Monday, 27 October 2008

Font Spotting...

Following massinformation's post on the new font at Salisbury Cathedral, I felt a word should be said about the font in Norwich Cathedral which I saw for the first time this summer. It is a large copper bowl which was once used to make toffee in the Rowntree-Nestle chocolate factory in Norwich. The 15th century seven sacrament font is now housed in St. Luke's Chapel and apparently originally came from the lost church of St Mary-in-the-Marsh, which once stood inside the Cathedral Close.

When I used 'Google' to find a picture of the new font, I came across this (I found the gurgling baby noises a little chilling, but it seems to be a good resource nonetheless..!). It seems that, if you're going to replace something in a cathedral, or indeed any church, then to use something which already exists (like, I suppose, apparatus from an old factory) is environmentally friendlier than constructing something new. That's how I've squared it with myself anyway: I rather think it's a shame that the old font isn't in use anymore. Still, it would be less amusing an anecdote than 'I was baptised out of a chocolate vat...'!


  1. Oh my! Having spent every morning in Norwich Cathedral for worship as a schoolboy- this has upset me a ot. A little portion of my heart lies there- why can't these modernists go and install their crass and foul art in buildings that warrant it. Forget faith this is an assualt on aesthetic and totally out of keeping in the beautiful surrounds.

  2. Those who say that they were "baptised into the Church of England" and so must remain there should be reminded that those who are baptised in a chocolate vat aren't Mars bars.

  3. I like the toffee bowl actually. It'd make a nice fountain or I could put some plants in it. Perhaps a bit big for my flat though. But nice as it is, it shouldn't be the font in Norwich Cathedral.

    To replace a fifteenth century seven sacrament font, a visual representation of our faith and six hundred years of history with something unusual and striking, but essentially meaningless is depressing but, unfortunately, perhaps not unexpected.