Vale, Rex Chapman (2021)
The first thing one noticed about Rex Chapman when you met him was the expression “ a man's man”, a battler, as echoed by his supportive wife, Helen, and for that he will be remembered for a long, long time, particularly as we consider the prolonged struggle he had with health in the last year or two.
As a man who worked (hard) with his hands and never took short cuts Rex was a great asset to Kairos and as anyone who had the opportunity to work with him will appreciate he had a heart for others born out of his faith in the God he served with passion.
Rex first came on team in 2013 but it was soon obvious his heart for the men in green was deep and by 2018 he led his team at MNCCC with great results. All that time and until Covid struck he continued to support the men with the weekly Journey programme, impressing them with his down to earth approach to faith and his love of Jesus. His greatest asset was to make friends instantly...just one of the boys! If there was a need to be physical, Rex would usually put his hand up as when putting up or fixing fences...as his email address recorded, “rexthegate”!
He lived with a deep conviction that people needed help and encouragement. Old and young, good and bad and ugly. And being a man’s man, he fell with great comfort into countless mentoring, fathering roles, just being a ‘mate’ to blokes. It was a gift and a passion with Rex. It was his ‘Mission field! I can only hope that when I ‘Cut Out’ (as Rex would call finishing a fencing job), that I’ve stuck to the task which God has given me with such tenacity.
I love that he took Tuesdays off so that he and Helen could spend a whole day every week with his grandchildren, I could see from the contents of his prayers all those Wednesday mornings, that if something wasn’t right in his family, it was the priority in his prayer life, and frankly, I want to be more like that. I cherished our friendship, count the time I had with Rex as a privilege, and say with absolutely no hesitation, “Job well done my good brother”.