for Him to allowing Him to be His adequate best through me. And this truth changed everything!
I have been involved in a variety of ministries including Youth groups, Prison Ministry, Church leadership and now have the privilege of serving as the Director of Capernwray Torchbearers Australia. Whether it’s at home with my wife Jo and our 2 children Ziah and Evie, church or amongst our family and friends, I loves sharing in word and deed The Life that Jesus came to give for all His creation to possess and enjoy.

Callum Thomas

Principal

Passionate about Jesus, discipleship and great coffee, my wife Jazlyn and love raising our two girls Zara and Silla onsite at Capernwray.

I’m driven by a love to see young people raised in the life of Jesus in such a way that they become contagious ‘torchbearers’ wherever God takes them.

I was a student at Capernwray myself first in England at Capernwray Hall and then also in Austria at Tauernhof, so I know very well the highs and challenges of being a young adult trying to navigate the complexities of life after leaving the family home. Since then I have worked as a Youth Pastor, barista and Ministries Coordinator both in Australia and Canada. I also currently serve as the Director for TeenStreet Australia, a youth movement of OM.

Nicole Harris

Office Manager & Registrar

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.

Karen Austin

Accounts Administrator

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 daughters, two of whom are now adults, with the youngest in high 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 playing sport.

Stephanie Wood

Ministries Co-ordinator

I grew up in a small town in New Zealand, and knew Jesus from a very young age. I always had a desire to go to a Capernwray somewhere, and in 2013, I attended Capernwray New Zealand for a year. After this, I served on staff at Capernwray New Zealand managing the on-site café. Having joined the Capernwray Australia staff at the beginning of 2019 on the ministries team and as Resident Assistant for the female students, I again have the joy of walking with students as they discover who they are in Christ. It is exciting to be a part of the ministry here, and I love seeing lives being transformed in Christ.

Kieran Eringa

Assistant Property Manager

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!

Charity Eringa

Catering Manager

Hey, my name is Charity, and I have the joy of serving as the catering manager here at Capernwray Australia. I first moved to Capernwray in 2012 with my mum and brother, Kieran who also works here, and lived here until I moved overseas in 2015, where I went to study at Tauernhof, Austria. I then moved to Alberta, and worked in a camp kitchen for almost 5 years. At the beginning of 2020, I was asked to come back and work here at Capernwray. I was so excited to get that little email, and have been thanking God for this job ever since. I love Jesus, and love the ministry I get to serve in. I’m always amazed at how much joy God has given me for this job.

Jorja O'Brien

Cooks Assistant

Connor McKee

Dean of Students

Get in contact with us

Phone & Fax

Call from overseas: +612 4868 1516
Call from Australia: 02 4868 1516
Call from Germany: 0641 3509 9401

Postal Address

Capernwray Torchbearers Australia
PO Box 210,
Moss Vale, NSW
Australia 2577
NB: If sending to a student, please include their name above the address.

Street Address

Capernwray Torchbearers Australia
596 Moss Vale Road,
Burradoo, NSW
Australia 2576
VolunteerMake a Donation

Stay Updated

Get in contact

Phone & Fax

Call from overseas: +612 4868 1516
Call from Australia: 02 4868 1516
Call from Germany: 0641 3509 9401

Postal Address

Capernwray Torchbearers Australia
PO Box 210,
Moss Vale, NSW
Australia 2577
NB: If sending to a student, please include their name above the address.

Street Address

Capernwray Torchbearers Australia
596 Moss Vale Road,
Burradoo, NSW
Australia 2576
VolunteerMake a Donation

Stay Updated