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brian wickens

Managing Director

Brian’s personal connection with Capernwray began as a teenager in Northern Ireland, attending International Youth Weeks. This relationship developed and strengthened via the holiday programme over the subsequent years and culminated in his appointment as Managing Director in 2022.

Brian was previously Vice-President (Integration) at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare with a strong track record of strategic leadership and developing teams. 

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

Holiday Programme 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 adult children.

Julie Burrows

Administration and Communications Director

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. 

Julie now lives in Burton-in-Kendal, where her husband, Graham, is the Vicar. Julie is delighted to be serving at Capernwray, as Company Secretary and overseeing the administration and communication functions which support the Bible School, Holiday, and Events Programmes.


Finance and Operations Director

Mike manages the finances of Capernwray & plans 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.


Dean of Female 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.


Dean of Male 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.

Mel Hollaway

Student Studies Coordinator Assistant

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.


Bible School Admissions Officer

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

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 has previously worked with us as an assistant to our housekeeper, and our Holidays Administrator.



Holiday Programme Coordinator

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.


Holiday Bookings Administrator

Marie joined the Capernwray team in April 2023 and does the administration for the holiday bookings.  She has 16 years experience of Higher Education administration where she also gained a degree in Event Management. Marie has two grown up children and loves spending time with them when she can. She loves being outdoors in God’s creation and can often be found exploring countryside and climbing mountains.



IT and Health & Safety Manager

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.


IT and Health & Safety Assistant

James grew up in rural South Australia before attending Capernwray Australia as a student in 2019. That year he also joined the staff team there, before following the Lord’s calling to move to Capernwray Hall in 2022.

He has a heart for seeing young people grow in their relationships with Christ, but also how they can use their gifts and interests to help their church community. His role involves assisting Heather Tallents on the AV and Health & Safety departments.

fenella deehan

Volunteers & Finance Administrator

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.

Lydia Stones


Lydia lives in Lancaster with her husband Howie where they met as University students. In her spare time she likes reading, slacklining, crafting and searching charity shops.

At Capernwray Lydia works as a Receptionist two days a week in partnership with Sam, our other receptionist. So if you give us a call she may well be on the other side of the phone! The other three days of the working week, Lydia is a student worker at Moorlands Church in Lancaster.

Stephanie Schoenmann

Marketing & Design Manager

Stephanie left her home in Switzerland to study at Capernwray in 2020-21, after having previously worked in e-commerce. She joined the staff team in Spring 2022. In her free time she loves reading, creative writing and taking lots of pictures of sheep.

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.

Samara Earl

SaLT Programme Administrator

Samara lives in a local village with her family and pet dog.  She loves getting out into nature, being creative, singing and photography.  Samara has spent most of her working life in the charity sector and serves as a trustee for a development charity operating in Kenya. She has studied International Development and Environmental Studies and has a heart for social justice and sharing the love of Jesus for those living in severe poverty.

Samara joined the staff at Capernwray in 2022 for the new Ministry Assistant programme, an opportunity for emerging Christian leaders to develop their gifts through serving and supporting the Bible School and holiday programme.



Housekeeping Manager

Wendy is originally from the Northeast of England but has spent a large part of her life in Cambridge. She now lives on a small paddock with alpacas and hens.

Wendy previously worked in social work and health care, and has a heart for those who are marginalised. In her spare time she loves walking, scrambling, running, cycling and reading, coffee with friends 


Housekeeping Manager

Angela 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.



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.

Glendon McGowan


Glendon is originally from Toronto, Canada and is a chef on our catering team. Having heard about Torchbearers growing up, he felt the Lord’s leading to study God’s word in 2020, attending and working at Holsby – the Torchbearers in Sweden– for two years prior to coming to Capernwray. In this time, he grew to know what it means to experience and live in the reality of the indwelling life of Christ.

Glendon has also completed his BFA in Photographic Studies and now expands his artistic expression into the culinary world.

It brings him great joy to see students and guests from across the world grow to increasingly know and trust the Lord, the One who keeps us in perfect peace! (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Juliane Bernini

Dining Hall Manager

Juliane left Brazil three years ago after finishing her degree in public relations. She came to England on an exchange with a Christian holiday center in North Wales. Prompted by God to do something similar she volunteered for a further year at Capernwray. After then working in Oxford God brought her back to Capernwray to work as a permanent staff member in our Catering team.


dave carter

Building Projects 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 and Woodland 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 Manager

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 Manager

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!

Volunteer Roles

Liz Wickens

Beehive Manager

Penny Burnside

Bookshop Manager


Michael Thompson


Michael, though brought up in Yorkshire, spent his career as a solicitor in the city of London, advising clients on corporate tax matters.  He took time out in 1996 to attend Bible School and fell in love with Capernwray from then on.

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.

Helen Armbruster


Born and raised in Germany, Helen now lives in London where she is working in the public sector, after a number of years within UK charities. She has spent time as a holiday guest at Capernwray, and also had the joy of attending Winter Bible School in 2021-22.

Diane Moss


Diane had a first career in central government but now works as an independent consultant in educational governance.  With her husband she has been bringing and sending groups of young people to Capernwray from her church in Kent for many years.

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 Good News for Everyone.

Nicola firth


Nicola has a long and successful history in the Hospitality sector. She has a passion in managing people to see them grow in skills and confidence equipping them to succeed in their work and excel in customer service.

Noel Lavery


Noel and his family have had a long association with Capernwray and have enjoyed many holiday weeks here.  Noel is a chartered accountant. He was latterly a Permanent Secretary in the Northern Civil Service until his retirement in 2019.  He is actively involved in his local church and with a number of charities.

Jane Showell-Rogers


Jane has worked with young people and young adults (in Christian agencies, networks and churches in the UK and overseas, and as a magistrate), in event planning and team-building. More recently she’s been very involved with a network focusing on the disproportionate impact of persecution on women and girls in many parts of the world.


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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