A baptismal font is an article of church furniture used for baptism.
Here are some facts:
- The Baptismal Font in Bellshill Central Parish Church is not the original font for the building.
- It was gifted to what was Macdonald Memorial Church of Scotland in 1943 by the junior choir.
- It is a solid wood font, but still moveable around the Choir Box.
- It contains the original pewter bowl from Bellshill Free Church, which has been incorporated into subsequent fonts.
- It features an eight-sided design, which is a reminder of the new creation and as a connection to the practice of circumcision, which traditionally occurs on the eighth day.
- Saint Ambrose wrote that fonts (and baptisteries) were octagonal “because on the eighth day, by rising, Christ loosens the bondage of death and receives the dead from their graves”. Saint Augustine similarly described the eighth day as “everlasting… hallowed by the resurrection of Christ”.
The eight panels around the top each has a story engraved thereon:
1. To the Glory of God
Presented to Macdonald Memorial Church
by The Junior Choir
2. and 3. The panel to the left of the presentation inscription has the Greek letter Alpha and the panel to the right shows Omega –
Revelations 1:8 (Page 313 of Pew Bible) says: ‘I am the first and the last,’ says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was and who is to come.
4. Moving right from Omega, the next panel shows Jesus baptism, with a dove overhead and a finger pointing from the sky.
Matthew 3;16-17 (Page 6 of Pew Bible) says: As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and alighting on him. Then a voice said from heaven, ‘This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.’
5. The next panel shows this symbol:
The Chi Rho is a symbol made from the first two letters of “Christ” in Greek. It is said that before an important battle, the Emperor Constantine saw this symbol in the sky and heard the words “By this sign, conquer”
6. The next panel has the quote from Mark 10; 14 (Page 60 of Pew Bible):
‘Suffer little children to come unto me’
7 . The following panel has this symbol:
IHS are the first three letters of the Greek word for “Jesus” (iota, eta, sigma).
8. The final panel shows the baby Jesus in the manger at Christmas.
Here are some pictures from some recent Baptism’s at Bellshill.