St Thomas' Gap Year Programme

Welcome to the St Thomas’ Gap Year Programme! We’re really excited to host you and are praying the Lord blesses your time with us: that it would be a time of growth and encouragement for you and for us (Romans 1:11–12).

The St Thomas’ Gap Year Programme is for school and university leavers to grow in their faith, serve Jesus in a church context and experience life in Australia.

The St Thomas’ Gap Year Programme aims to…

Mature gap year students in their faith as they step into a more-independent phase of life, and to provide an opportunity away from the ‘hometown’ for students to grow in their understanding of their secure identity in Jesus and how that shapes all of life.

Provide students with training and experience in different kinds of word ministry (e.g. Cornhill, SRE teaching, 1-1 Bible reading, Bible talks, etc.) in order to equip them for a lifetime of serving Jesus (whether as church members or paid church workers).

Develop more connections between Bible-believing churches in Australia and the UK. These connections have proved so valuable in the past as pastors have sharpened one another and congregation members have welcomed each other on both sides of the world. We want to see this continue into the next generation.

Long term, we would love to see:


  • Many students sent between Australia and the UK each year.

  • Students further grounded in the faith and equipped for a lifetime of ministry (whether paid or unpaid).

  • Students returning to study at Moore College and doing student ministry at St Thomas’.

  • Students welcoming people they met in Australia to their churches when they return to the UK (and vice-versa for Australian students).

  • Host families blessed, especially as younger family members look up to gap year students as role models while they host them, and for years to come.

What's Involved

The program starts in mid-January and runs for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 12 months. Host families provide a place to stay, three meals a day and a caring family that is interested in your growth.


You’ll volunteer two days a week at church, helping with things like children’s ministries, youth ministries, 1-1 Bible reading and teaching Scripture in local schools (you’ll receive training for all of these).


You will also:

  • Be involved in the regular life of the church, including Sunday gatherings and Wednesday night discipleship groups.
  • Attend Cornhill Sydney for one day a week during term time. Course fees are paid for by a generous donor.
  • Be assigned a pastoral carer from the church staff team who will regularly meet with you to read the Bible, pray and check-in on how you are going.
  • Find casual employment outside the church for up to two days a week – to help with your finances, as well as make more connections with people outside the church in Sydney.

Further questions and contact information

We expect you’ll have lots of questions! The FAQs below might assist in providing some of the answers or please send an email to the program coordinator if you need any further information.

The application consists of three steps:

  1. Fill out the Cornhill application and upload it here, as well as a short CV (that you would use to apply for a job) and an introductory letter (that you think would introduce you well to host families). There is no need to send your Cornhill application to Cornhill yet, but you will need to if you are accepted to the programme.
  2. A Zoom interview with the program coordinator.
  3. A Zoom interview with our rector and a parent representing the host families.

If (1)-(3) all go well, we will seek out suitable host families to place you with. Once they’re locked in, we’ll give you the green light that we’re ready to go ahead and you can book your flights and everything else you need!

Between the host families and a generous donor, you will be provided with accommodation, three home meals a day and the Cornhill training fees. You will need to cover everything else, i.e., flights, visas, any insurance, mobile phone, laptop, things like eating out, public transport, recreation, etc. As a guide, previous students have spent around A$500-800 per month (~£250-400). This can be mostly (or even completely) offset by money you earn from your casual job in Australia. In addition, if possible, we ask that students (or their families) donate A$2,000 (~ £1,000) to St Thomas’ to help cover the administrative costs of the Gap Year Programme. We say ‘if possible’ because we don’t want this to be a deal-breaker if it’s not possible. But it would be a great help.

Yes! We encourage students to get a casual job while they are in Australia. There are many benefits to this:


  • You earn some money to help pay for your time here.
  • You learn responsibility.
  • You get to know other people in the community.
  • It provides an opportunity for Christian witness.


We recommend you work around 1-1.5 days per week (7.5-10 hrs). It is important that you are ready to look for work soon after arriving in Australia because you are more likely to be hired for six months of work than if you delay too long and you can only offer to work for four months.

If you send us your resume, we can forward it to our contacts at local schools to see if you might land a job before you arrive (no promises or guarantees though). Make sure you let us know what kind work you might be interested in at a school (e.g. sport coaching, academic tutoring, supporting students with learning difficulties or disabilities, after-school care etc.)

That’s great! It’s a beautiful country! You are very welcome to travel during NSW school holiday times (so that you’re not away when the children’s and youth ministries are on). Just make sure you communicate early with the program director and your host families.

St Thomas' is a thriving Anglican church in North Sydney with around 500 adult members (and around 120 children / youth). We have a rich heritage of faithful Bible teaching thanks to the 30 years’ of ministry of Simon Manchester as our rector. We are seeking to continue and grow that heritage under the leadership of our new rector, Micky Mantle. Both Simon and Micky served as curates at St Helen’s Bishopsgate in London and we would like our connection with biblically-faithful English churches to continue.

Applications close on 31 July of the year before your gap year programme. Late applications may be considered but please email the programme coordinator to check.