Holy Water Stoup

Just inside the inner west door (i.e. the main door) of the church is a bowl inside a stone pillar, this is known as a stoup (a vessel for holding holy water). It is placed near the entrance so that the faithful who enter the building can dip the fingers of their right hand into the water and bless themselves with the sign of the cross.

The water serves to remind us of our Baptism. It is thought that holy water stoups are probably derived from the fountains in the atrium of the older basilicas (e.g. St. Peter's in Rome) in which those who were entering the church washed their hands and faces.

Prior to being the stoup stand the stone pillar was originally the font before the construction of the large font in the baptistry in 1911. It then spent some time as the font in All Saints, Baldwins Hill, then returned to St Mary's as a second font an was previously placed at the front of the nave.

Holy Water Stoup
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St Mary the Virgin East Grinstead. Church of England Parish in the Diocese of Chichester

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