An Interview with Tex Chettiar
Today’s blog concludes the short series introducing you to some of the people who’ve recently joined our staff team. It's a chance for us to learn a little bit about them and hear about their hopes for our current Undivided series. Today I’d like you to meet Tex Chettiar, who joined the team in September as a Pastor on our Catford site. Among other things, Tex will be overseeing our youth work.
Tex, first of all, can you tell us a bit about your background, education and work experience?
I’m Tex, I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. I then moved to Reading in 2014, at the age of 20, after the South African Airforce cut my pilot training programme due to budget cuts. During 2014 and after a few more up, downs and doors closing, I was offered to do an Impact year in October of 2014 for our church in Reading. After the impact year, I came on staff fulltime to continue to lead the youth work and other areas within church life. During my time in Reading, I also met my wife, Emma, and we have been married since October 2017.
How long have you been at King’s, and in what capacity do you serve?
I was on staff for eight years at Reading. In January 2022, an opportunity arose for me to come onto staff here at King’s as a pastor at the Catford site, as well as overseeing the youth work across the church. After some great conversations and after visiting King’s, Emma and I felt that this would be an exciting next chapter for us, and we then moved to London in August. I have been on the team since September this year.
What do you like about King’s?
When we visited King’s there were two key aspects that really drew us in and that excited us about moving to London. The first was how diverse King’s was – particularly in age and ethnicity. This diversity was not only seen in the congregation, but on the serving teams and leadership at each site. It felt as if each site’s serving teams and leadership represented the people it gathered and the community it was in. The second thing we love about King’s is its dedication to raising the next generation of leaders. I have been in many conversations that have shown how deeply the SLT here care about raising up and developing the next generation of diverse leaders to lead the church.
What are your hopes for our current series around the issue of diversity?
As we continue this series, my hope for us as a church is that we would all grow in understanding how the entire body (the global church) can contribute to the way in which we love God and worship him in our context. I think this would look like us being aware of who we listen to, who we read and who we let influence how we do church. I would love to see us not have a Eurocentric or Western centric way of doing church, but instead have a way of doing church that allows all people to feel welcome and not necessarily feel like they have to assimilate to a white western way of church in order to belong. When we look at where the number of Christians are predominately in the world we see that the majority of Christians are no longer in the north, but are now in the south. This shift shows us that the global south seems to be doing something well in terms of discipleship as well as mission. We need to understand that there is much to learn from them. We need to lean into the writings, podcasts and theologians from these regions, in order to help us love God and love one another. This is especially important for those of us who live in London, which gathers many nations in our city. We want to be a church that is not only wide, but also deep in its ability to serve this diverse city, and this will come from leaning both into the west and the rest of the world, combining and using the best of all cultures.
Thank you Tex, and to all those who've taken the time to share their stories with us. I really hope you have enjoyed getting to know some of our staff a little bit more, and if you missed any of this series of blogs, or any of the similar series I ran earlier in the year, you can catch up with them all here.
Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone on the King’s staff team and also to the many amazing volunteers who serve this church family so faithfully. Thank you.