In East Anglian parishes, the baptismal font is located nearest the west end.  Elevated on a tiered base, with its frequently splendid carving and towering cover, the font dominated the entrance to the church, just as the altar and its furnishings dominated the eastern end.  The requirement of a cover was defined by an order of 1236.  Baptism is a Christian ritual that countermanded the effect of original sin, inherited by the human race through the transgression of the first parents, Adam and Eve (Genesis 3).  Water is used for the symbolic sense of ablution, washing away the stain of sin.  By the 15th century the ceremony was not only a required ritual of entrance into the Christian community, but an important social function as well.  The site of a mainly lay activity, baptism set up a counterbalance to the predominantly clerical celebration of the mass.  Churching, (MK Ch. 82) the reception of a woman into the church after childbirth was also in the western end, at the porch of the church,.  Thus the building’s function for its multiple users, lay and clerical, was apportioned geographically. (See H. Munro Cautley, Suffolk Churches, 1982, pp. 62-87; Ann Eljenholm Nichols, Seeable Signs: The Iconography of the Seven Sacraments, 1350-1544, Rochester, New York, 1994); Francis Bond, Fonts and Font Covers, New York, 1908).