When it comes to emptying a baptistry, the most common way is to use a submersible sump pump. There are many reasons why churches go down this route. Sometimes, it is because the levels are wrong so gravity drainage isn’t an option. But it is just as common to find that the church are unwilling to have plumbing under the baptistry that they may not be able to get at and which may start leaking at some point in the future.
From the point of view of cost of the baptistry itself, it doesn’t make any difference whether a pool is drained through a plug-hole or a sump pump – it is just a minor tweak in moulding. For the church, the pump and pipe option can very often be the cheaper option. There are options when it comes to deciding where to get the pump to empty to – down a loo, down an existing drain, or down a purpose-made extension to the foulwater drain.
The picture here shows the water being pumped out to a stack (rather like the back of a washing machine) that is hidden beneath a service hatch. The same service hatch houses the valve to turn the water supply on to fill the baptistry.
For a neater look, the same camlocks that clamp the pipe to the pump, can be used at the other end to clamp the pipe to the drain. (This can also be applied to overflows too, ask about this if it is something of interest!)
If access to the underside of the baptistry and its plumbing is not easy or downright impossible, the pump and pipe method offers a low-cost, low-worry option with extremely low installation costs.
As we can mould any baptistry to suit, we can build in the drainage, filling and overflow options you’d like to see and, most times, there is no cost implication.
If you are in a hard water area of the country you will find that your heater elements will become coated with limescale during use. As the limescale gets thicker it will take more time and electricity to heat your baptistery. There are 3 ways of tackling this but they differ a little depending on which heater you have.
Remove 4 corner screws on the lid and carefully chip away the lime scale from the elements. In most cases this will come away quite easily.
Off-the-shelf products such as Killrock (or any other product used for de-scaling kettles). Again remove the 4 corner screws from the heater lid. For the 2.4 heater, slide the lid up the cable out of the way, mix de-scaler using manufacturer’s instructions. Put mixture in a bowl just deep enough to cover the element when heater is stood on its end. Make sure only the element is in the mixture. It will not hurt the plastic box, which will have to be partly immersed too.
For the 4.8 you will need a shallow container with at least one straight side as once you have removed the lower part of the box containing the elements, the elements will have to be immersed without touching any other components. The descaler is mixed as above.
When the limescale touches the mixture it will usually fizz for a while it’s doing its business.
Other remdies use household items such as vinegar. Whilst you could use an equal part solution of water and household vinegar, you will need a lot of it, as you’ll see. Mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water and stand the elements in it for an hour. Then heat the solution with the heater. The heater needs to be covered by 10cm of liquid to ensure it is not damaged, so you will have to mix up large amount of vinegar and water.
Only attempt the descaling if you feel confident. If not go to option 3
You could combine service and de-scale as it does not cost a lot and extends the life of the heater.
Our number is 0345 230 1381. This rings to all our offices simultaneously and you will be able to contact us in office hours. Very occasionally, customers are ringing a geographical number (starting 01274), possibly because their handset displayed that number instead of the 0345 number.
If you ring this geographical landline number, there is a very high chance you will not get an answer or, if you leave a voicemail, your message is never collected.
0345 numbers are mobile-friendly and cost the same as a the geographical 01274 number.
Fibreglass (GRP) is such a wonderfully adaptable material for use in building, architecture and engineering. If you would like sheets of brickwork to give you the look of a brick wall quickly and cheaply (and without the weight!), then we can help. These can be supplied either as sheets or made up as walls (pictured). We also make sheets of fibreglass tiles so you can tile whole walls in minutes. Painted wood effect panels is another favourite!
We can also incorporate metal-effect films into the GRP allowing us to make signs or plaques (or whatever takes your fancy!) that appear to be brass or bronze, for example.
A quick snippet of news! We now have a 2.4kW heater with a control box so that you can have a compact portable water heater with all the ‘controllability’ of our 4.8kW water heater.
We’ve already done the jokes about Charlotte Chapel being the Non-conformist cousin of Charlotte Church, but here she is. Not long out of the mould, trimmed and still dusty, she is waiting to have her lids fitted and checked. This is quite a broad baptistry (2.0m x 2.4m) and is a little out-of-the-ordinary for having the steps within the pool. A removable stainless steel handrail will be fitted to the side of the steps.
I’ve put together a sheet of useful background information for when you’re designing, or discussing designs for, a church baptistry. It is aimed at architects, builders and anyone in the church leading a project. The design of a church baptistry can be very flexible (without certain constraints), often with little or no price implication. However, you need to know where to start. We have had one or two enquiries over the years from builders/architects who have gone too far down a cul-de-sac.
The link below opens the PDF.
