Farewell to Gordon Scott, Cathedral Head Verger
At Choral Evensong on Wednesday 31st January we marked the retirement of Gordon Scott as our Head Verger. A large congregation, drawn from the Cathedral community and further afield, attended the service. The service was followed by a reception in the Refectory, during which a presentation was made to Gordon.
Gordon came to the Cathedral as Second Verger in 2002, and became Head Verger in 2011. He was a distinguished servant of the Cathedral, bringing to his duties a dignified liturgical presence which graced our worshipping life. His ministry as Head Verger was rooted in his own deep Christian faith, and he brought to his work a detailed knowledge and understanding of Anglican liturgy. The clergy were constantly grateful for his thorough preparation of all that is needed for services.
The work of the Vergers is far more than what we see liturgically. It includes far from pleasant duties – not least cleaning outside the Cathedral early in the morning, following the revelry of the night life of the city. Gordon was assiduous in ensuring that the Cathedral was well prepared to welcome worshippers and visitors, and this was a reflection of the pride he took in our Cathedral Church.
Gordon has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the Cathedral. To be shown round the building by Gordon is an immensely interesting and informative experience, and over the years countless people have benefited from his knowledge about, and his obvious love for, the Cathedral. Such tours have been further enriched by Gordon’s wide knowledge of regional and national history.
Music plays a large part in Gordon’s life. As a member of the Fitzsimons Choir, Gordon sang for services when this choir was covering for the Cathedral Choir outside of Choir Term. At Evensong on 31st January, Gordon chose most of the music. His choices included the Rose Responses, and, as the Anthem, Stanford’s Te Deum in Bb. And we ended by singing one of Gordon’s favourite hymns – O Jesus, I have promised, to the tune Wolvercote.
Gordon has returned to Jarrow to begin his retirement. He is already greatly missed at the Cathedral. Our hope is that we will see him from time to time – singing with the Fitzsimons Choir and leading tours. He leaves with our deep gratitude for his ministry at the Cathedral and with our warmest best wishes for this new chapter in his life – a chapter which, we hope and pray, will be a very enjoyable, fulfilling and rewarding one for him.