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.

For information about submitting news and announcements to the blog, click HERE or contact [email protected].

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Church of England Guild of Vergers Turns 85

The CEGV was 25 years old when this photograph was taken on April 19, 1956

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]

I am reminded of the words penned by the [then] Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 2007 when the Church of England Guild of Vergers celebrated the Diamond Anniversary of formation:

Vergers are almost as much a part of the Great British Collective Unconscious as vicars. From Dickens' Edwin Drew through to Dad's Army, they are there, hovering (or hoovering) around the shrines of our imagination. Many of a certain generation in church life will have stories of the great and terrible vergers of the past. Stories of the punctuation of Evensong with the extremely audible reprimand to tourists "You can't come in 'ere, there's a service going on."

But now the stereotypes belong to the distant past. The best vergers have always been creative, even pastoral servants of the life of the churches they have cared for. More than ever these days, the verger's job will be some of the most crucial work of the Church in its reaching to and welcoming those on its margins. It is going to require huge gifts of stamina, imagination and spiritual steadiness. The Church of England is fortunate to have so many men and women gifted in these ways, who give themselves to ministry.

At the same time +John of Lincoln, one time Chaplain of the Exeter Branch, whose father was a verger and one time secretary of the Bristol Branch, wrote:

Vergers have been described as the Church's Cinderella Service - presumably with the Clergy as the Ugly Sisters. To a certain extent this is true. Vergers have turned discretion and unobtrusiveness into an art form. They ensure all is done decently and in order so that ministers can fulfil their roles effectively and people can worship undisturbed. It is a vital role which although often hidden, must not be taken for granted.

These statements were true ten years ago and perhaps more so these days in our 85th year, when we see some deterioration in our traditional diaconal role. Bishop John eludes to the sentiments in Acts 6 - individuals chosen to carry out essential supportive roles, whilst Their Graces paraphrase Ephesians 4 - the essence and importance of using differing God-given talents to propel that which primarily is the engine, the power house, which is the Church.

With potential changes within the leadership of our guild; chairman, chaplain, training officer, we thank God for those who have served us in these roles in the past and pray that new officers will lead us so that we can develop and at last, as vergers, go to the Ball.


Did you know that when you join the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church, you become an Associate Member of the Church of England Guild of Vergers?

If you would like more information, contact John at deans[email protected].

When the VGEC was founded in 1989, we had been an American Branch of the CEGV for about a year. A "Branch" for the CEGV is the same thing as a "Chapter" in the VGEC.



The 2017 VGEC Annual Conference in Atlanta is coming soon on October 12th to October 15th. Registrations made through Thursday, August 31, 2017 are $225.00 per person. Registrations made after August 31, 2017 are $275.00 per person. The deadline to register is Monday, October 2, 2017. We cannot accept on-site registrations!


Editors note: Send ideas for Vergers Voice blog topics to [email protected] or submit your own manuscript for consideration.


Abstract: The Church of England Guild of Vergers recently celebrated their 85th anniversary. John Campbell, Overseas Liaison Officer of the Guild and Dean's Verger at Lincoln Cathedral explores the meaning of being a verger both then and now. His description might echo your own experience.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions About VGEC Membership

Several questions were asked about membership during the 2015 Annual Conference Business Meeting in St. Louis

By Cheryl Cantrall FVGEC, All Saints' Episcopal Church, Lakeland, Florida, VGEC Membership Chair, [email protected]

There have recently been various membership questions brought to the attention of the VGEC Membership Committee. We will attempt to answer a few of those questions.

I have moved, have a new phone number or changed parishes, so how do I update my information for the Vergers Guild?

