The new font for St John the Baptist Anglican Church was consecrated by Bishop Alison Taylor on 2 November 2014.
Every font should have a story, a message that can be passed on. The story behind the new font for the St John the Baptist Anglican Church began with a rough layered glass bowl. What was needed was a stand to place the beautiful bowl on which not only held it up but also complimented and told a story at the same time.
To marry the two together called for the need to look at the community in which they will be placed for future use in welcoming the newest members into the wider Christian community. That community is the Anglican parish in Bulimba, St John the Baptist.
Bulimba is an Aboriginal word which means, the place of the Magpie Lark. (Bulim- Magpie Lark and –ba – place of) The glass font can be seen as a symbol of new life, and therefore just like a magpies egg, it is best found to be sitting in a nest which will be created from stainless steel rod that are individually welded to a base. There are 39 such stainless steel rod which represent the twigs that make up the nest and also they represent the 39 articles of the Anglican faith. We understand that one article in it self does not represent the all the Articles of the Anglican faith nor will one supported the glass ‘egg’ very well. Yet when we have all 39 twigs, 39 articles they are able to support the glass ‘egg’ very well and securely.
The font will be placed directly on the stem, trunk of a tree to which the nest is also seated. On the trunk, below the nest and font, will be three rings which are entwined with each other representing the Triune God, Father, Son And Holy Spirit. For it is that we as Christians are to baptized into and through.
The trunk, stem is made up of seven branches, that have grown from roots that are also the legs of the font. The seven branches represent the seven steps of creation, which represent Gods involvement in the world we live in today. The number 7 also represents the perfect number of God. The number 7 also reminds Christians of the Anglican, Roman Catholics and other faiths in:
The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
- To feed the hungry.
- To give drink to the thirsty.
- To clothe the naked.
- To harbour the harbourless. (also loosely interpreted today as To Shelter the Homeless)
- To visit the sick.
- To visit the imprisoned (classical term is “To ransom the captive”)
- To bury the dead.
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
“Just as the Corporal Works of Mercy are directed towards relieving corporeal suffering, the even more important aim of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to relieve spiritual suffering. The latter works are traditionally enumerated thus:”
- To instruct the ignorant.
- To counsel the doubtful.
- To admonish sinners.
- To bear wrongs patiently.
- To forgive offences willingly.
- To comfort the afflicted.
- To pray for the living and the dead.
On one of the ‘branches’ of the stem will be found a branch growing out of the stem and on the branch a Magpie Lark feeding its young. The branch tells us that the earth is still growing and alive and not static and we need to care for as it supports the adult magpie and chicks safely the earth supports all of Gods people. The small nest on that branch reminds us that we should be prepared for the future. Because we don’t know what tomorrow brings. In the nest small chicks can be seen that are calling for food and care. Those chicks represent the vulnerable, helpless and needy which the adult magpie is feeding and caring for. The adult magpie is the community that is able to help and care for the vulnerable, needy and helpless.
And the center pole holds them all together connecting the past to the present. The roots grow from ground we find ourselves standing on in the present and from the ground or earth we find food, that gives us energy to live and give praise and thank to God. And again they all support the water of life by which the newest member is Baptised into the Christian faith.
The Triune God (Russian ring) is loose around creation and the world indicating that God is fluid and is constantly moving the same with creation, it is still happening around us.
Water in the font is new life.
Not only will the font welcome new comers into the faith but it will also symbolize that the church is not static, but fluid. The font connect the past with the present and allowing the movement into the future. Welcome the new to the old.
On the one branch of the stem/trunk , four ‘x’s’ can be seen they are to acknowledge that the steel used was sponsored by XXXX brewery.