24 August 2023

‘I endeavour to show God to everyone I encounter’

Jono Tonks

A photo shows Jono Tonks.

Jono Tonks (Liverpool Walton) explains how he tries to live a life of faith in word and deed.

I grew up on the Isle of Man and attended The Salvation Army from birth. My family are all Salvationists and, as I imagine was the case for many youngsters, I attended weekly, following a traditional 90s-child-in-The-Salvation-Army route.

As a child, I had a real childlike faith and I tried to live my life as Christlike as I could. If I consider the word ‘Christian’, I would say that it wasn’t until my early twenties that I truly understood what it meant and what it was to live a life of faith in both word and deed.

During my university years I took a path that led me away from regular church and faith. At this time, I still thought I was living a life of faith but, upon reflection, it wasn’t being put into practice. Upon leaving university and moving back in with my parents, I found myself wanting to go with them to the local corps and be part of what was happening. I couldn’t tell you why after a few years away, but I was compelled to return!

This was a huge turning point that opened up countless opportunities, including becoming a part of the worship group Meraki, which I count as a major factor in the transformation of my faith.

God is working every day in my life, but most recently in my workplace. As a teacher in a secondary school and as the head of year 10, I’m faced daily with a wide range of challenges, some of which can really test my patience and understanding. It’s in these moments that my faith becomes crucial. I endeavour to show God to everyone I encounter, be that teenagers or parents.

In the past year, over the space of four months, I lost two grandparents and got married, which was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions! This combined with a particularly tough year at school led to some really tough days in a job that I truly love. Without my faith in God and the belief that ‘to have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see’ (Hebrews 11:1 Good News Bible), I know this would have been an even bigger battle.

I am grateful to God for bringing my lovely wife, Alice, into my life. She really cemented what I needed to get right in my life and helps to keep me accountable in my faith. I am also grateful for the opportunities I got at Together 2023, to worship alongside some of my closest friends as part of Meraki, using our shared passion of music to fully give our praise to God.

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A photo of Jono Tonks.

Jono Tonks

Liverpool Walton

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