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Ancient Font

The ancient font

The font stands in the baptistery' near the entrance to the church. In the font the life-giving waters of Baptism are blessed and poured, as new Christians come to be claimed for Christ and to be re-born in him. The font was, from early times, a principal symbol of continuity and was often the only original artefact to survive a rebuilding. The font at Prescot, historically termed as being ‘ Norman ' is thought to be ‘Anglo-Saxon' by the Civic Trust. The font was removed in the Civil Wars of 1642 and returned at the Restoration in 1660. It was given to Roby church in 1850 then put out into the graveyard there. It was discovered by Canon Mitchell at the beginning of the 20 th Century and after his death in 1933, it was returned to Prescot and re-dedicated in his memory by his daughters in 1935. Canon Mitchell was Vicar at Prescot from 1887-1919. The font is formed from a large sandstone block, the primitive and deep bowl is lined with lead. On its rim is evidence of where a lock and hinge were once attached, probably during the 13 th century when all fonts were fitted with lids to prevent the theft of holy water to cure minor skin ailments. It now has a 17 th century carved wooden cover.

Also here in the baptistery (except in Easter-tide) is the 'Paschal' candle mounted on a stand designed in 1989 by Robin McGhie.

The marble fontIn the north aisle is an Italian marble holy water stoup or stoop, given to the church by Daniel Willis of Halsnead Hall in 1755. Described by Pevsner as 'a very pretty piece,' it has a shallow basin, and a foot with concave sides, carved with leaves and shells. It has also served as a font and in it the actor John Philip Kemble was baptised in 1757. He was born in Prescot wilst his parents were visiting the town with a company of travelling theatre performers.


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