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Update: Winter Bible School 2020/21

We’re delighted that we’re still receiving applications for Winter School 2020-21, for the One Year Bible School and for Spring Bible School 2021.  Below are our best current answers to some key questions you might have. These are strange and unpredictable days as the world faces the coronavirus pandemic, so everything here of course relies on all sorts of outcomes we can’t yet see, but we hope this will be of some help for those considering joining us for Bible School.  We’ll keep this site updated with our latest news.  

Will Capernwray be open for Winter School 2020-21?

Our strong hope and intention is that Capernwray Hall Winter Bible School 2020-21 will run as scheduled, from Saturday 19th September 2020 to Friday 12th March 2021. Yaaay! That is dependent upon the UK government giving permission for centres like ours to open and for larger groups to meet, but we hope that will have been granted by the start of school.  If we do need to cancel some or all of it we’ll let you know as soon as that decision is made, but we very much hope that won’t happen!

If I arrive in England from overseas will I have to be quarantined?

The UK government has recently announced it may require anyone arriving in the UK to quarantine for 14 days. We don’t know at the moment if that will still be the case in September, and if it is, what it will look like in settings like this.  If it is, we hope that it will be possible for you to quarantine at Capernwray at the same time as starting your studies here, so either way, still aim to arrive at Capernwray on 19th September.

What if travel restrictions mean I can’t get to Capernwray for the start of school?

We hope that as many students as possible will be able to join us in person on site for the start of school.  So much of the Capernwray experience is about getting to know the Lord Jesus better in community together in this beautiful setting, and we want that for as many as possible.

We realise, though, that not everyone may be able to make it here for the start of school because of Covid-19 travel issues. So it will be possible to start the course online if you can’t make it here in person by 19th September. Using the GSuite ‘Classroom’ platform we’re going to make lectures, assignments, support materials, small groups and one-to-one staff support available online for anyone facing an unavoidable delay in getting here. 

Could I do the whole of Capernwray Winter School online?

Our current plan is not to make the whole of Winter School available online.  The online lectures are a stop-gap measure to make it possible for us all to start the course at the same time, but we really do want to welcome you here in person as soon as possible.  Our hope is that within a few weeks of the start of term everyone will be here at the Hall, and at that point the online option will stop.  As we said before, the Capernwray experience works best when we’re physically on site together.

How would a delayed arrival affect the cost?

Course costs will naturally be less for the days you’re not here in person, and we’ll send you details of that separately if your arrival is likely to be delayed, plus details of how short-term online study will work.   

What will happen if there’s a coronavirus case at Capernwray during school?

Capernwray’s standards of hygiene and healthcare are excellent, and we have a very good relationship with the local healthcare centre. We’ll be doing everything possible to minimise any risk of the virus making an appearance.  But if it does, we’ll have a policy in place to manage the situation and offer the right care to anyone affected whilst also protecting the wider community, in full consultation with local medical services. 

So, if it’s not possible for me to get to Capernwray by 19th September, what are my options?

  1. Join the start of school online, studying with us from home as described above, and aim to come in person as soon as you can.
  2. Delay your studies completely until January and join us for Winter School Term 2, (4th January to 12th March 2021). Choosing this option will obviously mean that you miss all the Term 1 content.
  3. Delay a little longer and join us for Spring School 2021 (10th April to 9th June 2021).
  4. Do both 2 and 3 above: join us in January for Winter School Term 2 and then stay on for Spring School as well.  If you travel on a six-month short-term study visa that will be possible.
  5. Postpone for a year and apply for Winter School 2021-22.
  6. Cancel your application with us and consider attending a different Torchbearer School in your home country, or closer to it. There are 24 Torchbearer Centres around the world, and they are all excellent!  Check the Torchbearers International website for details.

What should I do next?

  • If you haven’t completed an application, please do so as soon as possible, and pay your deposit; without it your application can’t be processed. (For this year we’ve agreed that all deposits will be refunded if a student needs to cancel for any reason before term starts, so don’t worry, you will be able get your money back if you have to pull out at a later date, or if we cancel anything from this end.)
  • If you have already applied, please keep a close eye on your email, as we’ll use it to keep you updated on developments.  If you haven’t yet completed the Google Form you were sent by email, please do so asap.
  • We have created a facebook group for the potential students coming to Winter Bible School 20/21. It’s a great place for students to connect, ask questions and get to know other students who are planning on coming to Capernwray for Winter School. Once we’ve received your application, you’ll be invited to join it.

So, we really look forward to meeting you soon! If you have a friend or family member whose plans are now unclear, why not encourage them to join you at Capernwray? Start exploring those travel bookings as soon as possible, but do bear in mind that there’s still a possibility that school may need to be delayed or cancelled.

We are already praying for you and your loved ones, that ‘the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4: 7)  ‘So be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord!’  (Psalm 31: 24).

See you in September, God willing!

Derek Burnside

Bible School Principal

This news item was posted on 19 May 2020.

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