Hear from Manoj Raithatha who joined as our new board chair in October, taking over the role from Rev Dr Tani Omideyi, to whom we are so grateful for his outstanding leadership and service.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself — how did you find God?

When sharing my faith with others, I often say God found me’, as opposed to the other way around. I was raised a Hindu but as a teenager became fascinated by the message of the gospel as shared by my then school headmaster. However, it would be more than twenty years later when I would make a commitment to Christ, following the miraculous healing of my two-year-old son after friends prayed to Jesus. Seeing the manifestation of God’s power at work led me to church and to hear the gospel again, this time with fresh understanding.

What does Jesus mean to you?

Jesus means everything to me. In simple terms, there is no meaningful life apart from Christ. It simply doesn’t exist.

You’re a talented writer – what inspires you?

If truth be told, it is really my wife, Maria, who is better with words. I am more of an ideas person’ whereas Maria is able to express it on paper. Saying that, it is more than 15 years since we last wrote together!

What did you get up to during the pandemic?

Like most church leaders, my life was consumed with serving the needs of the congregation and community during the pandemic. It was a challenging time but it brought the church closer together in playing our part in regularly contributing to local foodbanks.

Tell us a bit about your passion for sharing food with friends and family.

I have already shared a little of my story of coming to faith. However, if I rewind a little, food played an instrumental role in drawing me to Christ. The couple who prayed to Jesus for my son’s healing had befriended us through an invitation to eat a meal at their house. Over the ensuing months we shared many a meal together and, as expected, conversation naturally turned to spiritual matters, to Christ! Jesus consistently ate with people and I am an advocate that as Christians we should do likewise in sharing fellowship over food with those not yet in the faith. 

You go back a long way with the Evangelical Alliance having served as South Asian Forum lead — how does our ministry inspire you?

Having worked for the Evangelical Alliance, I have seen its operation from the inside and it never ceases to inspire me because it comprises a talented and committed team who are deeply passionate about together making Jesus known. 

The Evangelical Alliance is passionate about strengthening the UK church. As a church leader yourself, what opportunities are you seeing in this season?

I concur with what Gavin Calver has been saying about the spiritual openness of many in this current season. We have an amazing opportunity to share our faith because in times of challenge people ask questions, and we as the church have the answer they are looking for, and His name is Jesus. 

Our board has such an important role – from making sure we remain legally compliant, to monitoring our ambitious strategic plan. How can members pray for you as you take on this role?

I greatly value prayer as I take on this role because I know that I can’t do it in my own strength. Please pray that God keeps me humble and faithful and that He grants me the wisdom required to effectively fulfil this role for His glory and His alone.


Check out our interview with outgoing board chair Rev Dr Tani Omideyi here.