Any personal information such as an address change, new phone number, fax number, work number, spouse/partner change can be updated quite easily by visiting the verger website at membership.vergers.org. You will first be asked to enter your email address and password. Don’t have or remember your password? No worries – Membership Management System will prompt you to access a new password. Once you are logged into MMS all your personal information will be there. MMS will allow you to update any of the information listed. After the information is changed you must select the submit button and MMS automatically updates the information and sends you an email showing the corrected information. If you forgot something or need to correct an error just repeat the process. If all else fails, email the information to [email protected] and we will help with the changes.

We have a new verger in our parish and we want to register them under our Parish Membership.

Have the new verger go to try.vergers.org and sign up for the "Free 6-month" trial membership. After they join as a trial member, please send an email to us at [email protected] and include their name in the email. After receipt of the information, their membership type will be updated to "Parish Membership" and their membership expiration date will be updated to match the parish's date of expiration.

We have vergers who are no longer vergers and we want them deleted off our parish roster.

We don't delete any records in MMS. We inactivate any person who no longer wishes to be a member of the guild or who is no longer a verger in a certain parish. Their name will stay on the parish roster but in an inactive status and are not updated when the parish membership is renewed. If you are removing a person who is no longer a verger it is helpful to give a reason, if possible, so we may track why someone is no longer active. Such reasons could be: moved, no longer interested, currently in school, etc. If you have a verger who is deceased and can provide a date of death they will be listed in the "Remembrance" section of our online Membership Directory. That directory is available at membership.vergers.org.

I tried to submit my dues and it rejected my credit card.

We occasionally have members who cannot get their credit card information in the system on the first try. Try a second time being sure to just use numbers (no dashes or spaces) and also that the number, expiration date, and security code are absolutely correct. If that does not work, you may contact us at [email protected] and we can process the card for you. Send membership an email stating MMS would not accept the credit card and include a good time to make contact with you.

I don’t trust online transactions and want to submit my dues via check.

Our site is very secure and uses PayPal for all secure credit card transactions. Using online transactions save the VGEC a considerable amount of time and effort required to collect funds using alternate methods. If you must use a check, make the check out to "Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church" and mail the check to VGEC, PO Box 280, Round Rock, TX 78680-0280. Regular renewal is $40, Parish renewal is $200 (for 5 or more members) and Retired (means retired from verging) or student memberships are $20, and LifeTime memberships are $500.

I want to take the Training Course for the VGEC or have other questions regarding training.

Questions regarding training should be directed to our Training Course Advisor, Duke DuTeil at [email protected]. Complete information on the course is available at vergers.org/training where the course may be easily purchased online for $65.

The VGEC Membership Committee hopes these tips are helpful. If you have more questions membership can be reached at [email protected].


The 2017 VGEC Annual Conference in Atlanta is coming soon on October 12th to October 15th. Registrations made through Thursday, August 31, 2017 are $225.00 per person. Registrations made after August 31, 2017 are $275.00 per person. The deadline to register is Monday, October 2, 2017. We cannot accept on-site registrations!


Editors note: Send ideas for Vergers Voice blog topics to [email protected] or submit your own manuscript for consideration.


Abstract: Many membership questions and situations can be addressed by using the Membership Management System (MMS). Here are suggestions from the Membership Committee for handling common problems.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Tales from the Slype, Part 3: Be Still, and Know That I Am God

David Deutsch directs the last TV show of his career on September 26, 2003, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

By David Deutsch, Volunteer Verger at Washington National Cathedral, [email protected]

I began as a volunteer verger at Washington National Cathedral in July of 2003. Over the course of my time, I had certain epiphanies that, among other results, told me that this great stone edifice which can look cold and imposing on the outside, actually has a warm heart and vibrant spirit. When I am at the cathedral, I hang out in the slype. Now a slype in medieval times was a covered passageway between the dean’s office and the nave, giving the head of the cathedral easy access to the services. At Washington National Cathedral the slype is comfortably furnished, has storage for vestments, the service books, etc. The slype is both a control tower and hanger for worship. This is part 3 in the "Tales from the Slype Series:"

It is Tuesday, January 24, 2004, and the icy sleet begins around 3 pm. I am sitting in the slype at Washington National Cathedral preparing to lead the office of Evening Prayer. At 4 pm the phone rings. The assistant cathedral verger, Larry Keller, tells me that because of weather conditions the cathedral is closing, the doors will be locked, and the staff and volunteers are being sent home—well, not all the staff and volunteers. I am to stay and lead 5:30 Evening Prayer in Bethlehem Chapel on the lower level. I will be the sole verger, really, the sole anybody outside security, in Washington National Cathedral.

