In the latest of our new reader profiles, we meet Irene Tuzio, who serves at St John’s Knotty Ash.
Alongside her role as a reader, Irene continues to work full time in project management for Knowsley Council. She is also Chair of Governors at a primary school, Vice Chair at Secondary and governor at an FE College.
Education in all aspects of life is important to Irene, who prior to starting work for Knowsley Council was a civil servant for 35 years. “I left school at 16 and went straight into work with the Civil Service. Then, at age 50, having encouraged my sons to pursue their education and go to university, I decided to complete a Masters Degree online and obtained an MA Policy in Public Policy and Management in 2010.”
During this time, another kind of training – reader training - began to call Irene, who has also been a Sunday School leader, a member of the PCC and the Core Group of her church.
I moved to St John’s as part of a small team from St Bartholomew’s Roby with our then curate Rev Gill Pearson, having been challenged by the Lord to step outside my comfort zone, knowing that I was to stay there until a new incumbent arrived. When the new incumbent arrived a few years later, the Rev Roy Doran I again felt God telling me that I was still needed at St John’s - I listened and stayed.
About 2 years later Roy approached me and asked me to consider Reader Ministry so I thought about it, prayed about it and asked other members of the congregation about it. I attended a Reader Taster evening and my journey began.
Why do you think reader ministry is so important?/what role will you play in your church?
Reader ministry is important to me as I believe a parish needs both clergy and lay members for it to grow and is there to support the clergy, the congregation and the parish. It is about working together as a team using the different gifts God has given us which can only strengthen and support the church and the parish. In my role as Reader I will continue to put together the services onto PowerPoint and help out at Messy Church, lead worship, take bible study groups and preach on a regular basis. I also want to learn more about the day to day running of the church.
Where are you from originally, and have you lived/worked elsewhere?
I was born in Huyton and for most of my married life have lived in Huyton. I have been married for 37 years and have 2 grown up sons Philip and David.
Was it gradual, or something you knew you have always wanted to do?
It was gradual as I never felt I was good enough as a Christian or intelligent enough for a role in ministry. I felt that I still had a lot to learn but now understand that we are continually learning and that God will use us if we let him whatever our age or background.
What roles did you hold in church before your licensing?
I was Sunday School leader, a member of the PCC and the Core Group and also assisted Roy by putting the services into PowerPoint presentations.
Do you have an interest in a particular kind of ministry, and how would you like to develop this?
At the moment I am waiting to see where I am led and am focusing on whole church at the moment doing bible study and helping out at Messy Church.
Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I like my holidays as it is a time for me to relax and unwind. I also like reading although there has not been much time for this with all the studying and also going to the theatre.
Why did you chose this parish?
I didn’t - God chose this parish for me to enable me to grow and to do His will.
Come to our Reader Taster Evening - details on this page