New font dedicated after vandals struck
CHURCHGOERS at St George’s, Waterlooville, are celebrating the return of their font in a special service at 10am on Sunday.
After what was described as a “senseless” act when vandals smashed up the previous font, the church established a Just Giving page to raise funds to get it repaired and to install additional security.
Spokesman Chris Gadd said: “We were overwhelmed with the level of support from the local community and beyond. Not just people who go to our church, but many who openly professed they were of no faith whatsoever but that the church is such an important part of our town and that the vandalism was horrifying to them.”
The font was sent to Chichester Stoneworks to see if it could be repaired.
Churchwarden John Hood explained : “The original top bowl was broken into three pieces and the main pillar was badly chipped. A new bowl and pillar have been made matching the original.”
The repair took some time reflecting the level of work and craftsmanship involved, but also because the font is made from Portland stone which is in short supply as the War Graves Commission are carrying out an enhanced renovation programme of headstones to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War.
General Manager at Chichester Stoneworks, Simon Coates, said that “We produced cutting schedules with the overall dimensions for the sawyers to cut the stone and send into the masons’ workshops. The masons receive the stone and apply the plastic templates to the stone to draw around and produce the required profile to match the details taken from the original font. The masons use the isometric sketch on the job-cards as a guide and to ensure detail from the templates is not mis-interpreted. The bulk of the waste is cut away using angle grinders with diamond tipped blades. The masons hand-carve the detail using pneumatic air guns and tungsten-tipped chisels.
“It has been a pleasure working alongside St George’s to renovate their beautiful font so that many more in the local community can once again be christened.”
The refurbished font will be re-dedicated during the 10am service at St George’s Church on Sunday 26th November. Chris Gadd added : “We would love all those who helped make this possible, and anyone who has been christened at the church, to come and celebrate the return of the font to our church with us at our service this weekend.”