Central to any Cathedral is a dedicated team of workers charged with the liturgical duty of ensuring the highest standards of worship. But in practice the vergers offer far more, making sure the Cathedral functions on a daily basis.
As we create a new verging team we talked to Head Verger, Dave Corns about the privileges and challenges involved in being a verger here.
“It’s all about people’s expectations”, he explains, “because we’re a Cathedral the public rightly expect really high standards. There is a real sense of ceremonial worship which is seen on a daily basis both in the small and intimate daily services through to the grand services of Ordination or otherwise”.
But while the liturgical role is crucial there is more than that to being a verger. “We are the hidden workers” says Dave. “If we have done our job well then people don’t notice that it’s been done. Most of our work happens before others arrive or after they leave so people can take for granted the hard work that has been achieved through setting up stages, moving chairs, organising the sound system and the myriad of other tasks that make it happen and help this place run smoothly.”
Making it happen is what our verger team do on a daily basis. “For me” says Dave “satisfaction comes from making it happen, seeing it all go well. And at the heart of it is a liturgical role. The historical role enabling others to worship and find God in this place. If it is running smoothly then there are no barriers between people and God.”
Faith is important to the team – all members are either involved in their local churches or have their spiritual home here within the Cathedral community. So while this is a job it becomes more than that, it is part of a service to God. Dave himself has a real sense of calling to his role. “It is important to me to be able to use the talents that God gave me and offer something back” he explains.
It’s a good job, it’s a varied job. It’s a job all the vergers are proud to do. A job at the heart of our Cathedral, serving the Cathedral community.