2014 Burlington, Ontario Canada

Join us on Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dress for Thursday night Evensong and dinner plus all sessions on Friday and Saturday day is casual. Saturday banquet dress is smart casual. There will be one official photo and it will be taken on Sunday morning. Weather permitting we will vest (cassock and chimere or robe, no hats or virges) at the hotel, walk out to the end of the pier immediately beside the hotel, and the photo will be taken there. We will then board the buses, still robed, and go directly to the Cathedral. After the service the buses will return directly to the hotel. There will be a van to take vergers with mobility issues out onto the pier. If the weather does not cooperate, the photo will be taken at the Cathedral.

The Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church will gather outside of the United States for just the second time in its 26-year history. Come and experience a warm “Canadian Welcome!”

The Parish Church of St. Luke is located in beautiful Burlington, Ontario, Canada and is only a one hour drive from either Niagara Falls (and the border) or Toronto. You must have a valid passport if you will be entering Canada from another country.

This is will be an opportunity for our VGEC members to come together to celebrate with our Canadian verger members and to experience fellowship, training, business, and worship. We will be hosted and coordinated this year by the Rector and vergers of The Parish Church of Saint Luke.

Highlights of the 2014 conference are:

  • 180th Church Anniversary and VGEC Evensong at St. Luke’s Church

    • Keynote Address by Marianne Mead Ward, Ward 2 Councillor, City of Burlington

  • Dinner in the Great Hall with entertainment from “The Three Cantors”

  • Friday - Morning Prayer

  • Tour of St. Luke's Church, Oldest in Burlington (1834) and Cemetery

  • Verger 101 - Hands On for the New Verger

  • Verger 307 - Advanced Topics for All Vergers

  • Archiving Your Church History – John Rathbone, Archivist, Christ’s Church Cathedral

  • Tour of St. Luke’s Archives

  • Restorative Justice – Father Ted Hughes

  • International Interfaith – Rev. Canon Sharyn Hall

  • Heraldry and Flags in the Church Today – Right Reverend Bishop D Ralph Spence “Herald Extraordinary”

  • Tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens-Canada's largest botanical garden

  • Niagara winery tour

  • Saturday - Morning Prayer

  • Business Meeting with Board elections

  • Tour of Niagara Falls, Ontario

  • Reception and Banquet with Awards, Waterfront Hotel, Burlington

  • Solemn Festival Eucharist with the St. Luke’s and Cathedral Choirs and Procession of Vergers at Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

This page is the central place for all information related to the 26th Conference. We will be periodically sending out V-Happenings updates about the conference so be sure to join the V-Happenings e-mail distribution today if you have not already done so.

If you have any questions, please email conference host committee chair Terry Hughes at vergers@stlukesburlington.ca or call 905 632-9535.

Basic Information


Thursday, September 25 through Sunday, September 28, 2014 Registration deadline is September 15th for consideration of full participation. After that, if you register for the conference, you may not be able to attend all the sessions and/or the banquet.

Host Parish

The Parish Church of St. Luke


1371 Elgin Street

Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7S 1G1

(905) 634-1826

Mailing Address:

St. Luke’s Church

1382 Ontario St.

Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7S1G1

The e-mail address for the Parish Hall and office.


Contact Information

Terry Hughes, Host Committee Chair


(905) 632-9535

Barry Norris, Registration Coordinator


(615) 812-9440

26th Annual Conference Event Host Committee

The Rev. Canon Stuart Pike, Rector of St. Luke’s Church along with the vergers, serve as your hosts for the 26th Annual Conference. Our goal for the conference is to make certain all enjoy a great Canadian Experience.

Registrations after August 1, 2014 are $250.00 per person.

We hope that spouses/partners will also register for the conference and will attend many conference events. The cost for all conference attendees (members and spouses/partners) is the same because the expenses (transportation, food, entertainment, etc.) is really the same for everyone. For this reason too, we do not price individual parts of the conference.

