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Capernwray

The History of Capernwray

Background to Capernwray/Torchbearers

Capernwray New Zealand has it's roots in the UK. It was formed immediately after the Second World War as part of the broader movement for reconciliation between nations that had been at war.

Although clearly a Christian organization, the British government sponsored hundreds of German young people through the Summer camp programme which had just begun at Capernwray Hall a large property near the Lake District National Park.

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One requirement of the sponsorship programme was that the German young people be given one hour's lecture per day on the values and benefits of a democratic society. In addition to this, the staff at Capernwray gave Christian instruction and a whole range of sporting and social activities.

Many of these young people adopted the Christian message and returned to Germany with the desire to reproduce the same values and convictions among their friends and school-mates. They asked for training towards this and hence a short-term Bible school training programme began alongside the camps and conferences.

They formed a loose association and called themselves Fackeltrager (Torchbearers) hence our generic name which is now Torchbearers International. The ministry quickly spread in the 50's and 60's around Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific.

In New Zealand, a work began in the late 60's in Howick, Auckland with a mixture of holiday weeks and Bible training schools. This later moved to Henderson in 1981 and in 1995 to the current base at Monavale Homestead in Cambridge. The Bible training school aspect was registered as a Private Training Establishment with NZQA in 1990 with the course 'Bible Training and Preparation for Christian Service' being approved and Capernwray Bible School being accredited to offer it. With a shift to national registered qualifications in 2017, Capernwray is now independent from the NZ Ministry of Education and continues to offer its courses to both New Zealand and international students.

With it's international reputation and the attractiveness of New Zealand, the gap year Discipleship Course offered along with community based living facilities is a great way to understand the richness of living the Christian life in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are now over 25 different Torchbearers (Capernwray) centres around the world and at any one time there are approximately a thousand students going through the courses. We are excited to be a part of this growing and vibrant ministry that God has chosen to establish.

We trust He may direct you to experience it first-hand too.

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