Soon security dims the lights in the nave. The cathedral becomes very quiet. Silent. I am utterly alone in that huge stone building. I experience an overwhelming sense of awe. I palpably feel the peace and stillness.

As 5:30 approaches, I realize how much my life has changed. Six months ago, I was the director of the live, network show, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Tonight is New Hampshire primary night. At this moment I would be on the air trying to make order out of chaos in a crowded tense control room. People would be yelling. I would call for graphics to be inserted, roll tapes into the show, and coordinate with camera operators at remote locations around the country. I keep up a steady stream of commands: “Ready New Hampshire. Going to Judy in New Hampshire. And take New Hampshire. <go Judy> Font in…and lose it stand-by 3 on Jim. Hold three. Take 3. Ready chroma-key. Take. Ready the precincts graphic. I need it. And…dissolve to graphics A…”

It is time. I walk into a silent Bethlehem Chapel. I open my Book of Common Prayer, look at the empty seats and begin. "O God, make speed to save us..."


The 2017 VGEC Annual Conference in Atlanta is coming soon on October 12th to October 15th. Registrations made through Thursday, August 31, 2017 are $225.00 per person. Registrations made after August 31, 2017 are $275.00 per person. The deadline to register is Monday, October 2, 2017. We cannot accept on-site registrations!


Editors note: How has your career influenced your ministry? Send ideas for Vergers Voice blog topics to [email protected] or submit your own manuscript for consideration.


Abstract: David Deutsch, retired director of the PBS NewsHour and volunteer verger at Washington National Cathedral compares the pace of life in the control room with Evening Prayer in the quiet, peaceful, and empty Bethlehem Chapel on a cold, icy night in January.

Friday, August 4, 2017

ATLANTA: The Hollywood of the South


By Yolande Brunson Collins, Verger, St. Simon's Episcopal Church, Conyers, Georgia, [email protected]

One of the major highlights of each VGEC Annual Conference is the opportunity to dress up for the closing Reception and Awards Banquet, and this year is no exception! Our theme is ATLANTA: The Hollywood of the South, and we ask that your dress accordingly!

Atlanta and the surrounding area has become a very popular place to make movies and television shows. Due to our great weather (REAL summers and mild winters), movie crews are able to work year-round to accomplish their filming goals. In addition, many of the area colleges and universities have added technical and artistic programs of study, which provide an on-going supply of college interns, degreed individuals, and other interested persons to work in the industry.

In the 1970s, the movie Deliverance (1972) helped bring the state of Georgia to Hollywood's attention. Since the 1980s, film and production crews have regularly utilized Atlanta's stately mansions, fascinating skyline, beautiful landscapes and eccentric neighborhoods as backgrounds and backdrops for movie sets. One such award-winning movie is Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Following the success of this film and others, Atlanta became a prime location for making movies.

Also, in the late 1980s, television production became a mainstay of the Metropolitan Atlanta area, with productions taking place on local sound stages in and around the city. Extremely popular television shows In the Heat of the Night (1988 – 1992) and The Vampire Diaries (2009 – 2017) were both produced in Covington, Georgia, about 30 miles east of the city. Since 2005, all of the Tyler Perry sit-coms (and full-feature movies) were filmed in Atlanta. The Walking Dead series (2010 – present) continues to be filmed in and around Atlanta. And yes, even a game show is taped here: Family Feud (2011-2017). There have been very many television shows produced in Atlanta!

