5 minutes with Susannah Padiachy and Clover Todman

Clover Todman and Susannah Padiachy are leading the new Bath venue for our Certificate Course from September 2017. The other venues are London, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Susannah is married to Padi and has four children. She works for her local church St Barts, Bath, where she is involved in biblical counselling and pastoral care. Clover is married to Melissa, has two children, and serves as pastor at Widcombe Baptist Church, Bath.

How did you come across biblical counselling?
Susannah: Desperation! I’d worked for many years as a Christian counsellor with young people and families with backgrounds of trauma, bereavement and abuse. Although I was a Christian, I didn’t know how to combine my faith and my practice. The Certificate Course completely re-skilled me.

Clover: I was looking to undertake some further study and training to help in my pastoral ministry, particularly with those struggling with sin and suffering. A friend and elder at another church pointed me in the direction of the Certificate Course. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of Biblical Counselling UK but I realised I was familiar with the approach having read, and found enormously helpful, “When People are Big and God is Small” by Ed Welch a few years ago.

What were the “light-bulb” moments for you as a student?
Susannah: There were many! My tendencies towards people-pleasing and anxiety about my children had produced “thorns” of chronic proportions. The Dynamics of Biblical Change module is very personal and enabled me to see my sin and God’s sovereignty and grace rightly. It has radically changed the way I see and relate to God, myself and others.

How have you been using what you’ve learned since you finished the course?
Susannah: I apply what I’ve learned to myself all the time – and from there to others. It is the greatest joy imaginable to see people trusting God through times of suffering. I am constantly humbled and amazed to see God work redemptively through what would otherwise be desperately hard, hopeless situations. I have seen this impacting people of all ages and cultures, married and single, from mature Christians in ministry to non-believers whose experience of suffering leads them to find hope in God’s word.

You’ve studied the CCEF material as an online student. How has it impacted your ministry?
Clover: I soon realised how often I had simply been skimming the surface of what was going on – looking at sinful behaviours and responses without looking at the heart which produced them. I guess I find it more palatable to see my sin as the product of my circumstances or the actions of other people, rather than arising from the deceitfulness of my own heart. The CCEF courses have helped me to look at what’s really going on inside in a Biblical way that leads not to endless introspection or self-absorption, but to the Lord and his strength to change and grow. I’ve seen this first in myself but also in those I have the privilege of pastoring.

Why are you starting up a Certificate Course venue in Bath?
Susannah: Because the material is amazing, life changing! One of the best parts of studying for me was seeing and sharing that with a group of people with parallel experiences. We’re so excited to have the privilege of making both the material and group setting more widely accessible to people across the South West.

Who are you hoping will do the course?
Susannah: Absolutely anyone who loves the Lord and seeks to grow closer to him and others through his word.

What are you looking forward to about leading the course?
Clover: A chance to study the material again, especially within the group context. We have already had a great response from people who’ve applied to do the course in September, from a wide range of backgrounds. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Spirit will use and build relationships within this first Bath group.

For more information, go to our Certificate Course page. The closing date for applications is 10th July 2017.