The South Aisle
The South Aisle (Figure 13) was added at the same time that the Nave was extended and widened, and its roof raised. Just to the west side of the main door is a board recording the names of the Rectors and Vicars of Clevedon from 1331 until the present time (Figure 14). Apart from the most recent clergy listed, the names are taken from the Hugo Manuscript in the British Library. The panel of teak on which the names are inscribed came from H.M.S. Lion, Admiral Beatty's flagship at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. The frame is made of oak, formerly in the Belfry of the Church.
The Church of England operates a three-fold hierarchy of leadership – bishops, priests and deacons, which it continued from that of the Roman Catholic Church after its split from Rome in the English Reformation. Vicars, clergy or priests are those who stand in the gap between God and people – to bring God to the people and people to God. The Reformation also taught the priesthood of all believers, and the aim of all at St Andrew’s Church is to bring the light of Christ to all people.
The large octagonal structure at the west end of the South Aisle is the old font, probably dating from the 14th century, although the wooden cover is much later (see Figure 15). The name comes from the same Latin root as the word ‘fountain’. Its purpose is to contain the water used in baptism, and a font is usually placed either near the door or at the west end of a church, symbolising the way that confession of faith in baptism signifies entry into the Church of Christ. The old font is no longer used. A new, free-standing font was dedicated in December 2016, and when needed is placed between the pulpit and the lectern so that the baptismal party can gather around and be seen by the congregation.
Baptism is the sacrament which welcomes people into the membership of the church, whether as adults, or commonly in the Church of England, as infants brought by parents or guardians. While adults are able to make promises for themselves, when infants are baptised, parents and godparents promise to bring the child up in the faith of Christ. Confirmation is the rite which takes place once a child has grown sufficiently to make their own decision to follow Christ, thus confirming the faith into which their parents had them baptised.