Our baptistries maybe portable but it is still an event when they arrive – at least 3 boxes all of some size. Out heaters are more diminutive, being in small plastic crates. The big issue for everyone is the timing of deliveries and pickups. We have all had the experience of waiting in all day for a delivery that may take place between 8am and 10pm and an unhappy and disgruntled driver turning up at our door.
We do try to minimise poor experiences for all concerned (including the drivers, some of whom have a challenging job). However, we need to work in partnership with everyone to make things work smoothly. Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, something may derail things, such as a road accident or weather, or a technical fault in the system or the truck and leave us all without the service we had worked for!
Why not a carrier who can provide 2 hour delivery windows? Our Baptistries are specialist and often bulky items and so not every carrier is happy to take our parcels, and others charge a high price for doing so. Parcelforce charge a good price for delivery and will take even our biggest baptistries without complaint. We are also finding them better able to reach our extremely rural customers via their network. As for 2 hour window notifications, this is something they are working towards. Let us hope and pray the obstacles they are finding to doing so are overcome.
This is is a big baptistry at 4m long and over 1.5m wide and a maximum depth of 1.2m…and steps at both ends. We’ve just made this for a church in Preston.
Usually, baptistries are sunken into the ground, a few go above ground. But there is a trend in the States to have them above ground and on castors so that they are mobile and can be moved about the church. In modern open-space church buildings, a mobile baptistry makes use of the flexible space. Will this trend catch on?
Most ‘new expression’ churches want space, open, flexible space that fits with their wide range of outreach and worship. A baptistry that can be wheeled to any part of the auditorium fits with this style.
BTW, we do put brakes on too!
This is a short post just to keep things up to date. Whilst a pallet service will be an option, it looks as if we can still offer a ‘parcel’ service at a reasonable rate. It has been a bit frenetic as we’ve pushed to get the new carrier in place for next week
To clarify, this crisis with FedEx has only affected the pool hire side, heaters (being much smaller) go with DHL and they’re fine.
After using FedEx for over 6 years we have had major problems with them over Easter. Hopefully, customers will not have noticed. However, FedEx implemented a new online booking procedure and, in short, it was chaotic and their pricing and billing system has become erratic and unreliable. What is clear is that it has been a cover a for a price hike.
To send a Nonagon pool now would cost £140 there and back whereas it used to cost £100. To send the old Galilee pool, we were recently charged over £300 instead of £120! We are urgently looking at other carriers and it is likely that we will have to use a pallet service as the default carrier. This has three immediate benefits: it is cheaper; the delivery is within a much narrower time-window; the baptistry is easier to repack for the return to us. The down-side is that a customer must be able to receive a pool on a pallet. The carrier will have a tail-lift on the lorry and a pallet truck and will deliver to the foyer on the level. For customers who can receive and return on a pallet, we are looking at other carriers who can cope with such large consignments.
As all this may wish you could buy the pool, we are putting together a way for customers to buy in instalments over more than the 3 months currently offered.
The lease scheme is better value than hiring if you use the pool more than 3 times per year, and whilst it is a 5 year lease, there is an opt-out at 3 years.
The Galilee baptistry, which was very popular because it was quick to set up and had a double-liner system has become too expensive to send with FedEx because the curved panels result in big, bulky boxes. Hitherto, FedEx were the only ‘parcel’ carrier who would deal with boxes of this size, now they seem to be charging silly prices. To help matters, we have redesigned the pool to give the new Flatpack Galilee. At the same time, we’ve made changes to the dimensions – the new flatpack Galilee is 78cm deep (the same as the Nonagon and Croydon pools) because some felt the depth of the Galilee a little on the shallow side. It is also a wee bit longer and broader. at over 7′ long and 5′ wide internally, this is a very spacious baptistry that stores well.
Unless the architect or builder are prepared to guarantee the concrete and tile baptistry will not leak (and not need regrouting!) in under 10 (or 25) years, don’t bother!
Our fibreglass baptistries mean less fuss and cost at installation as the unit comes as a whole. Insulation is built in, the walls need no additional support, and the reinforced lids can take the whole choir! And our fibreglass baptistries need no maintenance for years to come. The baptistry is guaranteed for 10 years, though it will probably last well over 25 years.
Concrete pools are poorly insulated, if at all. Ours come with 50mm of insulation built in as standard. Heating the water in concrete and tile pools is expensive and wasteful as you end up heating the concrete as well as the water. The fibreglass lids can be put over the tank whilst filling and heating to keep in the heat and, unlike wood, will not swell and warp. Even treated timber starts to swell once the varnish wears.
GRP pools do not need maintenance (other than an occasional wipe down). The grouting between tiles soon attracts mould and we have phone calls from churches with leaky tiled baptistries at the rate of one a month. It isn’t just a false economy, it’s no saving at all to have a concrete and tile baptistry.
Get in touch because there is a fibreglass pool for your budget.
