chapter  3
6 Pages

Probable Christian symbols from Chedworth and Poundbury

One further feature of two of the tanks should be considered, and linked to their identification as vessels for footwashing. It is noted that the Pulborough tank and one of the pair from Bourton have holes punched around the rim. Thomas goes to considerable lengths to show that some sort of temporary structures would have been built around baptisteries used infrequently during the Church year, and that such evidence is not always detectable archaeologically. As shown above, the need for privacy would have been as great for the footwashing part of the ceremony as for the baptism itself, and it may be that the irregular holes around two of the lead tanks are the evidence for temporary and partial screens such as would afford privacy for this ritual and some protection from the elements.