Welcome to the Vergers Voice, the official news blog of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church. Also known as the VGEC, we are located on the web at vergers.org and facebook.com/vergerguild the #1 online resources for vergers world-wide.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

VGEC Guild Shop - Stellar History and Sky-High Future

The Early Years - Bill Gleason and the VGEC Guild Shop committee meet to plan on-line retailing future.
(Can you spot Bill, holding forth on "high church" accouterments?) 

By Barry Norris, VGEC board member and verger at The Church of the Holy Spirit, Harleysville, Pennsylvania

Bill Gleason, one of the original VGEC founders and President Emeritus, opened the VGEC Guild Shop in 1989. Bill has served for 25 years as the merchandise manager, product designer, purchasing agent, accountant, shipping clerk, director of manufacturing and shopkeeper. Under his guidance, the Shop grew from the initial few items to the present day-vestments, clothing, jewelry, and accessories. He recently announced his retirement as manager of the Guild Shop effective May 31, 2014. Bill also recently retired from UPS and his wife Helen will be retiring from Vanderbilt University in June. When you see Bill and Helen at the VGEC Conference in Burlington, ON this September 25-28 - let them know what a great job has done! And ask him about his many interesting Guild Shop tales.

Bill's influence on the institution and identification of the VGEC and our Guild Shop was one of visionary formation and daily dedication to furnishing the world's vergers with what they needed to further the ministry, tell its story, appreciate its heritage, and advertise their ministry.

I have helped Bill with the Guild Shop for a number of annual conferences and as a member of the VGEC Board have been the liaison for Guild Shop Committee the past year. Effective June 1, 2014 I will take over the day to day operations. We will continue to run the Guild Shop as-is while the Guild Shop committee works to evaluate additional options. We are planning a survey of the membership to ask what products everyone would like to see. 
If you have experience in on-line technology and/or retailing and are interested in helping develop new features and products for our on-line store, please contact me at [email protected].

Did you know your registration for the 2014 Annual Conference on September 25-28, can be obtained directly from the Guild Shop?

In Clothing, our shirts for women and men
, in long sleeve and polo styles, (especially the set of 6 liturgically colored golf shirts), continue to be very popular. They are often ordered as presents by verger spouses when celebrating personal or family milestones.

In our VGEC Processional Gear department, the Verger's Chimere has quickly found a steady following. The VGEC 6" Seals, both machine embroidered and beautifully hand-embroidered styles make handsome additions to our verger vestments.

In the Verger Jewelry department, the men's and women's signet rings, featuring the boldly engraved VGEC seal, are both distinctive and uniquely symbolic. A wide array of additional jewelry items is also available.

It is quite possible several new and fun specialty items like the cups that turn purple, maybe some "notable" pens, and newly designed paper weights will be added to the Guild Shop.

The Guild Shop is a huge part of the VGEC Annual Conference, coordinating online registrations and being present throughout the meetings with updated information about how to purchase what you need for your verger ministry. At this year's conference in September we will not be able to carry many samples into Canada because of costs associated with bringing items across the border. Don't worry-we will be there with several computers to help you place your orders on-line.

CM Almy and Whippell's will also be showing their goods along with the Guild Shop this September and will face the same limitations on the number of physical items they can bring. But we will definitely have a good time exploring and talking about the many items that we use in our ministry.

Please contact me if you are interested in joining the Guild Shop Committee as we move into the our new season!
Register online today and call 905.681.5400 for hotel reservations with VERG as the discount code!

Abstract: The VGEC Guild Shop has a long history of great service, product selection and pricing. What changes are in store for your shop? As Bill Gleason retires from 25 years of operating the Guild Shop next month, Barry Norris shares a few of the future plans for VGEC on-line Guild shop retailing.

Send us story ideas or requests, notes on your verger experiences or fully developed stories about your own verger ministry to [email protected].


  1. Bill - Great luck on your new adventures! Don't think you'll be too far away from my phone or email because I'm not letting you go far! - Scott

  2. When Bill Gleason was created, the mold was thrown away....no replica anywhere so don't even think about any duplication! God's blessings always. From a deacon who can say, a la Telly Savalas..."Who loves ya baby?"


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