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Our People

Capernwray has a board of trustees and is run by permanent staff members and temporary voluntary workers.


derek burnside

Bible School Principal

Derek has been Principal since autumn 2017. He is married to Penny. He enjoys cycling, squash, swimming and table-tennis, and supports Manchester City.

Derek has guest-lectured at Capernwray and other Torchbearers schools since 2001. He has previously been an RE teacher, a UCCF Staff Worker, and was for 22 years on the staff / leadership team of Belmont Chapel, Exeter.

dougie roy

Holidays and Events Manager

Dougie plans the holiday and conference programme. Coming on Capernwray’s Youth Weeks as a teenager himself he remembers the impact of hearing teaching about Jesus in a different place, through different people – and loves that these opportunities continue at the Hall for others.

His motor industry training included mechanics, management and sales. He attended Capernwray Bible School with a desire to understand and communicate his faith more clearly firstly to himself and then with others! A year as a volunteer followed his time as a student 94-96. He returned to Capernwray in 2003 after time spend in youth ministry and assisting adults with job hunting. He is married to Lisa and they have two teenage children.

julie burrows

Operations Manager

After studying Law at Oxford University, Julie worked for 18 years in London as a Solicitor and senior manager in various Government departments including Defence and Transport.  She left Westminster in order to teach her 3 children full-time at home. 

Julie now lives in Burton-in-Kendal, where her husband, Graham, is the Vicar. Having enjoyed getting to know the Capernwray students attached to the Burton and Holme churches over the last few years, Julie is delighted now to be serving at Capernwray, managing the operation of the central services which support the Bible School, Holiday Programme and Events.


Finance and Facilities Manager

Mike helps to manage the finances of Capernwray & plan some of the various projects that need undertaking. He enjoys getting out walking with his wife and 2 children, trying to be creative in the kitchen, swimming and playing board games with friends.

Mike grew up just a few miles away from Capernwray, before moving to Newcastle to study Economics and then Birmingham where he spent 10 years working in Finance for various companies. He is now back in a village near Capernwray and enjoying the beautiful scenery and absence of Spaghetti Junction.



Student Studies Coordinator

Kim oversees the students’ assignments, and lectures on the topics of Prayer, The Father Heart of God and World Religions. During the holidays she helps in various ways on the Guest team. She enjoys reading, pottering in the garden, going to tea shops, and being out in God’s creation.

Kim was a Bible School student in 1993/94, where her relationship with God grew and He put Capernwray’s ministry on her heart. After six years of work and study, she returned to work on staff in 2000.


Female Dean of Students

Hester’s role includes women’s pastoral care, netball coaching and Capernwray missions.

She first walked through the old front door of the Hall as a 10-year-old. Capernwray holidays have been significant for her walk with the Lord, both as a guest and volunteer.

Hester was a student at Portantorchas, the Torchbearer centre in Costa Rica, and also volunteered at Rio Vida in Spain. After graduating from Royal Holloway, University of London, she spent a year as an intern at Capernwray.


Male Dean of Students

Matty is responsible for taking care of the pastoral needs of the students, in particular the male students. In his spare time Matty loves to do anything that is sporty, and tries to play as much football as he can. He also loves to write lyrics and spoken word. 

Matty previously was a careers coach for a company called Positive Footprints and planted a church in Burnley called New Hope which was part of a wider charity called Burnley Pioneer Project.


Outreach Coordinator

Jemma looks after the Outreach opportunities for our students and is really passionate about equipping people to share the good news about Jesus in creative and imaginative ways.

She was a Bible School student in 2010/11 and helped pioneer a series of ministries in Burnley along with her husband Matt.


Admissions and Administration Officer

Kallie works as a part of the Bible School Team and enjoys the privilege of being a point of contact for past, current, and future students by working as the Admissions and Administration Officer. 

Kallie first left her home in northern Canada to attend as a student at Capernwray in 2020/21. She was delighted to join the Capernwray team as a member of staff for the following year and loves seeing God continually work in the lives of the students, guests, and fellow staff members.


Admissions and Administration Officer

Charlotte helps with the administration of our Bible School and serves as point of first contact for prospective students.

Charlotte is originally from Norway and was a Bible School student before volunteering as an intern and later joining us as a permanent member of staff.


