21 June 2023

Radical for Jesus: Why take a Salvation Army gap year?

Photo shows people connected to the Addlestone Corps gap year holding a sign that reads: 'Addlestone' and is surrounded by music instruments, a tomb, a flam, a cross and a rainbow.

Major Ian Loxley introduces the Addlestone gap year programme and two interns share their experiences.

‘There is a pressing need to equip, empower and release young people to become leaders within The Salvation Army,’ explains Addlestone Corps Officer Major Ian Loxley. ‘Addlestone Corps has responded to this by offering three young people the opportunity to spend a gap year – starting each September – doing something radical for Jesus, which will develop their skills, understanding and personal reliance on God.’

Photo shows Amy Bayliss-Fox.

Amy Bayliss-Fox

Gap Year Intern (2021–2022)

During my time at Addlestone, I learnt so much about myself and who God has called me to be.

The gap year opportunity came up just as I was coming to the end of my time at university and trying to figure out where I was going to go next. I prayed a lot about it and God provided. The gap year poster was shared in a group chat, and I went for it!

I didn’t feel ready and I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of it, but I knew that God wanted me to dive in headfirst. We got stuck into corps life and no two days were ever the same. I got to meet and journey alongside so many different people from all walks of life, supporting them physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Alongside the practical stuff of making sure the hall was tidy and ready for the next activity, there were opportunities for leadership at school assemblies, Bible studies, morning prayers, youth club, Cameo, youth church and Sunday meetings. We explored what spiritual leadership looks like and I believe that this gap year has been so formative for me personally, as I explored God’s calling on my future.

I have become more open to the wonder-working power of God and would encourage anyone who wants to know more about how they could better serve God to explore an opportunity such as the Addlestone gap year!

Photo shows people connected to the Addlestone Corps gap year cooking.
Photo shows Beverley Revell.

Beverley Revell

Gap Year Intern (2021–2022)

Discovering the gap year at Addlestone was an answer to many prayers. I can safely say that the year changed my life! I grew in my confidence with people, I made friends for life, and my relationship with God developed.

I had many opportunities to go to events, such as the Riverbank Women’s Conference, the Growing Leaders course, Preparing to Preach and Design for Life. I visited places such as Faith House – where I saw the work that they do supporting exploited women – Forest of Dean Corps and historical Salvation Army sites in London.

I was challenged with tasks I’d never done before. I became the Cameo co-ordinator and I led Bible study sessions and was responsible for organising a children’s half-term holiday club. I occasionally worked in the charity shop, and I loved it! These roles helped me develop leadership skills and become confident in decision-making.

I also did an Old Testament Bible study course, which helped my knowledge about the Bible grow. My relationship with God was strengthened through spending time praying and reading my Bible.

It was my first time living away from home, and I couldn’t have asked for better flatmates! We got along really well and had so many laughs working together. I’ve made memories I will cherish for ever.

This is one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I highly recommend it!

Sign up today!

Are you thinking about doing a gap year? Find out more about Addlestone’s tailored programme and training opportunities!

Email addlestone@salvationarmy.org.uk

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