This Cathedral Statutes require the appointment of a team of vergers to uphold the dignity of worship in the Cathedral, to care for its security and to welcome all who enter it. The Vergers play an important part in ensuring the proper functioning of the Cathedral as a place of worship and for the many other roles and activities which it serves.
The duties of the verging team are wide ranging. They include participation in the daily round of regular services and special services and their preparation; acting as site supervisor and point of contact for the many concerts and special events that take place throughout the year; contributing to the management of a safe and welcoming environment for all; and looking after the security of the site including daily locking-up routines.
This new post has been introduced to assist the existing team of four vergers to cope with an expanding workload, especially through the increasing popularity of Southwark Cathedral as a venue for concerts and special events, many of which take place in the evenings. The postholder will spend a significant part of their working week helping to ensure these events, some of which are complex and run on a tight schedule to fit in with Cathedral services, run smoothly while providing a professional standard of welcome and assistance to event organisers.
The part-time verger post sits within the Vergers’ team and reports to the Head Verger (or his nominated deputy in his absence). The department is under the care and management of the Canon Precentor. The team also comprises a Head Verger, a Deputy Head Verger and two further full-time vergers.
The post-holder will be expected to work closely with a number of other staff and volunteers as necessary.
Care of the Cathedral and its precincts
Responsibility, when on duty, for the opening and unlocking in the morning, or for the closing and locking-up at night, of the Cathedral and precincts.
Sharing, with the other members of the verging team, the responsibility for internal maintenance and running of the Cathedral and precincts.
Specialist duties including care and operation of the sound system and equipment; the care and operation of cleaning equipment; the operation of the heating system; and care and operation of the security and alarm systems.
To be a verger on formal occasions, dressed in cassock and gown, participating in processions and verging at Cathedral services in accordance with the traditions and accepted practices of Southwark Cathedral.
To be on duty on Festival Days and other important occasions as required.
When on duty, to verge and assist at Evensong and other occasions as required.
Preparation of books, altars, vestments and vessels as required for services.
In an emergency (in the absence of any clergy), conduct Evening Offices. Full training will be given.
Concerts and events
Help with setting up and removal of all contents and furniture as necessary for concerts, events and services (including staging), and for their restoration afterwards.
Acting as site supervisor during events and as point of contact for event organisers prior to, and during the events. Many of these events take place in the evenings and involve resetting the Cathedral after the event has finished, ready for the next day’s Morning Services.
Ministry of Welcome
Provide a welcome to visitors as and when required, making sure that all visitors are received in a friendly, tactful and helpful manner. When it is necessary to be firm, this should be without giving offence.
Support the work of the volunteer staff including Welcomers and Day Chaplains when required.
Keep a vigilant eye on the Cathedral and its precincts with regard to security, making regular checks on the buildings and helping to maintain a visible staff presence across the site.
Ensure all valuables and money are looked after according to agreed instructions including regular emptying of alms boxes and votive candle offerings, handling collection money and its safe storage when required.
Assist in the maintenance of good order throughout the Cathedral and its precincts and ensure that decorum is maintained within the Cathedral at all times.
Health & Safety
Ensure that all areas of the Cathedral and its precincts which are accessible to staff, visitors and contractors are maintained in a safe manner and that any hazards or defects are reported to the Head Verger.
Knowledge of the positions of all fire fighting equipment and their safe and appropriate use in an emergency
Knowledge of emergency procedures including building evacuation and contact routines.
Attend weekly vergers’ team meetings when on duty
Communicate all messages, and report all defects, security breaches, incidents and accidents to the appropriate authority so that action can be taken.
Perform such other duties as are reasonably required by the Head Verger, or his deputy, when necessary.
A communicant member of the Anglican Church (or a church in communion with the Anglican Church)
A good team player with the ability to relate equally well to paid and voluntary staff
Displaying an understanding of worship and an appreciation of the importance of dignity
A friendly and welcoming personality able to offer a warm welcome to all who visit or use the Cathedral for worship, for concerts and events or as tourists - even at the end of a long shift
Enthusiastic, energetic and practical
Able to work under pressure
Competent in the use of basic Microsoft Office applications and email
Good communication skills, both written and oral
Able to reach all areas of the Cathedral Church and associated buildings without mechanical assistance, carry heavy loads and do such physical work as is required
Able to demonstrate sympathy with the aims and objectives of Southwark Cathedral
Flexible and willing to work overtime and shift-work when required
Previous experience in a similar position within a Church or Cathedral, paid or voluntary
Awareness of the terminology and language of the Anglican Church
The Cathedral is situated on the south bank of the Thames adjacent to London Bridge in a largely business area. It is also a Parish Church. Only a small number of people are actually resident in the parish which comprises large commercial offices, two hospitals, the Cathedral Primary School and the Borough Market.
The local area has undergone tremendous change with the opening of the Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, the Millennium Footbridge and the Jubilee Line extension station at London Bridge as well as numerous other redevelopments including The Shard and re-developed London Bridge station.
The normal Sunday morning congregation is eclectic with the many visitors from all over the world. Sunday Evensong is Choral in the Anglican Tradition.