Job duties of the Church Verger:
- Opening up and locking of church premises
- Preparation for various weekday services where applicable
- Telling the wedding photographer to naff off because you need to go home early to catch BBC's Countryfile
Picture the scene; I’m photographing the bridal party in front of a well-known North Yorkshire Church. I finish photographing the bridal party and invite the Bride and Groom to go back inside the church for the classic mantle piece shots.
As I turn round to enter the church the Verger is closing the door and within ear shot of the Bride directs this at me...
“We’ve got homes to go to you know we cant hang around here all day”
It takes a moment to take in what you’ve just heard but just as I was cooling from my blushes the Bride wadded in.
“Excuse me we’ve paid over £2000 to hire this church now let us in”
Suffice to say we did get back into the church but the atmosphere was anything but saintly and without a doubt this was the most embarrassing incident I’ve ever had to deal with as a wedding photographer.
This was the first time this had ever happened but not the last. It happened again at another North Yorkshire Church. As I was photographing a family inside the Church due to bad weather the Vicar hurriedly started switching all the lights off. It would seam that despite paying a Church for the privilege of using their sanctified stage extended opening hours is not guaranteed. A bit like the over keen bouncer telling you to drink up and go home 2 seconds after last orders bad manners it appears is not exclusive to bouncers.
Church Vergers are not all bad tempered however, in fact the majority will help out as much as possible but beware Vergers can bite and whilst you may spend most of your time buttering up the Vicar to get free roam during the ceremony make sure you spare a little Lurpak for the Verger.
My solution is to never assume a Church Verger would pass an NVQ level 1 examination instead write a letter to the Church explaining amongst other things you’ll need access back into the church after the ceremony. Forget trying to ring, visit or eMail you’ll get no answer just a long silence giving you a rare moment to contemplate whether God really cares about wedding photographers.
Author: Anonymous York wedding photographer