Re: St. Barnabas, Kensington (London Consistory Court, Newsom Ch. 22 October 1988)
A confirmatory faculty was sought for a plastic pool set into a platform at the end of the chancel and normally covered by a heavy wooden lid flush with the platform. The function of the pool was the baptism of adults by immersion or submersion.
The incumbent did not discourage infant baptism, neither did he permit "re-baptism" of previously baptised persons. He wished to have an ordinary font for infant baptisms and the pool for some adult baptisms. The Chancellor held that, despite the resolution of the House of Bishops passed on 21 October 1987 (whereby there should only be one font for baptisms in a church, and a font providing for baptism by immersion or submersion should also be readily usable for baptism by affusion) there was no rule of law that there might be only one font in a church. There were considerable practical difficulties in designing a font of the kind contemplated by the House of Bishops.
Since the incumbent had proper intentions with regard to the rite, and was orthodox in his teaching about the sacrament, there was no reason to disallow the proposals. The faculty was expressed to operate until further order, so as to guard against any changes of mind in the parish.
(1989) 1:4 Ecc LJ 5