There are a number of major film and television production companies in the Atlanta area including Turner Broadcasting, Tyler Perry Studios, and EUE/Screen Gems. In 2012, the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office stated that, "More than 700 feature films, TV movies, TV series, single episodes and pilots have been produced in Georgia since 1972, generating a great economic impact. They estimate the economic impact of entertainment industry projects that they handled in 2009 was $770 million."

The industry has exploded in the Atlanta area, and according to a 2016 article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Georgia remains the third most popular site for movie and TV production in the U.S., following behind only California and New York. Two of the three Hunger Games trilogy films were shot in Atlanta, and in the past year alone, big-ticket films like Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, The Fate of the Furious, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Hidden Figures, Marvel’s Black Panther, and Pitch Perfect 3 filmed in and around Atlanta. It was reported earlier this year that the Georgia TV and Film Industry brings in about $7 billion per year! For this reason, we boast that we are, in fact, ATLANTA: The Hollywood of the South!

So, come prepared to celebrate with us! As we roll out the red carpet for you, we ask that you come dressed in your “Hollywood Glam,” while you mix, mingle and hob-knob in old or new Hollywood style. You may ask, "What exactly IS Hollywood Glam?" Today, it's whatever you want it to be, as long as you make it FUN and you look FABULOUS! To make it simple, Hollywood Glam is:
  • Basic black
  • Formal (with boa) and tux
  • Casual swag with your All-Star "Chucks"
  • Long dress, short dress
  • Slacks -- with a blouse or jacket and shirt
  • Denim, perhaps bedazzled
  • Your favorite footwear
 Today's Hollywood Glam is an individual decision, so just look FABULOUS... that's your one and only mission!!!
The Verger Reception will start at 6:00pm. Come and enjoy the opportunity to become better acquainted with your fellow vergers and to hang out with and say, "good bye" to those whom you have come to know during the days of the conference. At 7:00pm the doors to the banquet hall will open, and we will invite you to sit and enjoy a fabulous feast and the program that follows.

We look forward to seeing you at the reception and banquet, and we are oh, so excited to see what you will choose as your Hollywood Glam!

Not Registered for the Annual Conference Yet?

Register by clicking HERE.

Registrations made through August 31, 2017 are $225.00 per person.
Registrations made after August 31, 2017 are $275.00 per person.

Registrations must be made by Monday, October 2, 2017. All conference plans for transportation, food, and logistics must be set by that date. We cannot accept on-site registrations; they must be made in advance online through the Guild Shop.

Alert for all Vergers Who Have Not Yet Booked a Hotel Room for the Atlanta Conference


There is much more occurring in Downtown Atlanta the second weekend of October than the VGEC Annual Conference. The Marriott Marquis has sold out of rooms. The good news is that as of today there are still a dozen or so rooms available at the at the conference rate of $135.00 per night, but when our block of rooms is sold out, there are no other rooms available.

If you plan to attend the conference and would like to stay at the conference hotel at a highly discounted rate, please book your room at the Marriott Marquis today. Procrastinators will not be pleased with the cost of their alternative choices. We certainly cannot guarantee a comparable rate to our conference rate.

Click HERE for a list of hotel options on the vergers.org/conference/2017 page.


The 2017 VGEC Annual Conference in Atlanta is coming soon on October 12th to October 15th. Registrations made through Thursday, August 31, 2017 are $225.00 per person. Registrations made after August 31, 2017 are $275.00 per person. The deadline to register is Monday, October 2, 2017. We cannot accept on-site registrations!


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


Abstract: Atlanta and the surrounding area has become a very popular place to make movies and television shows. As we roll out the red carpet for you at this year's reception and awards banquet, we ask that you come dressed in your “Hollywood Glam.” You may ask, "What exactly IS Hollywood Glam?" Today, it's whatever you want it to be and this blog gives you some fabulous ideas!