Font for RC Church of St Barnabas, Molesey

In 2019 I was commissioned to recreate a font for the RC Church of St Baranabus in Molesey by Fr Richard Biggerstaff.

All I had to go on was this rather blurred photo of the original font, before it was removed for reasons unknown, and replaced with a rather unlovely wooden affair which no one seemed to like.

Only photo available of the original font

I visited the church on several occasions taking photographs of the classical repeat patterns behind the dais and came up with the following design, with options for the church to consider.

New font designs
Dais relief panel with repeated leaf pattern

The church committee chose the repeat pattern and the collar with the crenelated underside. The rim on the top of the bowl and the bullnosed/crenelated collar were to be gilded in 24 carat gold-leaf and the whole to be made from Portland basebed limestone.

Font Column finished
Bowl prior to gilding
The 2 main pieces ready for gilding
The gilding process using 24ct gold leaf

Fyfe Sands brilliantly carved the repeat pattern on the bowl, while I did the collars on the column. The whole was bored with a 50mm core drill to allow drainage.

This has been one fo the most pleasing jobs of my career. I am so pleased with the design and execution of the piece, as is the church.

We become masons, carvers, sculptors and conservators because we want to make our own contributions to wonderful ancient buildings which were hand-made by craftsmen of the past. I feel really honoured to have made something beautiful that will be used by generations of parishioners.

  1. James Pierce said:

    Really nice piece of work.
    I like it a lot and I’m sure the church do too.
    I tried gilding with gold leaf on a ball finial I did at
    BCC Stratford, but it didn’t work, so I used gold ajirfix paint, so it still came out okay.
    Best wishes,
    James Pierce

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