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Friday, June 6, 2014

News from the Church of England Guild of Vergers

The Liturgy of Preparation - Paul Birkinshaw , Canon's Verger, Lincoln Cathedral

By John Campbell, Dean's Verger at Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England and Overseas Liaison for the Church of England Guild of Vergers

Greetings brothers and sisters from across the pond - Easter over, we could be forgiven for relaxing just a tad and taking it easy - a well deserved rest is due to all.

Having said that, the CEGV national and branch officers have focused on the planning of the three major events in the Guild's year; The York [Northern] Festival, held on May 14th, The National Conference 10th - 14th August and The Canterbury [Southern] Festival 22nd & 23rd September.

Of course our branches continue to meet in their geographical areas throughout the year, but these national occasions give members the opportunity to meet with contemporaries [if not accomplices] from afar.

York Festival

The York Festival, in May, was hosted by the Blackburn, Chester & Manchester Branch at Lancaster at the the Priory Church, situated in a county town setting sitting cheek by jowl with Morcombe Bay and within the shadows of the castle.

National Conference

The National Conference returns to the country setting of Elim Conference Centre Malvern in the West Midlands. At £285 for five days of varied activities of worship, learning and relaxation [faith - fun - fellowship] on a full board basis this is great value for money. On a positive note Elim has an open air swimming pool [not the norm for the UK]. Perhaps a negative note is that there is no bar. This does help with the local economy - the result of impromptu pilgrimages into the village [echoes of our days at Harbourne Hall the convent the home of the conference from 1978 - 88 remind me to write about it sometime!].

Canterbury Festival

The Canterbury Festival, to be hosted by the Hereford,Gloucester & Worcester Branch, keeps the national events for 2014 in the west of the country meeting as it will in Hereford. The ancient cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Ethelbert the martyr is a great mix of ancient and modern. It houses the Mappa Mundi and the recently [brightly] restored tomb of [Thomas Cantilupe] St Thomas of Hereford.

CEGV Website Now Open to All

I am pleased to report that there is no need to use a password to enter into the depths of the CEGV website - all areas are now available, including The Virger magazine. Visit us online at www.cofegv.org.uk. Those who receive The Virger by email will still do so. If you are not on my distribution list and would like to receive The Virger as soon as it is published and available, plus other periodic communications, please register your name and Church email address with me at [email protected].

VGEC Pilgrimage to Canterbury 2014

On a personal level I look forward to welcoming and hosting a pilgrimage of vergers from the VGEC led by The Rev. Matthew Corkern, your VGEC Chaplain, over three days in the summer. Around the same time I will be meeting up with Margaret McClarty and Scott Smith [past & present VGEC presidents] to continue dialogue between our two organisations.

ad maiorum die Gloria

Register online today and call 905.681.5400 for hotel reservations with VERG as the discount code!

Abstract: John Campbell is Deans Verger at Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire, England and the Church of England Guild of Vergers (CEGV) liaison to the VGEC. This week he outlines the history and current planning for the three major events in the CEGV's year; The York [Northern] Festival May 14th, The National Conference 10th - 14th August and The Canterbury [Southern] Festival 22nd & 23rd September.

Please send your story ideas, anecdotal notes on your verger experiences or fully developed stories about your own verger ministry to [email protected]. There are more than a thousand stories out there. We'd like to publish yours.

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