Hi! I’m Miriam, one of the Ministry Assistants (MAs) here at Capernwray this year. I first heard about the Serving and Leadership Training (SaLT) programme when I searched for a gap year in ministry, as I was looking for a placement year for my degree.

I reckon if you asked any of the 21 current MAs what an average day looks like, you’d get a different answer every time, but I think there’s something lovely about that. Apart from our weekly training sessions, we are spread across lots of departments and get the opportunity to work alongside different people, which has been so helpful in forming friendships with the wider staff body. I work mostly on the Housekeeping and Marketing teams, as well as in the Bookshop and Beehive (our wonderful cafe!) here and there. 

I have already learned so much during my time here, but the thing that has struck me the most is that the gospel really does unify God’s people. I have never lived or worked in an intercultural setting before, so seeing both staff and students come from across the world and form such a loving community from day one, despite their differences, is such a clear picture of God’s wider church to me. 

My expectations for the rest of this year are that I will be challenged and pushed out of my comfort zone lots, but that God will grow me through that, and that my friendships here will really strengthen and grow; the team of MAs is already really close which is so encouraging.

I have already learned so much during my time here, but the thing that has struck me the most is that the gospel really does unify God’s people.


My favourite part of the week is probably Whole Community Prayer. Every Thursday the whole staff and student body come together to pray and worship, and it really helps to put everything that week into perspective and to refocus on God.

I think the biggest challenge for me so far has been putting myself out there and intentionally making myself known to the students – there are lots of them and sometimes that can be overwhelming, but it makes it even more rewarding when you see meaningful connections forming!

The main way my time here so far has shaped my walk with Jesus is that it has really shifted my perspective on what working for God looks like. Before I came I had quite a clear idea of what I wanted my future career to look like, and I think I pinned a lot of hope and pressure on that. But here I have found it so freeing to learn how to work joyfully in any job you are given, and to work for the primary goal of helping to facilitate the teaching of the gospel.

Miriam Stobart

Miriam, originally from near Carlisle, studies Fine Art and Creative Writing at Lancaster University. As part of her placement, she is currently doing a gap year at Capernwray as a Ministry Assistant in our Serving and Leadership Training (SaLT) programme.

This news item was posted on 2 February 2024.

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