We reinforce the lids with timber struts for narrower pools but for wider ones, we will used a compressed box-section tubing made of compressed fibreglass because it is lighter and stronger than the matching dimension in timber. And it is certainly lighter and a LOT cheaper than using steel or aluminium.
The added advantage of GRP is that it will not swell or warp as wood can do. And, in terms of finish, we can make them in any colour, or you can stick carpet or wood tiles directly to the lids.
There will always be some flexing in the lids when one walks on them, though usually this only becomes even noticeable once the lid gets above 1.7m long. We add more reinforcing to keep the flex to a minimum, and certainly to no more than 3mm for 200kg standing weight. It will take the weight of the choir or the band! (It is odd that when I mention this, we are always asked if we can build in a trap door…)
Lids are usually 70mm deep but for longer spans we would increase this to 100mm. Conversely, for shorter spans, thinner is possible.
When it comes to lifting them out, we usually put recessed threads in one lid and send a set of eye-bolts with the lids. This way, the eye-bolts can be screwed into the lids and provide finger-holes for the two lifters. Once the first lid is out, the rest can be slid out and lifted.
Inspired by the Rev Dr Giles Fraser on Thought for the Day last week, I have been musing on the situation in Greece.
The Audacity of Grace
There is no ledger,
No account book,
No debt to repay.
And I, I am the receiver of the same
God given, unconditional, no strings
All encompassing, no caveats, no loopholes
And my role is to live that grace
Expressing it in all I do
Expressing the freedom it gives me
And the instinct for generosity and grace
To all who cross my path.
If we acted towards our own and Greece’s debt the way God dealt with us
(remember the parable of the ungrateful servant?)
Would we act differently?
There would be no debt to repay.
There would be generosity, forgiveness and gratitude.
And no harm done.
This is Giles Fraser’s Thought for the Day that got me thinking. I quote below, the full text is available here.
“The dominant western theological model of redemption is basically that of debt repayment. It goes like this: human beings have sinned against God and thus incurred a debt that has to be repaid. It’s a bit like speaking of criminals “paying back” their debt to society. But because this debt has become impossibly enormous, Jesus comes and pays it back on our behalf. That’s what happens on the cross. […] But the Greek Orthodox Church sees the salvation story completely differently. For the eastern orthodox churches, the key event is the resurrection not the crucifixion. […] For the eastern church, we are released from the burden of impossible debt by a God who believes in new life through extravagant forgiveness. In the economy of salvation, abundance of life trumps the iron cage of debt. For the western church, however, this a free lunch model of salvation that allows believers to elude any responsibility for past behaviour.”
Distance can limit the number of people who join your services and in Brighton, one church has felt God call them to get more local.
Church of Christ the King used to meet in one building, with a morning and an evening service. They had a dedicated congregation but they also wanted to offer people more opportunities to come to church.
The first step the Church took was having ‘zones’. Zones are groups meeting locally across Brighton between services offering more support and giving people more options, as Christian Finer explains. The idea blossomed, it got people thinking and Christian suggests that:
“Getting the people in the church thinking in a geographical way was the biggest change. It concentrated them on thinking about their neighbours and how they could bless their community – thinking about their own areas more deeply.”
This emphasis on care has driven the work to get out to different communities and, as the church has grown to work over different sites, they’ve worked hard to keep everyone together too. A mixture of social media, video content and regular events at the biggest site helps everyone feel their shared mission.
The first site to have its own service was Shoreham. With a half hour journey into Brighton and no fast public transport, it was a great choice. People coming in from Shoreham were able to enjoy a service round the corner and a great result was that now they could invite their friends to come along much more easily!
The Church has expanded to two services in central Brighton, two in Shoreham, two morning meetings in East Brighton and most recently two meetings in Hove. The fruit from all that hard work is there to see in the friends who’ve joined their congregation and the additional baptisms they’ve performed.
Baptism has changed along with the rest of their Church. Baptisms now happen over all their sites now, rather than just centrally, there were 57 baptisms last year.
Because of the need to drive their equipment out and set up tanks, often in hired premises, having a set of portable Baptistry UK Nonagons worked well for them. Christian agreed: “they are compact enough to go in with the rest of the stuff when we drive out, and they’re ok on space when they’re stored too”.
There was a special moment reaching out into communities this Easter. Christian says “I was there for the baptism at Easter. What was nice and a bit different was that we had two Chinese people get baptised, they shared their testimony in Mandarin for their friends and then we got it translated for everyone else in the room.”
That baptism marks a new beginning for them. Working locally has make the Church of Christ the King accessible and offered people a sense of being part of something bigger as all across the city baptisms take place simultaneously.