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, June 24, 2016

Consecrations and Celebrations in England

Stephen Haude escorting the Lord Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek, the first female diocesan bishop in The Church of England on the occasion of her consecration, July 22, 2015.

By Stephen Haude, Verger at St. Peters Church - Hammersmith, London

Hello dear fellow vergers and friends in America. I’m Stephen Haude (minus the cane I had at your Burlington Conference). We Brits are a little on the poor side, so alas, cost has prohibited us from joining you in Spokane. But we will do all we can to join you in Atlanta next year.

Having just hit my 73rd birthday, this London parish church verger looks back on the past 12 months. Apart from my church nave being encased in scaffolding and undergoing complete restoration with all the hassle that goes with it, I have been so honoured to be asked to virge on the following occasions.

It was Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in her gracious presence. I virged my lengthy procession from the West Door which consisted of all the heads of other religions across the UK.  Then finally, the Archbishop of York. You can see photos HERE and the order of service HERE. The staff vergers at the cathedral were wonderfully welcoming to me and we had a four-hour rehearsal the day before – mostly for the BBC to set up their camera angles. Esther, the Deputy Head Verger was so professional and kind and instructed me in what was required. Guess what? Esther comes from your side of the pond!

Earlier in these past 12 months Rachel Treweek made history when she became the first woman to become a Lord Bishop Temporal. This gives her a Parliamentary Seat in the House of Lords. She especially asked for me to be her verger at her consecration by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the mother church of the Anglican Communion, Canterbury Cathedral. Rachel emerged at the end of the service as the new Lord Bishop of Gloucester. It was such a great honour, and nobody could see my knees nervously knocking beneath the robes! Rachel’s husband, Guy Treweek is also a priest and served his curacy for three years at my London church of St Peter’s Hammersmith. I became great friends with the Treweek’s during this time.

Recently, St Paul’s Cathedral asked me to virge at the big Annual United Guilds Service. Another ‘biggie’! This is for the entire ancient Guilds and Livery Companies of the City of London. What a colourful affair that was! All the Grand Masters in their ermine robes and chains of office with the Lord Mayor of London and High Sheriff. This simple parish verger feels humbled by these many invitations. I must be doing something right!

May God Bless you all.

Click the big red button to register for the 2016 Annual Conference opening on September 22nd and running through noon on the 25th, in Spokane, Washington. The conference is the most popular and anticipated activity of the VGEC every year - please join us! Hurry and register before midnight PST on June 30 to be entered in a drawing to win a $200.00 Apple gift card.

Abstract: Our long and close association with the Church of England Guild of Vergers often allows us unusual insight into the traditions and history of the Church of England. This week, Stephen Haude, verger at St. Peter's Church, Hammersmith, London relates what we would consider a VERY big year of verging ("virging" if you reside east of 7 degrees west latitude).

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Top 10 Reasons to Come to VGEC Conference 2016 in Spokane

You just can't miss the VGEC Annual Conference in beautiful Spokane beginning on September 22, 2016

By Ken Holloway, VGEC News Manager

Dallas Hawkins, chairman of the Host Committee (he's the guy behind all of the planning and arranging - big applause you guys) sent the following "Top Ten Reasons to Attend the 2016 Conference of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church" to start our summer VGEC Conference 2016 information blitz. Take a look. Visit the links. Then let us know what else we need to cover to get you to click on the registration button at the bottom of this post. Have you ever been to the Pacific northwest in autumn? You'll never forget it!
  1. Destination Appeal. Spokane’s lively downtown core offers plenty of options within walking distance. Enjoy local wines in one of the Cork District’s many downtown-tasting rooms. Taste beer from local craft breweries. Treat yourself to culinary excellence that’s making a national name among foodies everywhere. And there's been no recent Sasquatch sightings!
  2. Unbeatable Value. Big city amenities at a fraction of the cost may sound too good to be true, but in Spokane, its reality. Our restaurants, golf courses and attractions and more all come in…at notably less! Hotel and restaurants prices are significantly less expensive than larger cities like Dallas, San Francisco or Seattle. * Source: Runzheimer International, March 2012.
  3. Own the City. We know your conference is just that, your conference. That is why we will do everything we can to insure that we can meet your every need, from special dietary needs to airport shuttle service.
  4. Easy Access. Wherever you’re coming from, getting to Spokane is no sweat. Spokane International Airport is just ten minutes from downtown. We will be offering scheduled shuttle-van service to and from the airport Wednesday and Thursday and on the final day of the conference. The cost will be $10 per person per trip. Details for sign up will follow soon.
  5. Cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The host committee has planned a ninety-minute cruise on the beautiful Lake Coeur D’Alene in Northern Idaho, just 40 minutes from Spokane. Fresh air, mountains and majestic eagles are there to greet you in this included trip immediately after lunch on Saturday.
  6. Amazing Food. St. Monica’s Guild will prepare plentiful and delicious food and beverage offerings throughout the conference.
  7. Fabulous Gothic Cathedral. History and architectural buffs will love this Cathedral! St. John’s has become a Spokane landmark and is one of the few examples in the United States of classic Gothic architecture.
  8. Keynote Address Friday afternoon at one o'clock: The Right Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. In addition to the keynote address to the VGEC Conference, Bishop Schori will appear on the Dean's forum, hosted by The Very Reverend Bill Ellis, Dean of St. Johns Cathedral at 9:00 on Sunday morning.
  9. Handcrafted Microbrew Beer, In addition to the very high quality and award winning wines offered in the Pacific Northwest, the Spokane region boasts more than two dozen fabulous micro breweries, each with their own special style and character. One of the host committee members mentioned: the craft beer flows like wine!
  10. Win a $200 Apple Gift card! Register by midnight PST on June 30, 2016, for a chance to win a $200 Apple gift card. Time is running out!
  11. Attend all of the 14 sessions and events tailored just for you. Learn Verger lore, customs and practices in depth. Meet your fellow vergers, share Twitter account data, ask all of your stored-up, "...have you ever had to's...?"
I hope that you "get the picture". I myself am immersed in information, schedules, agendas, travel planning documents, hotel reservations, research on the sessions, the presenters, the hosts, our host clergy, the city of Spokane, a certain lake in northern Idaho, our keynote speaker, our board meetings and annual business meeting, and our Saturday night banquet with recognition of new Fellows of the Guild.

Over two years of planning and arranging have been invested on our behalf by the dedicated and talented vergers of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane. Let us convene in joy and spiritual union.

Click the big red button to register for the 2016 Annual Conference opening on September 22nd and running through noon on the 25th, in Spokane, Washington. The conference is the most popular and anticipated activity of the VGEC every year - please join us! Register before midnight PST on June 30 to be entered in a drawing to win a $200.00 Apple gift card.

Abstract: Meet us in Spokane, September 22-25 for more verger-talk than you've every had before. By the way, Spokane has a beautiful gothic cathedral, St. John's, just waiting for our arrival. Also the The Right Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States is our keynote speaker. "By the way #2" - Great verger lore and practices will be discussed in depth at conference sessions. "Also #2" - Downtown wine tasting and craft breweries await our exploration. There's more. Read on.