The Servers are one of the largest groups, and are fully representative of the congregation. The team currently numbers about 16 of both sexes with ages ranging from eight to 80. Servers assist the priest during the liturgy. There are various responsibilities as follows:
- Acolytes provide general assistance during the liturgy, bringing required items to the altar during the celebration. They also carry processional candles at the head of processions and during other parts of the service, for example at the reading of the Gospel and during the Great Thanksgiving.
- the Crucifer carries the processional cross at the head of processions, and at the reading of the Gospel.
- the Thurifer prepares the thurible, in which incense is burned during the liturgy. The thurifer may be assisted by a younger server, known as the Boat-bearer, who carries the boat containing the incense to be burnt.
- the Master of Ceremonies is an experienced senior server, and is responsible for the dignity and order of the liturgy, and ensures that all happens efficiently and unobtrusively at the right moment.
From time to time additional duties are required. For example, when the Bishop presides, we provide a mitre-bearer and crozier-bearer, and at major festivals additional torch-bearers appear during the Great Thanksgiving.
Servers appear at all Sunday services, and at major weekday services. A rota is operated to make sure everyone has their turn. Full training is given, with our own written Directory of Ceremonial as a guide. Clergy and servers rehearse prior to major functions, for example during Holy Week.
The Servers also enjoy a range of social activities, ranging from a summer outing to a place of spiritual or liturgical interest to an outing just after Christmas for a common meal.