Assistant Student Studies Coordinator

Mel works with the Bible School Team, helping Kim as the Assistant Student Studies Coordinator.  She enjoys supporting some of the students with their assignment work and marking assignments.  It is a joy to see the students growing in their knowledge of God and, primarily,  in their relationship with Him.

She grew up in Preston and has had a varied career – Church Administrator at CCF (Preston), support roles in schools and an FE college and has also taught ESOL for a number of years. Mel is married to Kevin.  They have two grown up children and two delightful grandchildren.  She enjoys spending time with family, walking, swimming and reading.



Ministry Assistant

Pascal’s role is about focusing on how to convey to young people the relevancy of the Bible and how it equips them to follow the Lord. Additionally, he supports Dougie in planning, running and overseeing the holidays, and staying connected to our guests and volunteers. Pascal enjoys growing out his beard, playing games and sports. In his free time, he also delights in baking and cooking for others or spending time with friends.

Pascal has been involved with Capernwray previously as a volunteer starting and student. He then completed a degree in Applied Theology, focusing on Youth and Community Work, with Moorlands Bible College, which he did as a placement-based student, heading up the youth work at a church in Sunderland.


Holidays Administrator

Jen was a student at Capernwray in 1994-95 since then she has trained as an outdoor Education Instructor, worked in Air Traffic Control in the RAF and also graduated from Moorlands Bible College with a degree in Applied Theology.

She and her son Jacob now live in the local area and after volunteering and working as assistant to our housekeeper Graih, Jen became our Holidays Administrator.


Matt Holderness

Marketing and Design Manager

Matt joined Capernwray after becoming a Christian later in his life. He has degrees in Marketing, Management and Theology and previously worked at Kendal College. He is responsible for the promotion of Capernwray and the communication of what we do.

Matt is married to Laura, has four children and lives in Kendal. In his spare time he loves to read books and drink coffee, which with four kids isn’t that often!


IT, AV and Health & Safety Coordinator

Heather first came to Capernwray as a teenager to the International Youth Weeks, where she first met the Lord and came to know Him personally. She has since returned as a volunteer on the Guest Team and as the IT Assistant, before joining the staff team in November 2018.

Before Capernwray, Heather graduated with a Chemistry degree from the University of Bristol and enjoys dancing, singing and drinking tea with friends.

fenella deehan

Administration Assistant

Fenella moved from the Isle of Man to Lancaster when her husband Des became Pastor of Father’s House Church. She has previously worked in banking for over twenty years and brings a wealth of experience to her role.

At Capernwray she assists with the administration of our finances and coordinates the recruitment of voluntary workers. In her spare time, Fenella loves spending time with her family and international travel, especially Italy.

sam lawson


Sam lives locally on a farm with her husband Dave, and they have three children together. In her spare time Sam likes to bake and go for a walk with the family dog.

Sam works on our reception desk and will likely be the first person you see when you walk through our door or speak to when you phone us. So it’s just as well that she loves greeting and helping visitors, holiday guests and students.


Graih Lewin

Housekeeping Manager

Graih helps keep the place clean and ready for the Lord to use, assisted by students, and volunteer staff during the holidays. She also looks after the health of students, staff and guests, and enjoys being creative when refurbishing rooms.

Graih has worked at Capernwray since 1984, after studying here in 82/83. She came from Barrow-in-Furness and has lived and worked in the Isle of Man, where her unusual first name comes from. She used to work in residential care with elderly people and children with physical and mental disabilities.


Assistant Housekeeper

Angela assists Graih in the general housekeeping of the Hall. She first came to Capernwray as a student in 1992-93 where she met her husband Paul. They have two grown-up daughters and live locally.

Angela likes spending her free time in the great outdoors especially cycling and walking the dog.

Sofi Barabaschi

Assistant Housekeeper

Sofi came for the first time as a volunteer to help out in the Kitchen/Dining Hall in 2015. Since then she has been a student, an intern and has helped managing the dining hall for a short while.
After spending a year abroad in Switzerland she decided to come back and join the housekeeping team as a full time assistant. She is originally from Rosario, Argentina and is married to Eric (one of our chefs). Sofi really enjoys getting to know people and has also a big passion for children. She also really enjoys running and playing netball.



Head Chef

Amy heads up our kitchen team and has been involved with the ministry of Capernwray for a number of years.


Senior Chef

Hazel is Scottish, and is one of Capernwray’s resident chefs. She loves baking sweet things.

