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Our Staff

Capernwray is run by a mixture of paid staff members and temporary voluntary workers. We couldn’t do what we do without both.

Jonathan Halsey

Managing Director

Jonathan is responsible for the running of Capernwray, and is very thankful for the great team! He is married to a wonderful, supportive wife, Claire, and they have 3 children – Joah, Leah and Hannah. In his spare time he loves to go for a run or head for the mountains, whatever the season and weather.

Jonathan’s previous role was as Principal for Tauernhof Bible School in Austria. Before that he was a Commercial Lawyer – first for an international law firm in London, then for Red Bull in Salzburg (having studied German and French at Bristol University).

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.

Ian Ellershaw

Dean of Students

Ian studied at Capernwray Bible School in 2005, where the teaching and community made it a significant year in his life. He stayed on first as an RA and then as Dean of Students after that.

Ian was born and brought up on a small sheep farm in North Yorkshire; shepherding has always been a passion of his. He and his family attended a small Methodist church which was a huge blessing to them, with support and opportunities to serve. He went to university in Lancaster.

Dougie Roy

Holidays and Events Manager

Dougie plans the year’s holiday and conference programme, which he has been doing since 2003. He is married to Lisa, who he met in Australia, and they have two children, born while living at Capernwray. He enjoys tinkering with motorbikes and gardening, as well as family holidays to Australia, Italy or Scotland.

Dougie came on Capernwray’s Youth Weeks as a teenager, made friends, and was impacted by teaching about Jesus on the Cross. He taught car mechanics in Glasgow, worked in the motor industry, co-ordinated youth work at a church in Perth, Australia, and delivered a course to help people find employment. But he most enjoyed organising youth camps. He studied at the Bible School in 1994/95, and volunteered here for a year after that.

Debbie Atkinson

Head of H.R. and Compliance

Debbie joined the Capernwray team having first visited more than four decades ago as a teenager. Capernwray has played an important part in her journey of faith through the years including being a Winter School student.

Debbie’s background in the statutory and voluntary sector, provides her with a wealth of experience to draw on and her desire is to support and enable the staff team, permanent and voluntary, who work so hard to serve students and guests year-round.

Mike Gregory

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.

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.


Graih Lewin

Housekeeper

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.

Hester Martin

Assistant 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.

Kim Lee

Student Studies Co-ordinator

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.

Danny Wilson

Head Chef

Danny has been with his family at Capernwray since 2014. He is married to Caitlin, whom he met at a different Torchbearer centre, Mona Vale Homestead in New Zealand. They have two daughters, Gracie and Eliza, and a dog called Cooper.

Danny didn’t know the Lord until after going to Mona Vale, where he worked as a kitchen intern, developing a desire and knowledge of cooking as well as being transformed by God!

Amanda Robottom

Holidays Administrator

Amanda answers queries, processes holiday bookings, arranges rooms and tries to keep guests comfortable and happy. She enjoys tea, baking, visiting friends, games, crochet and swimming.
 
Amanda grew up in Leeds, and studied Nursery Nursing and Youth and Community Work at university, as well as going on the Capernwray Bible School.

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 little 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 now engaged 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.

Jen Rundle

Assistant Housekeeper

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 recently graduated from Moorlands Bible College with a degree in Applied Theology.

She and her son Jacob have recently moved to the area and after volunteering as assistant to our housekeeper Graih, Jen was asked to join the full-time staff.

Hazel Edmunds

Chef

Hazel is Scottish, and is one of Capernwray’s resident chefs. She loves baking sweet things (which Jonathan sometimes pops in and pinches fresh from the oven!).

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.

Naemi Ellershaw

Dining Hall and Beehive Supervisor

Naemi leads a team of volunteers serving guests and students in the Dining Hall and 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.

Heather Tallents

IT/AV Software Co-ordinator

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.

Stephen Baxendale

Sports Assistant

Stephen is a part of the sports team here at Capernwray Hall. He grew up in the area and currently lives in Kendal. He has a degree in Modern Languages (Spanish & French) & Business from Newcastle University. He loves sport, especially football and table tennis.

Johannes Kohlhepp

Projects and Maintenance Assistant

Johannes Kohlhepp and his wife Linsi have come to us from Germany along with their two delightful children, Luke and Lilly. Johannes previously volunteered at Capernwray in 2003 and 2009, and in between brought groups of young people to the International Youth Weeks.

In 2009 he met Linsi, who is from Colorado, USA and was at Capernwray as a student. Johannes worked as an engineer in Germany and has come to work alongside Dave Carter in the Projects and Maintenance Team.

Matty Wraight

Outreach Co-ordinator

I am responsible for setting up and running outreach opportunities for the students as well as being part of the sports team. I am married to my best friend Jem who I also get to do a job share with in the outreach role. We have a boy called Ezra who is 2 years old. When I get spare time I love to do anything that is sporty, and try to play as much football as my wife lets me. I also love to write lyrics and spoken word. 

I previously was a careers coach full time for a company called Positive Footprints and me and Jem planted and pastored a church in Burnley called New Hope Church which is part of a wider charity we set up called Burnley Pioneer Project.

Mel Holloway

Assistant Student Studies Co-ordinator

Mel assists Kim Lee with the administration of the Bible School Studies programme and helps with the marking and verifying of students’ assignments. She enjoys walking, swimming, reading and ‘posh’ camping.

Mel has previously worked as a Church Administrator, a Special Needs Support Assistant and enjoyed teaching ESOL for a  number of years.

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.

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!

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