Why a Memorial Garden?
From earliest times, Christians have utilized their churchyards for burial. The cyclic nature of gardens from the buds of spring to full flower of summer, withering in the fall and death in winter to rebirth of buds in spring symbolize life, death and resurrection so essential to our faith. From the moment that Mary Magdalene encountered her Risen Lord in the garden, Christians have experienced God’s presence in places of beauty.
Today, the concept of churchyard burial is no longer practical. Land is limited and resources are demanded for other areas of ministry. In our busy world, people may no longer remain in one community for their lifetime, so family plots may be impractical. Thus there is a spiritual and financial need for a permanent tie to a church one cares about.
The Lawrence Memorial Garden is a place of beauty and tranquility for interment of cremated remains of the Christ Church family. It offers the 21st-century equivalent of churchyard burial, a means to proclaim our faith, and a reasonably priced alternative to burial. Everyone may not wish to utilize the burial option, but everyone can enjoy it as a place for rest, meditation and prayer.
Originally established in the late ’90s, it was dedicated on the Feast of Corpus Christi of 2023 to the Rev. Dr. Harry Lawrence in appreciation for his years of service and ministry at Christ Church.
Administration of the Garden
1. A Memorial Garden Committee is appointed by the vestry which shall be responsible for its administration and maintenance and report to the vestry as needed.
2. Persons Eligible: Intended for use by members of Christ Church and their close friends and families. The Rector may waive this requirement at their discretion.
3. Placement of ashes shall follow the plan adopted by the committee. Ashes will be buried in biodegradable containers or directly underground to become part of the soil. The container is covered by a suitable covering determined by the committee and vestry during the service until burial.
4. Markers: The name of the person buried in the garden will be inscribed on a bronze plate with the year of birth and death. The plate will be mounted to the permanent memorial plaque located at the end or the sitting wall. This name plate is the only marker used in the garden.
5. Additions, plantings, floral pieces: The design, plantings, and arrangements are under supervision by the committee with approval by the vestry.
6. Contributions: For additions or improvements will be gratefully accepted by the committee subject to above restriction.
7. Applications should be submitted to the church office. The office is responsible for recording, collecting remittances, ordering and installing name plates, and opening the site which is 1,400 square feet for placement of ashes. In the unlikely event that all space is used, ashes will be reverently committed in previously used plots starting with the initial space used for interment.
8. The Memorial Garden is church property and is a non-commercial venture, so lots will not be sold or deeds issued. Persons wishing to have ashes interred in the garden are asked to make a $500 commitment towards the nameplate cost and maintenance of the garden. This commitment may be made with an initial deposit of $100 with the balance paid within one year. Amounts may be amended as needed. The person deciding not to use the garden will be refunded any amount paid above $100.
9. The Vestry reserves the right to amend, modify, or revoke these requirements at any time.