She also enjoys being outdoors and capturing life’s fleeting moments (landscapes and portraits) using her digital camera or old box Brownie with a rare 127 film. She has a BA in photography.



Eric has been one of our chefs for a number of years and is married to Sofi, one of our Housekeeping Assistants.

dimona bucher

Dining Hall and Beehive Supervisor

Dimona is responsible for the volunteers that work in the Dining Hall and helps alongside them to serve the guests and students that come to enjoy Capernwray. She also takes care of the Beehive, the on-site coffee shop.

After being a student at Capernwray herself in 2019/20, and staying on to be an intern, Dimona made the decision to join as a permanent staff member, leaving her hometown in Switzerland and her job as a social worker. The way different people from such a huge variety of different backgrounds work together as a team to encourage others in their walk with God is something she admires about Capernwray and is excited to be a part of. 

Naemi Ellershaw

Dining Hall and Beehive Supervisor

Naemi leads a team of volunteers serving guests and students in the Dining Hall and the Beehive, the on-site coffee shop. She also loves going for walks, spending time with friends and listening to anything (or anyone) musical.

Naemi left her home in Germany in 2015 to study at Capernwray, and stayed on as a volunteer. Before coming to England she met God in a new way. In a dark place, she found life, joy and freedom in Jesus, and loves seeing others find the same.


dave carter

Buildings and Maintenance Manager

Dave heads up our building and maintenance team. He studied at the Torchbearer centre on Thetis Island, Canada, before joining Capernwray as a full time member of staff.

paul massey

Estates Manager

Paul was a volunteer during Bible School before returning later to join the staff team. He looks after the estates and grounds around Capernwray.

matt burden

Maintenance Coordinator

Matt coordinates our maintenance work, having previously worked in a similar role at the Abernethy Centre in Scotland, and before that as Deputy Manager of the Westbrook Centre on the Isle of Wight.

He currently lives on site with his family and in his spare time he likes to spend time with them, and also listening to music.

dino moncado

Maintenance Assistant

Dino joined Capernwray in 2008 intending to come for just one year and he’s still here now. Previous to coming to Capernwray Dino used to work in engineering as a fitter, then on the Bolton Market selling cooked meats.

Dino is now working as an assistant in the Maintenance Team and also helps out by driving guests and students.In his spare time he loves to draw, going for a walk and enjoying an occasional espresso!



Sports Coordinator

Stephen is responsible for running and overseeing the sports programme at Capernwray. He grew up in the area and currently lives on-site. He has a degree in Modern Languages (Spanish & French) and Business from Newcastle University. He loves sport, especially football and table tennis. He also loves listening to music and dancing.


Sports and Estate Assistant

James splits his time between the sports team and grounds work. In the previous few years, James had been running his own gardening business with his Dad but found a strong and clear call to join the team at Capernwray.

James grew up nearby in Preston knowing about Capernwray through his Church, Crown Lane Free Methodist Church, and through SportsReach, an organisation he is still heavily involved in. James loves football and plays as much as he can, managing teams in the SportsReach 5 a side and 11 a side leagues. And if not playing football, he will most likely be watching it!


Michael Thompson

Chair of Trustees

Michael is a former Bible School student and a recently retired tax lawyer who founded and headed up the London Tax Group. He specialised in Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions. His Masters Degree is in Classics and Law. 

alan wadsworth


Alan is the Pastor of Caton Baptist Church where he regularly receives our students on outreach placements. He has worked in a number of roles within churches, Christian organisations including Scripture Union, and has a Masters Degree in Theology.

neil wrigley


Neil is a regular holiday guest and joined the Board in the 1990’s while running his own business as an Independent Financial Advisor. He is now retired but still actively involved as a member of the Gideons.

seidel abEL boanerges


Seidel previously worked as Outreach Coordinator at Capernwray. He currently teaches practical theology subjects at Spurgeon’s College, London where he is the Dean of Ministerial Formation.


terry morrison

Regional Representative

Terry worked in the public sector for many years. He has been involved in Christian youthwork and cross-community programmes inlcuding a long relationship with Capernwray. He is married to Mary and together they have children and grandchildren. Terry enjoys meeting people and encouraging others in their Christian faith.

mary morrison

Regional Representative

Mary also worked for many years in the public sector and she has a passion for inspiring young people and families in their faith, particularly in connection with the ministry of Capernwray. Mary loves meeting and encouraging other people; together with travel, especially to Thailand, the home of their adopted son.

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