What is soft, malleable and brown? Copper. And melting chocolate. Mmm… Is there anything more mouth-watering than a swirling bowl of luscious chocolate being gently melted before being shaped into something delectable for the taste buds?

The copper baptismal font in Norwich Cathedral was, in a past life and in a different location, used to melt chocolate. How many infants or young children might have relished the thought of being baptised with chocolate instead of water…?

Said cauldron became redundant and was moved – empty of chocolate I presume – from its local factory into the cathedral, and is now filled with water. To remember their own baptism or to reflect on God’s interest in the lives of all people, visitors are invited to dip their hands into the water. Now if the font was filled with chocolate…

Delicious though chocolate is, water is vital to life. Unsurprisingly, chocolate isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but water features frequently – in the natural world, as a thirst quencher, as a cleanser and, in baptism, as a symbol of new life.

Chocolate provides melting moments, as has the heat of recent weeks. But this weekend there’s rain. The water of life; and water in the Norwich font reminds us of what Jesus said: “Those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.” Something chocolate could never do.

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