Capernwray logo
Back to ‘About’

Our Staff

Capernwray is run by a mixture of paid staff members and temporary volunteers. 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 was asked stayed on 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.

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.

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.

Amanda Robottom

Holidays Secretary

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.

Graih Lewin


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.

Jen Rundle

Assistant Housekeeper

Jen was a student at Capernwray in 1994-95 since when 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.

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!

Hazel Edmunds


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.

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.

Johannes Kohlepp

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.

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!

Map and directions
Subscribe to a weekly email with devotionals, news and offersWe won’t spam you or sell your details.  Privacy Policy