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Developing leaders in the Way of Jesus

We believe God has a calling on each of our lives, which is sometimes lost, confused or distorted.

Why not go on an adventure with Jesus? Our vision to love Jesus, love Church, love people and love Crawley means we have the privilege of seeing God move in amazing ways in this town and would love for you to join us on this adventure.

Throughout the gospels, you see Jesus come alongside so many different people saying ‘follow me, learn my ways’.  You'll learn more about who you are, who God is and what He’s calling you into. You will be stretched, challenged and encouraged and will grow as you walk in the way of Jesus by being with Jesus, becoming like Jesus and doing what Jesus did.

This is an opportunity for anyone, no matter your age or background, who wants to spend an exciting and stretching one or two years serving God in a growing church. 

Character School starts September 2023.  More information about how to apply coming soon. 

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When there are so many church apprenticeships, why would you come to Crawley? We think we have the answer. Something new is happening in this ever increasing town of 120,000 as we start a journey with two new church plants, where you will play your part in leading, shaping and bringing transformation to these new communities. Crawley is close to Gatwick and 30 minutes from both London and Brighton. Steve and Liz, the leaders of St John’s, have a grace-rich story of God’s transformation and would love to see emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds and all ages coming to Crawley, being inspired by the Holy Spirit and experiencing the power of God’s transformation in their lives.


In a world where so many leaders fail, character matters. Our character is defined by “what you do when no-one’s watching”. The church needs leaders of character, if you want to be in leadership and stay the course, working on your character is essential.



You will be part of a close-knit, fun team, where you will be supported, inspired and challenged to play your part and to cheer others on. Your spiritual gifts will be encouraged and character will be refined, and together they will be released for the benefit of the whole church community.



You will be mentored in an area of ministry within the church, where you will be able to lead having developed resilient and adaptable skills.



We are hosting sessions facilitated by YWAM, Leadership College London and Worth Abbey that will help you discern your calling into whatever sphere of influence God sees you working in to bring His kingdom.



Tuesdays and Wednesdays we will spend time discovering the nature of God, awareness of who we are, and our role in His kingdom, through classroom sessions and formational input. The sessions are run by inspiring leaders and teachers who have experienced the highs and lows of leadership.


We believe that formation always happens, either intentionally or unintentionally. We want to intentionally partner with the Holy Spirit to be formed through Jesus’ teaching and real community, building a rhythm of life that will sustain and grow you.


You will have opportunities to put theory into practise by serving on teams in a wide range of contexts and ministries. This will stretch you by giving you real life experiences under the support and encouragement of the team.


An important aspect of character development is creating a team behind you to support, encourage and expose areas that need transforming. We have experienced mentors who are so excited to help you on your journey and will meet with you regularly.


Can I work while doing Character School?

Yes - Character School is designed to allow you to work if you need or want to, but we would encourage you to have some time to build relationships in the wider church community.


How much does it cost?

The cost per year is £800 GBP. The cost covers all teaching and content plus two Character School retreats


What is the deadline for applying?

The last date for applying is in August 2023. If you’re an international applicant, please ensure you leave plenty of time for Visa’s to process.


Where is Character School based?

Character School is based at St Johns Crawley and it's partner churches in Crawley, St Peter's and St Richard's.


Do you offer bursaries?

We never want money to be the reason someone doesn't apply! We have bursaries available for anyone in need of extra financial support. To apply, just tick the box in the application form and one of our team will be in touch.


Is there an age limit?

No, we recognise character is something we are always working on and would welcome any age to apply.


Do you provide accommodation?

We do not provide any accommodation as part of the course but please get in touch if you would like any advice on finding a place.


What days will Character School run?

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Wednesday evenings and Sundays, term time only, starting September 2023.


What happens after the first year?

You may be asked to stay on for year 2. Those of you under the second year are likely to be those who show a clear gifting in leadership and an ability to carry significant responsibility in serving existing churches and new church plants. 


What our past apprentices say about Character School

The true growth has been and is still being done in my heart and character. It's been so painful yet  joyful. At one point I even wanted to quit because it felt like too much happening, but i thank God i stayed because it felt like I stepped over the threshold that started the real training, I’ve also enjoyed our theology sessions. My highlight was the opportunity to preach for the first time at St Johns and attending CRT Assemble together.

Being an apprentice at St. John’s made such a positive change in my life, it challenged me, put me out of my comfort zone and I grew in both confidence and faith over the year. A highlight would definitely be meeting new people and making some great friends.

Meet the Character School Leadership Team