Is it true the Vergers sleep in the bell tower?
Unlike Quasimodo, your vergers do not sleep in the bell tower. This may seem like a silly question to some but for anyone who has observed our comings and goings you may have wondered. Of course, you may have overheard my wife telling people that she is planning on hiring someone to build a room up there for me if I don’t quit spending so much time in church. Then again it would be nice to have a place to take a nap once and while, especially on days we are here from early morning to late at night.
It’s true that vergers everywhere tend to spend a lot of time in church. Most vergers take part in everything that happens. You may not see them but they have done something to make the event happen and sometimes that takes several hours of planning and prep work. With three of us, it makes things a lot easier and we can take the time to make sure everything runs smoothly. I have talked to many vergers from across the country that have told me that it is not uncommon for them to have four or five services every Sunday. Then there are the times when you have a Saturday night wedding, which means someone has to be here early Friday afternoon to get ready for the rehearsal, early Saturday afternoon to get ready for the wedding and staying to clean the church for Sunday services. That doesn’t include reserving parking areas, meeting with the photographer, florist, and the families. For funerals there are meetings with the funeral director, arranging extra parking, being here for flower deliveries, setting up the PLC for receptions, helping the altar guild set up the church, meeting with the family and cleaning the church afterwards. An hour service can easily mean several hours of planning time for us.
With Lent fast approaching this will be the start of a very busy forty days for us. We will be helping Mother Barbara plan the Holy Week services over the next month. Starting on April 12th with the Healing Service at the Episcopal Home, we will be here most of the day and evening on the 13th for Maundy Thursday, then Good Friday from 1 to 3 for the Verger’s vigil and then back at 5 to get ready for the evening service. The Easter Eve Vigil starts at 7 pm but we will be here at 5 to get things ready, then Bill will be here at 7 am on Sunday to open for Easter Day. Thinking about it maybe we should just sleep in the bell tower.
Even though we can’t be here all the time, please be assured that Bill, Mike and I will always be here when you need us. It is something we love to do and we hope we can do it for a very long time to come.