The Office of Verger dates back to the Middle Ages. He or she leads the procession into the Cathedral, using his Virge (staff) to clear its way and protect it from vagabonds and animals that may try to attack it.
A verger is a committed lay minister within the Church who assists the clergy in the conduct of public worship, especially in the marshalling of processions. Vergers can be full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer. Their duties can be purely ceremonial or include other responsibilities, such as parish administration, leadership of the worship committee or sexton.Usually thought of as someone who carries a mace or ceremonial staff in procession; vergers sometimes also had responsibility for the condition of the interior of a church.
The "staff bearer" (from the Latin virga = rod) who acts as an usher in the church and keeps order. In earlier times, the staff was used to poke people who fell asleep during sermons, which could last for hours.