If you need assistance with your registration, please contact the Guild Shop at shop@vergers.org (email is best) or call 615.873-0855.

After registering online you will receive a confirmation email as your transaction receipt. This email will also provide you with a link to specify your session preferences. This will help us plan for space and accommodations for various events.

RefundsCancellations made on or before August 31, 2014 will be fully refunded. After August 31, 2014 there will be a $50 cancellation fee. After September 15, 2014 there will be no refunds as all conference costs are set at that time. Click HERE to fill out a refund request form.

Please contact the Guild Shop at shop@vergers.org for more information regarding registration, session preferences, fees, or refunds.


Conference Hotel: The Waterfront Hotel-Downtown Burlington


Registration deadline is September 15th for consideration of full participation. After that, if you register for the conference, you may not be able to attend all the sessions and/or the banquet.

Conference registration is available online through the VGEC Guild Shop using Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.


Address: 2020 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, ON L7R 4G8 CA

Phone: 905.681.5400

The conference hotel is full as of July 31, 2014.

Alternative rooms are available at the Best Western Plus Burlington Inn and Suites. www.bestwestern.com

Address: 2412 Queensway Dr., Burlington, ON L7R 3T3

Phone: 905.639.2700 or Tollfree 1.866.280.7778.

Conference rate $124.99cdn + tax/room/per day. The price includes two double beds and breakfast.

The hotel is extending this conference rate only for the actual conference dates, September 25-28, 2014 and has only 10 rooms available at this rate.

Use promotion code verg when booking rooms.

There will be a shuttle in place for persons staying at the Best Western Plus and those with walking difficulties staying at the Waterfront Hotel. This shuttle will be available approximately 1 hour prior to scheduled event times and 1 hour after event times. It will also be available during the day for those who suffer medical distress during theThursday and Friday times at the Church. The shuttle is not for personal use for travel about town. Currently there is a 6 passenger van with drivers in place and we are hoping to secure a second vehicle for peak travel times.

Please refer to the "Transportation, Passports and Maps" section for details/options on transportation to the hotel.


Note: This information in development and is subject to change until August 1, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sessions and Events

The 2014 Conference of the Vergers Guild of the Episcopal Church has a large array of interesting sessions and events which will contribute greatly to your overall conference experience.

Please note that this information is under development and is subject to change until September 1, 2014

Session 1, option 1: Tour of St. Luke’s Church and Cemetery

Leader: : Terry Hughes/Dorothy Kew

Location: St. Luke’s Church

Time: 9:00 am

Historical background of the church and the connection to the American Revolutionary War, tour of the cemetery.

Session 1, option 2: "Verger 101 - Exploring the Verger Ministry for the New Verger"

Leader: Duke DuTeil, Head Verger, Washington National Cathedral

Location: Room 201 Parish Hall

Time: 9:00 am

The Verger 101 session is specifically designed to support the new verger as he or she embarks on this ministry. It is designed for those who have been vergers three years or less or first-time conference attendees. Topics will include:

  • I thought being a Verger was all about wearing robes, holding virges, and processing through the nave...

  • What is meant by "Ministry of Welcome?"

  • Soldiering On: Dealing with mistakes so no one notices

  • Hands-On - Carrying the virge, what to wear when, serving in the background, working with your Altar Guild, volunteer coordination, being the boss/servant at the same time

  • Is the VGEC Training Course for me?

Note: Verger 101 is for newer vergers and for first-time conference attendees.

Session 1, option 3: “Verger 307 Topics for the Experienced Verger”

Leader: David Jette, Head Verger at Trinity Wall Street and Bob Mikrut, Verger at Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Location: Room 302 Parish Hall

Time: 9:00 am

This session is for vergers in both small and large parishes. In this session, we will explore several one-paragraph life circumstances that propose some sort of dilemma for the verger (conflict in liturgical planning, dealing with an ornery rector, the demanding verger, a real-life crisis in the Nave, etc.) The circumstance will be explored in a plenary session, discussed in small groups of 3 to 5, and reported back to the group.

