Alumni Interview: John Watson

John Watson, 34, is a media and communications consultant, freelance writer, and musician who completed the Venn Internship (now Fellowship) in 2015. Here John answers a few of our questions about life in lockdown.

What is your work role and how has it changed/adapted given last Wednesday’s Lockdown?


I contract/consult in media and communications for faith-based organisations and individuals who share a similar vision for a flourishing society. Since Alert Level 4 was announced, I’ve been fairly busy. As with any crisis situation, communications is fast-paced and time-intensive, with risks and opportunities needing to be realised and acted upon fast.


Where are you living and with who/whom?


I live (and now work) in a flat in Onehunga with Holika Uhila, who I completed the Fellowship with, and Campbell Moore, who conveniently (or inconveniently–I’m still not sure which) is Marketing Manager for one of my clients, Christians Against Poverty.


What are you looking forward to during this period?


I’m looking forward to everything quieting down, at least somewhat. The pace of life I was living pre-lockdown was, well, silly. It meant I was often stressed and hardly ever able to just enjoy life. I’m now wondering, when and why did I ever think that was a good idea?

To pass the time, I’m looking forward to reading more of Andrew Shamy’s blog pieces and seeing his idiosyncratic humour on display. I’m hoping to send some of my poetry to John Fox. He says he gets sick of people asking him to read their poetry, but he assured me this wasn’t the case with mine. I’m also praying and hoping for a new move of God in our country during this time.


What are some of the challenges you’re anticipating or have already experienced?


Like a lot of people, maintaining boundaries, routines, and self-discipline will be a bit of a journey. Often I’ll begin the day with my routine in mind—and then I’ll stay up late on the news/social media. There’s also this tension between wanting to communicate concerns about our leadership and their response to this crisis, but also wanting to honour them and promote solidarity during this time. And finally, there’s always the question of whether I leave my Kiwisaver in Growth or switch to Conservative.


We’ve all got a bit more time on our hands, tell us about your favourite podcast, movie, and book, and why you like them



This Cultural Moment
John Mark Comer and Mark Sayers offer an insightful look at our cultural moment and the opportunities provided to the Church in failing secularism.


A River Runs Through It
This is a coming-of-age drama set in Montana that follows two sons of a Presbyterian minister, one studious and the other rebellious, as they grow up in the Rocky Mountain region during World War I through to the early days of the Great Depression. It’s a meaningful and “feel good” movie.


Iron John by Robert Bly
A book about men by the founder of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement. I found discovering common truths about men and the journey we go on, from boyhood to manhood, somehow deeply comforting.

Father Brown by G.K Chesterton
It’s like Sherlock Holmes, except the protagonist is a priest and full of fun political/ideological sass! I also love discovering beautiful old words that have fallen out of fashion, especially French ones like raison d’être and fait accompli (they’re also almost always in italics).