The History of Vergers
The office of verger has its roots in the medieval days of the Church's history. It shares certain similarities with former minors of porter and acolyte. Generally speaking, vergers were responsible for the order and upkeep of the house of worship, including preparations fr the liturgy, the conduct of the laity, and (everyone's favorite) grave digging. During this time a verger was the protector of the priest and procession. He (never a she) was to steer the animals away from the church's aisles and to prevent serfs from coming to close to the clergy. Although there is no definitive historical survey of the office of verger, evidence from Rochester, Lincoln, and Salisbury Cathedrals indicates the existence of vergers as far back as the 16th century. Now a familiar sight in English cathedrals, vergers leads such persons as the Archbishop of Canterbury as well a maintaining the building and furnishings of the Church for many centuries.
In the United States, The Vergers' Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) was founded in 1989. The VGEC is associated with The Church of England Guild of Vergers.
The VGEC is comprised of many Chapters normally organized within individual dioceses. In the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, the local chapter is named The Mark Emory Graham Chapter. Our Chapter was chartered soon after the 1989 National Chapter meeting.