Session 2, option 1: “Dismas in Our Midst”

Leader: The Rev. Father Ted Hughes (priest, former Regional Chaplain for Corrections Canada)

Location: Great Hall

Time: 10:15 am

Dismas is the traditional name given to "the good thief" who was crucified alongside Jesus. How can we make our parish churches a place of welcome, safety and peace for all, including those whose lives have been affected by crime? This session will explore the Gospel call to restorative justice in a frightened world.

Session 2, option 2: “Communication for the Church in the 21st Century”

Leader: The Rev. Hollis Hiscock (Editor for the Niagara Anglican paper)

Location: Room 302 Parish Hall

Time: 10:15 am

The Reverend Hollis Hiscock taught high school and university, and served as Rector of several large Anglican parishes in two Canadian provinces before moving to Burlington. An avid photographer, he has also led group tours to many world countries. This experience will give vergers a glimpse of Canada and more

Canada eh? Humour, inspiration, dialogue and much more, illustrated with photographs from Canada (maybe with a side trip to other countries) provide a workshop journey of re-creation, refreshment or sheer pleasure.

Session 3, option 1: Archiving your Church

Leader: John Rathbone (Archivist Christ Church Cathedral)

Location: Room 201 Parish Hall

Time: 11:30 am

Why church history is important. The management and storage of archives and records of past, present, and future church events.

Session 3, option 2: Grassroots Ecumenism

Leader: The Rev. Canon Sharyn Hall

Location: Great Hall

Time: 11:30 am

Rev. Hall is currently Niagara’s Ecumenical Officer and has represented the Anglican Church of Canada at the United Nations on numerous occasions. She will talk about the importance ecumenical relations between and among local religious communities and how those relationships are supported or challenged by high level doctrines and traditions.

Session 4: Historical Significance of Flags and Banners in the Church

Leader: Now retired Bishop Ralph Spence (Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada) “Albion Herald Extraordinary.” Spence was invited to be one of 10 heralds from Canada, Scotland and England at the Diamond Jubilee festivities in the U.K.

"I was asked to be on one of the barges going down the Thames," he said. "And we [the English, Scottish and Canadian heralds] formed a line for the Queen and the Royal Family to walk through to their barge. “It was an honour for us."

Details: A must attend session. A delightful experience and journey through the ages of flags, banners and coats of arms in the church.


The Guild will be providing scholarships to cover $150 of the registration expense for up to 15 attendees to this year's conference. The Mark Emory Graham Scholarship Fund of the VGEC will make these grants. They are intended to develop the ministry of the verger and will be considered for junior vergers, new vergers, or first time attendees, or those with a financial need.

Click HERE to complete an online scholarship application.

The scholarship committee will review the requests and make the awards as soon as possible.

The grant will cover 75% of the registration fee but not transportation to the Conference or lodging.

Please contact VGEC president Scott Smith at scott@vergers.org or call 615.513.2500 for additional information.

Transportation, Passports, and Maps

Airlines and Flights

Refer to the "Survival Guide in Burlington" (page 5) attached at the bottom of this page.

Transportation to Burlington:

Burlington is most easily reached from Toronto’s Pearson or Hamilton International’s Airport using Airways Transit’s 24 hour door to door shared ride service. Airways Transit is offering delegates a conference rate of $59.29 (plus HST) per person, one way, for door-to-door shared ride transportation to/from Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Service to/from the Hamilton Airport is also available at a rate of $53.98 (plus HST), one way for one or two passengers.

To make a reservation, please call 905-689-4460 or book online, quoting code ADN2014 (no spaces). Reservations must be made to qualify for the discounted fare.



If you are traveling from the US, here are two pages about passports which might be helpful:




Useful Links











Prior Conference Information

Information from prior conferences is available HERE. We began documenting conference information as of 2009 at the San Diego Conference.

The VGEC photo album on Google Plus has thousands of photos from past conferences dating back to the first conference held in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989.

Attachments and Files of Interest