Blamey has worshipped at St Pancras Old Church, London, for most of his life, being first a choirboy there, then altar server, acolyte and a Master of Ceremonies. 'The Lavabo' is one of a series of paintings based on this church which examine the rituals of the Anglo-Catholic Mass. The ceremony of the Lavabo is part of the Offertory section of the Mass. Before the priest offers the eucharistic bread and wine to his congregation he stands by the altar and ritually cleans his fingers. He holds them over a bowl and an altar server pours water on them. They are then wiped with a napkin.