The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norfolk teacher gives up job for church training

A young Norfolk teacher is preparing to give up her job and has sold many of her possessions to spend a year in Christian leadership training with Soul Survivor church. Keith Morris reports.

SophieUnderwoodSophie Underwood, aged 23, will from November be undertaking a gap year called Soul61 with Soul Survivor church in Watford, including Bible teaching, community work and overseas mission and she is organising a fund-raising night in Diss on October 27 to help pay for it.
"This gap year trains young people up as leaders and gives them some fantastic opportunities to go to other parts of the world on mission trips,” said Sophie. "To do this year I am giving up my job and selling most of my things in order to fund it as it is more money than I would have raised in a year.”
Sophie lives near the Norfolk/Suffolk border and worships at the DC3 church in Diss.

During the summer she went to the Soul Survivor camp in Shepton Mallet, helping to lead her sister's youth group. She saw the gap year being advertised, but found the cut-off age was 24 and it would cost about two years’ wages.
"I came home disheartened,” said Sophie. "But the more I spoke to people about it and the more I prayed about it, the more I felt that it was the right thing to do. So within two weeks of going to the camp I had applied to the course and got an interview.”
The leadership course consists of two days a week of Bible teaching, plus at least two days a week serving the church and local community when Sophie will be doing children's work.
In the spring there is the opportunity of going to New Zealand to help run a camp for young people. There will also be UK-based mission throughout the year and the gap year will end in August after completing four weeks of summer festivals which will involve over 30,000 young Christians.
”I wanted to do this course to challenge myself,” said Sophie. "I wanted to deepen my faith and my relationship with God and to experience lots of new things. I want to make new friends and meet people that I would never have met had I stayed at home. Although I am very nervous about his year and what it has to offer I am excited to see and feel the change in myself and get to know God better.”
In order to raise money to pay my rent and food, Sophie is holding a pudding party and auction of promises evening at my church, DC3 in Diss on Saturday October 27, at 7.30 pm. Tickets are £3 per person which includes a pudding and a complementary glass of wine.
Sophie said: "Please come along and help me raise money for this life-changing experience.”
For tickets please email Sophie at

For more information on the course visit

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