The history of Holy Trinity’s font is quirky!
It is not original to the church, being much older than our stone building. It may be Saxon in origin (400 to 1066 CE) or Norman (1066 to 1348 CE). Certainly the carvings appear to be Norman in date.
The font came from the church of St Leonard, Over Whitacre in North Warwickshire. It had been removed during re-ordering of the church in the early nineteenth century and left upside down in the church grounds. This was next to the village inn, where visitors on horseback started to use it as a mounting-block! Richard Sadler, a resident of High Street in Sutton Coldfield discovered it in this situation and took it to his house where he set it in the garden.
His son, also Richard Sadler, a churchwarden, left it to the church on his father’s death in 1856. A brass plaque on the font explains this history.
The marble basin which lines the font was from the font previously in use in the church from 1760. Norman Evans notes that the earlier font consisted of this marble basin supported on a classical pedestal.
The font was installed under the tower until the end of the nineteenth century when it was moved to the foot of the steps on the South side. During the re-ordering of 2016 it was moved back to the foot of the tower, creating a larger space for families to gather at baptism services. When not in use it is clearly visible through the glass doors from the West end.
Position of font
The position of the font within the church has moved.
Prior to the re-ordering of 2016, the font stood on the floor of the west end of the nave, just south of the steps up to the tower. It can just be seen in the first picture to the left, under the blue Ten Commandments board.
As part of Phase 1 of the 2016 re-ordering the font was moved to pride of place in the tower, as shown in the second picture. This well lit, elevated position, allows the font to be seen more clearly. It also offers a clearer view for the congregation when a baptism is taking place. The last picture shows the font in situ, after the phase 2 re-ordering opened up the tower.