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Update: Winter Bible School 2020/21

All accepted students should have received an email 30th July with the latest update and action required. If this is you, please make sure you check your inbox as soon as possible.

Hi everyone, and warm greetings from Capernwray Hall!

We thought it was time for a quick update for all those hoping to join us for Winter School 2020-21.  Please take the time to read the following carefully.  Some of it hasn’t changed from the previous note, but there is now some important new detail…

Will Capernwray be open for Winter School 2020-21?

Our strong hope and intention is still that Capernwray Hall Winter Bible School 2020-21 will run as scheduled, from Saturday 19th September 2020 to Friday 12th March 2021. We’re still waiting for some  UK government guidelines specific to organisations like ours, but as far as we can tell at the moment we’ll be open as planned.  If we do need to cancel some or all of it we’ll let you know as soon as that decision is made and certainly by 3rd August,  but we very much hope that won’t happen!

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

Possibly, depending on which country you’re coming in from.  We obviously don’t know yet which countries it will apply to come mid-September.  (The UK government website with the updated list of countries not requiring quarantine is here. That list is likely to change before September.)  We are planning to make it possible for any students who do need to quarantine to do it here at Capernwray at the same time as starting your studies.  When we’re clearer on who will need to quarantine and what it will look like we’ll let you know, and will do that by 3rd August, using whatever government guidelines are available at that time.  It will be vital that all the students who have to quarantine follow the regulations exactly;  to fail to do so would be to break the UK law, and would mean a quick return-trip home, which nobody wants.  But as we say, we’ll send more details through as soon as we have them. 

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’ll be doing everything possible to make Capernwray ‘Covid-secure’ – minimising any risk of the virus making an appearance.  But if it does, we 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 the medical authorities.  We’ll give you more details about what that would look like when we send you more information in early August.

Will I need travel and medical insurance?
Yes. All students who are not UK citizens will need valid private travel (including medical) insurance.  You may be asked to show evidence you have it as you enter the country.

Anything else I should be planning to definitely bring?
It will be vital that every student comes with a wi-fi-enabled device. (We recommend a laptop. Some tablets have proven to be less reliable on the GSuite Classroom software we use for setting and submitting assignments.  You’re going to be using it a lot, so just a phone won’t be enough).  In August we’ll issue a full list of other things to bring, but that’s a must.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Delay a little longer and join us for Spring School 2021 (10th April to 9th June 2021).
  • 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.
  • Postpone for a year and apply for Winter School 2021-22.
  • 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?

Please keep a close eye on your email, as we’ll use it to keep you updated on developments.  

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! 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 continue to pray 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 8 July 2020.

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