For nearly 10 years now we’ve run the baptistry hire side of our business as a service to church congregations of all denominations because we think it is an important part of mission for churches.
We’ve taken a long, hard look at baptistry hire and come to the conclusion that there is a group of problems centring on sustainability.
Sustainability- transporting them to and from is dead money for the customer. Sustainability – transporting pools around by courier leads to more wear and tear on them and the need to keep making new ones. Post-Brexit, raw material costs are creeping up. Sustainability – the business. This year we carefully looked at the figures and worked out that we were barely breaking even on the hire side. And there is the sustainability of us as people – there is a lot of work in organising the logistics, packing and repacking pools, making and repairing pools, and so on and we are not getting younger.
We will carry on renting out the pools but we have formed a new way for customers to get their baptistry. With leasing, customers will pay a far lower weekly rate and not have the transport costs between hires. Nor will they have to worry about whether another church has damaged the kit as you will have complete control over the pool with you. If the liner does get damaged, we factor in one replacement liner during your lease. You will have a baptistry at your church all the time and the facilities on hand to offer baptism more often.
Leases can be for 3 or 5 year periods as you prefer. If you currently hire 3 times a year, then it would be worth your while to look at leasing. Leases are available now (speak with Ruth).
Rentals as we do them now would carry on but the cost would reflect the true cost of putting on such as service. We know that for special one off events and for particular Church circumstances a hire service will still be required, but we also know that to sustain the service in the long run we will not be able to do the work ourselves. So we are planning to pay staff to do the work and offer the service. We want to pay a real living wage and to do this our hire prices will rise from Pentecost onwards. The Apostle hire will go up to £300 plus £120 delivery, the Croydon and Galilee will hire at £235 plus £100 delivery and the Nonagon will hire at £225 plus £100 delivery.
We are redesigning the baptistry water heater, so in the New Year, this will only apply to 4.8kW heaters shown here.
With the 4.8kW heater, one element is the master and the other the slave. Both are independently earthed but the earth on the ‘slave’ flex will not work unless the master is plugged in and switched on. So, unless you have two PAT testing kits, it is important to get the correct plug.
To get an earth, the usual thing to do would be to touch the heating elements with the earth probe. The coil manufacturer advises that a contact should be sought at the base of the coil (see the photograph).
The 4.8kW water heater has two plugs and we mark the flex for the master element with a piece of black tape so you get the correct plug. Then one needs to make a test on both elements (at the base of the element). Even then, scale on the elements can give a false fail, and I have found that the ‘pencil-like’ earthing probe doesn’t get enough contact. Most kits come with an alternative ‘dog-tooth’ clamp fitting to go on the end of the earth probe.
To get at the coils, unscrew the 4 corner screws and lift out the top plate (picture 1). The coils are attached to this and should lift up with it. Use the clamp to scrape away at the scale and get a better contact.
Summary – Use the plug with black tape on flex, and get a good contact on the coil.
Building a tank in GRP is far better than in concrete and tile – for you and the user! It is cheaper in terms of getting a finished baptistry and in ongoing maintenance. Short of an occasional wash down, the GRP needs no maintenance. Whereas tiled baptistries need regrouting and their failure keeps us in business.
A fibreglass tank is also quicker to install. All it needs is a concrete pad on which to sit and the finished pool can sit on top and will take the weight of the water. And it is insulated as standard. So, savings can be made at the installation stage too.
And the filling and emptying can be as simple or complex as you wish. And as cheap or expensive as you want.
Our portable immersion water heaters will need testing periodically and many churches either have their own kit or bring in an electrician.
There are two things that need to be understood as they may lead to false fails.
When seeking for an earth, the usual thing to do would be to touch the heating elements with the earth probe. We are advised by the coil manufacturers (in the UK) that a contact should be sought at the base of the coil (see the photograph).
When it comes to plugging in the appliance for its Portable Appliance Test, the 2.4kW heaters are straight-forward as they only have one plug. The 4.8kW water heater has two plugs and it is important to get the right one. With the 4.8kW heater, one element is the master and the other the slave. The latter will not work unless the master is plugged in and switched on. On our 4.8kW heater we mark the flex for the master element with a piece of black tape so you get the correct plug. Then one needs to make a test on both elements (at the base of the element).
As a final point, any scale on the elements can give a false fail, I know a trained spark will know this but it does get forgotten. There is an article on cleaning away scale, other than just scraping and chipping a bit off.
It may seem a bit odd to be advertizing another company but bear with us! Wooden Baptistery Co make portable wooden baptistries such as the ‘Ben’s Boat‘ and we put together a kit box for each of their pools, hence us advertizing their baptistries. All their pools are handmade in the UK and a particular favourite is the wooden hexagonal because of the way it fits together without any tools. At 5′ across it is quick to fill as well making it an excellent baptistry where a church needs to set up and take down quickly.
We provide a kit for each of their pools which contains a pump, lay-flat hose pipe, base pads, insulating cover and, if ordered, a heater and a step.