Preacher J. John & His Regret About Amy Winehouse - Hope 103.2

Preacher J. John & His Regret About Amy Winehouse

When Emma Mullings asked global preacher J. John what he last downloaded on itunes, his unexpected answer revealed much about his motivations.

By Clare BruceMonday 18 Apr 2016Hope MorningsGuests and ArtistsReading Time: 3 minutes

Listen: Emma Mullings chats to Reverend Canon J. John. Above: Canon J John speaking at C3 Silicon Valley. Picture: C3SV via Instagram

When Emma Mullings asked preacher J. John what album he last downloaded from itunes, his answer was as unexpected as the question.  

And it revealed a lot about what motivates the UK-based evangelist, who is visiting Australia this week for C3 church’s Presence Conference.

“Actually the last album I bought was [one by] Amy Winehouse,” the Reverend Canon J. John said, in an interview with the Hope 103.2 mornings presenter.

Winehouse, known for her musical genius as well as the drug and alcohol addictions that led to her tragic death in 2011, is an inspiration to John because he sees the marks of God’s creativity in her work.

“I saw the movie about her life and she was an incredibly gifted woman,” he said. “And who gifted her? It was God that gifted her.”

God’s Design In Every Human Soul

Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse in 2009. Photo: Neil Mockfor

His praise for the controversial singer reveals his kindness-and-grace centred theology, one that sees God’s design in all humanity—even in pop stars with very public flaws.

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John said he regretted missing an opportunity to meet Winehouse.

“I almost had an opportunity to meet her before she died,” he said. “And it never happened, and then she died. And I was gutted that I missed that opportunity.”

An evangelist by trade, who can’t help but talk to people about the things of God, John said he wishes that he could have had the chance to share God’s grace and love with her.

“I’m just sad that she didn’t experience something of God’s redemption,” he said. “It inspired me to not miss these opportunities to share what we know can change peoples’ lives.”

The Canon With A Mission

Canon J John preaching at C3 Church

Above: J. John preaching at C3 Church, Oxford Falls. Picture: C3 Church, via Instagram

John, who is a Reverend Canon in the Church of England at Coventry Cathedral, goes by the name J.John because it’s far easier for people to remember, say and spell than his Greek birth name—Iouannes Iouannon.

The Greek name translates to John John, which is also potentially confusing, and so he has adopted J.John as his public moniker.

His friends call him John. Other preachers call him, affectionately, ‘Canon’.

In their interview, Emma asked him for an explanation of the term ‘Canon’, a title of authority given by the Church of England, .

“The literal meaning means to be ‘a model’,” John said. “So it’s quite a challenge, that really I’ve got to live up to the fact that I’m a leader in the church, and that I not only speak the words I preach, but I live the words.”

John is the founder of the evangelical organisation Philo Trust and spends much of his time travelling the world speaking about the gospel of Jesus.

In Australia For Presence Conference

This week John is in Australia as a speaker at C3 Church’s annual Presence Conference.

He said he and his wife Killy love the conference, which he described as an opportunity to ‘marinade in the presence of God’.

“When you’re marinading in the presence of God, you are experiencing His peace and presence and power,” he said. “And from my own experience of being at the conference twice before, I don’t think you can go there and not have a faith lift.

“From the worship to the teaching to the fellowship, I think it infuses us with a little bit more faith, hope and love. And it inspires us to keep on keeping on.”