Friday, June 23, 2017

Changes in the Church of England Guild of Vergers

John in his Cantilupe Chantry garden with the central tower of Lincoln Cathedral in the background

By John G Campbell BEM. FBGU. FCEGV, Head Verger of Lincoln Cathedral, United Kingdom, and Overseas Liaison Officer of the Church of England Guild of Vergers - [email protected]

We in the Church of England Guild of Vergers are looking forward to our Annual Training Conference, August 14th - 17th, now established at Elim International Centre nestling in the tranquil setting of the Malvern Hills with panoramic views of the Welsh Border from the terrace which also overlooks the swimming pool. Members prepare themselves for a time of; Faith, Fun and Fellowship - Relaxation, Replenishing, Repast and Re-education.

We are also preparing for a change in the administration of guild officers as James Armstrong comes to the end of his second stint in the office of National Chairman. James has served the guild in an extraordinary way bringing to the office his unique enthusiasm and individual talents. We look forward to welcoming a new leader in the guise of nominee John Shearer, who after a career in the National Health Service (NHS), has served in three city churches; St Marylebone, LondonSt Mary Redcliffe, Bristol and presently is serving at Temple Church in the City of London.

Potentially moving to National Chairman, John leaves a vacancy for Guild Training Officer and nominee, Robert Beatie, an assistant verger at Worcester Cathedral, is at the ready to take training and the CEGV Guild Diploma Course on their continuing journey. The Diploma Course is open to all members, full and associate and the four year course consists of; Foundation, Pastoral, Historian and Administration units.

As well CEGV training based events, guild branches (much like VGEC Chapters, both being based on diocese) meet locally where varying programs are offered. Twice a year, Northern and Southern based day events are organized with the latest being a day in the seaside resort of Blackpool on the west coast. A day of sea sand and "kiss-me-quick" hats is expected as well as the possibility of a "Tea-Dance" in the Blackpool Tower.

The total number of members in the the CEGV stands at around 650 at present, attracting vergers from; church, chapel, cathedral and Royal Peculiar. Many hold the title verger, some romanticise with the title of; vesture, custom, apparritor, some are simply the caretaker. All are workers in the vineyard - all are welcome.

All members of the VGEC are automatically "Associate Members" of CEGV and all members of the CEGV are "Associate Members" of the VGEC. Overseas members are welcome at all guild activities, events and courses. Information of these events are available via www.cofegv.org.uk and from the the Virger magazine which is available via email from my office. At present, 88 copies per issue are sent "state side" and any VGEC member not already on the list is welcome to furnish me with an email for inclusion on the distribution list.

We continue to give advice regarding trips to this side of the Atlantic. We offer tips and information and advice regarding itineraries and localities and, when possible, making introductions. Plus we offer general help, advice, and gossip regarding the gamut of the work of the vergers in the UK. In the flesh we have welcomed overseas members from; California, Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, Mississippi, Florida, New Zealand and Australia. Look me up when next you are passing through.

As Overseas Liaison Office I am here for you - please use me!


The 2017 VGEC Annual Conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia from October 12th through October 15th. We hope you can join us! Click the big red button to register today. You can also read more about the conference and book your hotel.


Editors note: Send ideas for Vergers Voice topics to [email protected]

Abstract: John G Campbell BEM. FBGU. FCEGV, Head Verger of Lincoln Cathedral, United Kingdom, and Overseas Liaison Officer of the Church of England Guild of Vergers, offers greetings and news from our fellow vergers. Did you know your membership in VGEC provides an associate membership in CEGV? 

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