St. Peter’s Memorial Garden lies on the edge of St. Peter’s Cemetery in the shadow of the church bell tower. The Garden contains numerous flowering trees and bushes that have been selected for their beauty, ease of maintenance and year-round visual interest. The plantings throughout the Garden become a visual reminder of the cycle of death and resurrection.
A granite altar, constructed from the original front steps of St. Peter’s with supporting columns made from early gate-posts of the church, is surrounded by a pergola which supports flowering vines and serves as a backdrop for worship services. Three burial areas are marked with upright granitestones connected by iron links. Benches are placed throughout the garden to allow visitors the comfort of sitting while contemplating the beauty of the Garden.
The Garden was designed to serve as a serene burial place, a place for rest, reflection and prayer as well as a place for special services and ceremonies of the Episcopal Church.
Who can be buried in the Garden?
The Memorial Garden was created to provide a place for families to inter the ashes of loved ones in a beautiful and sacred space without incurring undue expense. As an expression of our commitment to inclusivity and service to our community, anyone (whether a member of St. Peter’s or not) may be buried in the garden regardless of religious belief or absence thereof.
How will the ashes be interred?
All interments in the Memorial Garden are done in accordance with the policies of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The cremated remains are interred directly into the earth, without container, by mixing ashes directly in the soil. Thus the ashes become the nutrients for sustaining life in the garden. The interments are restricted to one of the three designated areas that will be used on a three-year rotation.
The Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church or any other person with the approval of the Rector will supervise the interment of the ashes. It is appropriate but not required for a service to accompany the interment. The Rector of St. Peter’s is available to discuss with the family various types of services that might be appropriate to meet their spiritual needs
How will the names of the deceased be identified?
The names of all people interred in the Memorial Garden will be inscribed in a Memorial Book maintained by St. Peter’s as well as being recorded in the Parish Register. In addition a family may choose to remember a loved one interred in the garden by having his or her name, year of birth and year of death inscribed on a memorial plaque located in the Garden. In 2010 a fee of $100 is required solely to defer the cost of the engraving.
How much will the burial cost?
In keeping with the intent of the garden, we have chosen not to require any formal fee for the interment. However, we ask families and friends of the deceased to consider making a donation as generous as possible to St. Peter’s. All monetary gifts will be placed in a restricted fund to be used solely for the maintenance and further development of the garden.
How will the Garden be maintained?
Memorial gifts are welcomed and gratefully received. All gifts will be placed in a restricted Memorial Garden Fund that is administered by a committee of St. Peter’s Vestry known as The Friends of the Garden. In order to maintain the integrity of the garden, the Friends of the Garden carefully selectplantings that will flourish in the garden and enhance its beauty. The committee is responsible for the ongoing stewardship and maintenance of the Garden and exercise sole and complete control over all plantings and design alterations.
Are there any restrictions that I should know about?
Because it is a sacred space, flowers, wreaths, potted plants, ornaments, statues and individual markers are not permitted with the exception of a single, live flower on the day of the committal. The Friends of the Garden reserve the right to remove all unapproved material at any time. Volunteers are always welcome to join the Friends of the Garden to help maintain this enduring legacy.