all saints' church, basingstoke

At the west end of the church is the baptistery - the separate centrally planned structure surrounding the baptismal font. 

The FonT

At the west end of the church is the baptistery. At the centre is the Font, a great bowl used for Holy Baptism. It is one of the two most important parts of the church, the other being the High Altar. Our font is made of a huge piece of Chilmark stone and has six sides (unlike medieval fonts, which usually have eight). The font was designed by Temple Moore and is beautifully carved with gothic motifs and the sacred monogram.

 Temple Moore, the designer of the church, wanted it to have a medieval feel, so he included a Rood Screen, but he made it less dominant so that the proportions of the building and the focus on the High Altar were not disturbed.


Immediately above the font is the 'Head of Christ' by the famous sculptor Dame Elizabeth Frink. It was installed in 1983. The closed eyes suggest contemplation, the lines below the forehead the humanity of Christ and the smooth pyramidical forehead His divinity; the overall communicating strength, nobility and pain.

 The altar is stone, usually covered in fine fabrics, and usually with candles on it. The top of the altar is a single huge slab of stone.
The High Altar is at the opposite end of the church to the font, they are the axis of the building and the reason for everything else that is here.


Two banners hang either side of the 'Head of Christ'. The first is of the blessed sacrament whilst the other depicts the mighty stream of the saints of God ascending into heaven.  To the right of the altar is a credence and piscina made of green Irish marble. The kneelers at the altar rail were designed by Elisabeth Collins.


Above the 'Head of Christ' is the Great West Window. This and the two 'Angel' windows above the north and south porches were designed by the late Cecil Collins and made by Patrick Reyntiens. The great west window is entitled 'The Mystery of the Holy Spirit' and shows God the Holy Spirit centrally as a great face or sun. Surrounding this are concentric circles, containing flames, which are also searing hearts, stars and wheeling circles of angels in form similar to those of the 'Angel' windows but now in flight, with heart shaped bodies containing an eye within a heart and with wings like tongues of flame. This window, which was dedicated in 1988, has many moods, in early morning with most of the light falling on the inside of the glass, the outside being in shade, the window is austere and cool, almost aloof. In the evening with the sun setting through the window the colours of the glass are enhanced and deepened with reds and golds filling the whole church.


The two almost identical 'Angel' Windows over the north and south porches are much smaller, but boldly coloured in a vivid yellow, they are each dominated by two angels holding circles containing an eye within a heart - 'the eye of the heart'. These were dedicated in 1985.