This chapel is the Baptistery of Westminster Cathedral.
Following tradition it is near the main entrance, as Baptism is
the Sacrament of Christian initiation, of entry into the Church.
The statue of St John the Baptist reminds us that Christians are
baptised following the example of Jesus, whose baptism by John
in the River Jordan marked the beginning of his public ministry.
It was the occasion when in a dramatic way he was proclaimed
Son of God, and anointed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The font (from the Latin word for a spring of water) is large, as
a reminder of the days when baptism was always by immersion
- a sign of our sharing in the death, burial and resurrection of
Jesus Christ as our sins are washed away and we are spiritually
The font, designed by the Cathedral architect, John Francis
Bentley, and made in Rome in 1901, is octagonal, as a symbol
of the eternal life begun at baptism.
Baptism occurs only once for each individual, but the faithful
make the sign of the cross with blessed water on entering
church, to remind them of their baptism.
Beside the font stands the Paschal (Easter) cancle, a sign of the
Light of Christ, which overcomes the darkness of sin and death.