The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

The Verger.

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Many years ago Somerset Maughan wrote a short story entitled “The Verger,” the main character being the Verger of St Marks Church. He performed his role with due diligence and was popular among the congregation because he would always help out at any of the churches’ social events, then one day someone discovers he can’t read or write and he was sacked from his post. He was a widower and lived a lonely life in a bedsit above a newsagents shop. After losing his job he knows he won’t be able to pay his rent, so he tells his landlady why he must give her notice and leave. The landlady, who is widowed herself, feels that he has received unjust treatment from the church he has served for five years and she offers him a job helping her to run the newsagents shop. As was his character, he worked hard for his new employer and proved such an astute business man that in a few years he had helped to build the business up to such an extent that his landlady now owned several newsagent shops, all of which were highly successful. Working so closely together each day, they gradually realised that they had fallen in love and eventually they marry.

After their marriage, they decide to see their bank manager and open a joint account. All went well until the manager asked him to sign the relevant documents for the account. The manager was amazed when told of his client’s handicap and said, “With your business acumen, what might you have become, if you had been taught to read and write?” With a wry smile the contented man replies, “Why, I would still be the Verger of St Mark’s church in reading.”

Sometimes, we all start off on the path of life, only to find ourselves diverted to a different one, not necessary of our own choosing, but often for the best.

“It is always the accumulation of little details and the
small steps that will make a big difference in our lives.”

Published Fri 5th Aug 2016 23:09:35
Last Modified on Fri 5th Aug 2016 23:09:35

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