Meet Janet Thorp our new intern with Biblical Counselling UK
We are excited that Janet is joining the team here at St Andrew's and thought it would be helpful to ask Janet a few questions, so everybody could get to know her a little better.
Some people will already know your story but, for those who don’t, can you tell us a little of who you are and how you came to Christ?
My name is Janet Thorp. I live in Leyland with my husband Tom, 3 unnamed chickens and a fish called Derek.
I was born 37 years ago into a Christian family. We all attended the Chorley Gospel Hall. I became a follower of Jesus at a young age and was baptised at the age of 10 (with Rachel Green and Karen Ogden!). Youth and children’s work was a big focus of the church and wider Bretheren community and many of my most cherished memories involve some sort of youth or children’s event or holiday. What I most remember is the sense of family and belonging, and that even as a child I was of value. This wasn’t a result of the organised few but rather the combined small but frequent acts of the whole church family. There is an African proverb that says, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. Well, in my experience, it takes a church to raise a disciple and I am so very thankful to the church family who raised me through my childhood years.
My ‘testimony’ isn’t the story of how I came to Christ but rather how throughout my life God has been transforming and changing me through the power of his Spirit. I could pick out numerous significant moments that have had a transformative effect - I won’t or this article will never end! But I can say that those that have been most significant have nearly always been those that carried the deepest pain, the hardest struggle and the loneliest moments.
Why did you decide to get involved in biblical counselling, and how has the course helped you to grow as a Christian?
Over the years I have had the responsibility and privilege of being involved in a number of informal discipleship/pastoral conversations. I felt I often lacked the grace and humility to respond in a Christ-like manner. I had been investigating counselling courses for many years, but at the time these were not logistically feasible to attend. When I heard about the BCUK course in Liverpool I was excited, but nervous about stepping out of my comfort zone. However following a difficult few years during which I was increasingly convicted about my responses to struggles that I was facing, I embarked on the certificate course.
It was during my fourth module that everything hit home for me. I had submitted my final assignments and when the marking came back 2 things became clear. There was an arrogance in my paper that was painful for me to acknowledge and secondly, my tutor’s repeated questions of, ‘Where is the Spirit?’, ‘Where is the work of the Spirit in this?’ showed my tendency to rely on my own power and go forth in my own strength. That module was a turning point for me and as God humbled me, mercifully gently, and the Spirit worked in me, I have learnt to pray for humility, both before God and before others so that the Spirit might work both in me and through me for his glory.
What is a Biblical Counselling Intern and what will that look like at St Andrew’s?
A Biblical Counselling Intern is someone who works with their church in partnership with Biblical Counselling UK to develop the ministry of ‘one-anothering’ or pastoral care within their church family using a Biblical Counselling approach.
At present we are still developing what this will look like for us at St Andrew’s and there is much still to finalise. I will be joining the staff team and will be working for around 15 hours per week in this role. I will come under Duncan’s leadership and will be working closely with him to develop my role. The role will initially focus on ‘one-anothering’ within growth groups and pastoral care but there is scope for extending this to other areas of ministry in the future.
BCUK will provide mentoring support and training days for myself and the other first year interns.
How can we pray for you as you prepare for September?
I would love it if you could pray the words of this hymn for me.
May the mind of Christ, my Saviour,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.
May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.
May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.
May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.
You can read more about Biblical Counselling on their website -
You can also watch this video interview with Duncan and Janet about their new roles