Interment of ashes
The practise of interring the ashes of a deceased loved one within the grounds of a parish church is in recognition that they are still surrounded by a community of worship and loving care. Arrangements can be made by families of parish members and those who have had a personal connection with the parish, for ashes to be interred at either church. This may also be appropriate for those whose funeral has been held at either church if the family wishes to acknowledge an ongoing connection with the parish.
It was the practise in the parish after the closure of the cemeteries in 1963 to permit plaques to be installed on the boundary walls of the cemetery adjacent to ashes interred within the perimeter. This practise has been discontinued in order to comply with the Diocesan policy on Memorial Gardens. Some families who had pre-paid in order to reserve a position may still be accommodated, so please contact the parish if you are in this category.
In general, ashes are currently interred in a Memorial Garden set aside for the purpose. The parish records the names and details of those whose ashes have been interred in the Memorial Garden in a register held within the church and available for public inspection. In accordance with Diocesan policy, no plaques or permanent memorabilia marking where the ashes have been interred are permitted. There is an existing Memorial Garden at St Mary’s which is in use. For interment in the Memorial Garden families are asked to make a donation towards the establishment and upkeep.
Some families wish to make a gift such as a garden bench or a tree near the place of interment, and a plaque may be affixed with a dedication. Please contact us if you wish to donate a tree or other item in memory of your loved one. Consultation with the parish as to the tree variety and placement is essential. Please contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your wishes.