We make the pools off timber moulds, so we can make changes very easily. So, once you’ve made sure you have the space and it will get in the building, what can you design?
Going back to getting the baptismal in the building, we can make pools in two sections which then join together at installation. This might be useful if there are narrow doors, corridors or stairways to negotiate.
Based on the dimensions churches keep asking for, the space needed to baptise someone is 2.1m long by 1.5m wide and about 1.2m deep. This gives space to baptise a tall person and have two helpers in the pool. The water can be filled to about 1m deep.
You can either have the steps jutting out from this tank or, if the tank is made larger, the steps can be inside. An important thing to know is that the depth of the pool (1.2m for example) becomes the extra length you have to add on for the steps. So, if the central baptismal area of the pool is 2.1m long, a set of steps would make the whole pool 3.3m long. The deeper the pool, the more of your baptistry you have to use for steps!
The steps can be the full width of the baptistry tank or just, say, 1m wide. One set of steps is the most frequent choice but many churches have two sets of steps. The steps usually go on one of the short edges because this makes it easier to transport and fit into he buildings. Steps can go on the long sides to make a T-shape or a cross-shape. Steps can go anywhere. If space is tight, the steps can inside the baptistry – one church had two sets of steps coming down the back wall of the tank that met in the middle so it felt like people were coming on stage.
When it comes to size, the real limits are the access into he building, transport costs and the lids! Once the baptistry gets above 1.5m wide, the way the lids have to be made changes a bit and this makes them a bit heavier and a little bit more expensive.
Now for filling and emptying the pool. When it comes to emptying a pool, many churches can’t use a plug and drain the water away because, once the baptistry is in the ground, it is too low down. Not a problem. We make the baptismal with a small sump in one corner. A submersible pump and pipe can be used to pump the water out and into a drain. We can fit in with however you want to fill or empty your pool. If you want taps and overflows, this is not a problem – we can mould in recesses to fit and, better still, it has no cost implication. Filling and emptying a baptistry is one of those topics best sorted early on in the project. Please give me a call as I’m happy to chat.