Head Verger

New York, NY
Type: Lay
Posted May 13, 2022
Job Title
Head Verger
Name of church or organization
Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
Job Description
Position: Head Verger
Reports To: The Vicar and Chief Operating Officer

The Head Verger will lead a team of vergers to fulfill the daily logistical, liturgical, worship, and events planning duties of the Verger’s office. The ideal candidate will have experience in a liturgical church environment, and preferably knowledge of the Episcopal Church. The Head Verger has a key role in the institution and will be expected to work not only with the departments of the parish, but also the Choir School.

This job is full-time. Weekend, evening, and holiday hours are to be expected.

This exciting, but demanding role will suit someone who loves liturgy and music, is interested in the care of a significant landmarked church, enjoys working in a team-orientated environment, has the ability to lead a team of skilled and dedicated workers, and who possesses exceptional organizational skills.

The role requires a high level of organizational skills and a fluency with several desktop publishing systems. The role is unique in that there is a high level of administrative work and, at the same time, an expectation that the Head Verger will have a very public ceremonial role in the liturgy.

The Head Verger will be part of the Senior Management Team, working closely with the Music Department, the Choir School, Concerts Department, Facilities management, and Communications Department in particular. The timely production of service leaflets, rosters, lists, ceremonial guides, and diary management is crucial to the smooth running of the Church and Choir School. The Head Verger will also have responsibilities to manage groups of volunteers, particularly the Altar Guild and Acolytes. There is also a need to train the boy acolytes – choristers, usually in Grade 8, whose voices have changed and who are no longer singing regularly in the choir. To that end, the post holder must also show demonstrable understanding of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults; this post requires enhanced background checks.

The Head Verger will lead a team of three vergers, including a Second Verger who will have specific responsibility for event management, and a part-time laundress. The appointment of the Second Verger will be one of the first tasks of the person appointed. Two other vergers assist with the day-to-day needs of the church, including liturgical set-up and cleaning of the Church, Sacristies, and Andrew Hall. The Head Verger must play a full part in the team, and also be comfortable delegating tasks and developing the skill set of the current verger team. There is also the expectation that the Head Verger will recruit and train a small number of Honorary Vergers to assist with sacristan duties and ceremonial duties, such as leading processions.

The Head Verger shall always be on duty on Christmas Day, Easter Day, and Thanksgiving Day, unless specifically excused by the Rector, and Public Holidays are treated as normal working days (if the Head Verger is required to work on a public holiday, he or she will have a ‘floating day off’). It is anticipated that the Head Verger will have Fridays and Saturdays off-duty. Occasional Saturday duties may be required and are recompensed appropriately.

Section 1: liturgical
• Service Preparation and Set Up
o Creation, proofing, and printing of weekly service leaflets.
o Compilation of altar missals as appropriate for services.
o Produce papers for services: bookmarks, citations, instructions, set-up checklists, collects and prefaces.
o Supply Chancel and Sanctuary seating, stalls, and lecterns with appropriate books, notes, and printouts for services.
o Ensure altar set-up for mass if Altar Guild volunteers are unavailable.
o Ensure the good order of the Church’s altars and chapels.
o Oversee church lighting control interface when needed.
o Liaise with the Sound and Video Engineers.
• Ceremonial
o Precede the Rector in procession, or the Sacred Ministers when a High Mass.
o Participate in processions as Verger, Crucifer or Thurifer if needed.
o Assist with the administration of Holy Communion.
o Act as an acolyte for weekday and Sunday said services when necessary.
o With the Rector, or another priest, lead clergy rehearsals particularly for Holy Week.
o Lead the Sunday morning acolyte rehearsal or delegate the task to the Second Verger.
o Assist the priest in leading wedding rehearsals.

Section 2: Sacristy
• Oversee the work of the Altar Guild.
• Oversee changes to Altar hangings.
• Ordering sacristy supplies: candles, hosts, wine, incense etc.
• The care of the church’s linen and vestments, and arranging for repairs as necessary.
• Ensuring that linen is clean and laundered.

Section 3: Administration
• Supervise the team of Vergers, assigning daily and weekly tasks.
• Monitor the Worship budget and liaise with the Finance Department.
• Create invoices for pastoral liturgy (Weddings and Funerals)
• Advise the Director of HR of monthly honorariums for honorary assistant priests and fees for musicians.
• Liaise with the Lectors’ Guild.
• Attend the weekly calendar meeting.
• Archival searches for baptism, marriage or funeral records.

Section 4: Administration and Communications
• Oversight of the church’s calendars, delegating such functions as necessary to the Second Verger.
• Work with Second Verger, the Rector’s assistant, and the priest assigned responsibility for the production of the monthly liturgical calendar and clergy rota.
• Attend the weekly Clergy meeting to discuss liturgical matters, unless delegated to Second Verger.
• Ensure that the weekly exterior signage is correct and complete.
• Liaising with the Communications Dept. to ensure that sufficient printed materials, prayer cards, sermons etc. available in the church and Narthex.
• Attend the Senior Management Team.
• In the absence of the Second Verger, liaise with the Music Department and Concerts Department in the necessary preparation for services and concerts.
• Assist with the posting appropriate material, when needed, on the Diocesan Website.
• Ensuring that the Parish Registers are kept up to date.
• Producing baptism and confirmation cards.
• Responsible for the Columbarium, liaising with Funeral homes, and families.
• Provide information for the Parish Records required by the Diocese, and the Year Book.

Other Responsibilities:
• Coordinate with security and vergers for disabled entrance requirements.
• Liaise with the church’s security team and Head of Security, particularly during Divine Worship and Events.
• Understand the operation of the fire detection system.
• To carry out such reasonable directions of the Rector or Vicar as may from time to time be given to the Vergers’ Department.

• Experience in execution of church service logistics, preparation and ceremony in a liturgical, traditional or “high church” environment (Episcopal, Anglican, Roman Catholic, etc.).
• Previous experience in more than one of the following areas:
o Verging experience, either professionally or as a volunteer.
o Experience as an acolyte, sexton, church musician, Eucharistic minister or comparable.
• Proficient technology and computer skills with strong document orientation:
o Microsoft Office skills (Outlook, Word and Excel are essential).
o Must be able to demonstrate basic website Content Management System understanding and usage, or an ability to be trained in such a system.
• Strong organizational skills with attention to details.
• Strong writing and communication skills.
• Basic understanding of church principles and liturgy.
• Expected to work weekends, including most Sundays, some evenings and many holidays (for example, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Easter Day).

• College degree preferred.
• A member of a Christian church in good standing, essential.
• A communicant member of the Episcopal Church preferred, but not essential.
• Experience with organizational calendars and scheduling preferred.
• Proficiency with desktop publishing tools (Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Microsoft Publisher, etc.) helpful.
• Archival or museum experience helpful.

Type of Commitment
Full Time
Does this job pay?
Application Process
Interested applicants should submit a one-page letter to The Vicar, The Rev’d Matthew Moretz and a resume by email to jobs@SaintThomasChurch.org

It is anticipated that interviews will be held the week beginning June 13, 2022

Start date negotiable, but as soon as possible after June 30.

Application Deadline