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Episcopal Church

The St. Mark's Memorial Garden

The St. Mark’s Memorial Garden in the Vance Courtyard was developed as the church underwent restoration in 2006. Other memorial gardens were visited and research was done by the Memorial Garden Committee which is a sub-committee of the Property Committee of the Vestry. Plans were presented to the parish and the Vestry approved moving forward in July of 2006.

 Excavation of the gardens was undertaken, and the stonewalls rebuilt. New plantings were chosen and planted with the guidance of a Master Gardener. Care of the Garden is at the direction of the Memorial Garden Committee which meets three times a year. A plaque indoors at the entrance to the Garden records names and year of birth and death of those interred in the Garden. The Vestry has established a special fund for monies donated for both use and care of the Memorial Garden.


The dedication of the St. Mark’s Memorial Garden was held on Dec. 3, 2006 followed by the first interment.

        The Courtyard is a center of life at St. Mark’s.  Whether it be Sunday Eucharist in the summer, parish picnics, or quiet moments of solitude out of doors; our lives are strengthened through activities in the Courtyard. 

         It is natural, therefore, that we celebrate the eternal life of loved ones who have died by welcoming their ashes to God’s earth in the Courtyard, now dedicated as the St. Mark’s Memorial Garden.

Is the St. Mark’s Memorial Garden for me?

         If, when you die you wish to be cremated and have your ashes returned to the earth here at the church, yes, the Memorial Garden is for you.

 What’s the first step?

         Sit down with the rector and plan your funeral.  These plans are a gift to your family and friends who will not have to make these decisions as they are mourning you.  After you decide, tell your family and friends your funeral and burial plans are on file at St. Mark’s.

 Does a funeral director have to be involved?

         Yes, as the funeral director will make arrangements for the cremation and a Cremation Certificate is required for registration.

What about the burial container?

            Ashes will be returned directly to the earth or in a biodegradable container.  No urn or other interment vessel is permitted.  Ashes are non-recoverable, thereby non-returnable.

 Can there be military honors at the internment?

            Yes, with appropriate papers presented.

 Once my ashes are interred will my name be in the Memorial Garden?

            Your name and year of birth and death will be engraved on the plaque at the entrance to the Memorial Garden.

 How will people know where my ashes have been buried?

            Your ashes become a part of the Memorial Garden.  A map/plot plan is kept that identifies areas and interment.

 Can there be decorations where I am interned?

            In order to maintain the beauty and integrity of the Garden, the Memorial Garden Committee will supervise the planting of flowers, shrubs, etc.  No potted plants or ornaments will be allowed. Contributions for the upkeep of the Garden are welcome.

 What happens in the event that a church should re-locate?

            Pastoral care for families who would be affected is the priority. After their input, arrangements would be made for the relocation of the Memorial Garden to other consecrated property. A recommittal service would be held.

What if I have a special or unique situation?

             Unforeseen circumstances or extenuating issues shall be adjudicated by  the Memorial garden Committee, the         Rector, and/or the Vestry.

 What does internment in the Memorial Garden cost?

      For Church members, a donation of $300 is for interment and care of the garden.

      For non-members, the donation is $500 for interment and garden care.

      Checks for payment and donations are to be made payable to:

                                   St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Memorial Garden Fund

 For further information, please call the Church Office at 860-225-7634.