Interment of Ashes
There are 3 alternatives available for the interment of ashes
- In an existing family grave
- In an existing Garden of Remembrance plot
- In the Woodland Rest
In an existing family grave
If there is a headstone, we can arrange for it to be lettered (a form will be provided). Alternatively, you can arrange this yourself with a monumental mason (who must agree the wording and other details with the Rector before proceeding). If there is no headstone, or you wish to introduce a new one, the size and material must be agreed with the Rector, and comply with the Diocesan Chancellor’s general directions
In an existing Garden of Remembrance Plot
The Garden of Remembrance is a relatively small area situated beneath the East window of the church, within the existing churchyard. Small individual hexagonal memorial stones are inlaid flat into the turf to cover ashes. The tessellating stones, suitably inscribed, are designed to form a continuous layer in the fullness of time
Ashes are interred loose beneath the memorial stone, which is lettered prior to the interment. A form will be provided for the wording of the inscription (not more than 70 letters or characters)
To keep the garden attractively maintained for the benefit of all, we prefer that you plant small bedding plants (but not shrubs), rather than bring cut flowers. However, if you wish to bring flowers, these should be in a single florist’s container set into the earth rather than in vases on the stone. Other mementoes are not permitted, and we reserve the right to remove them
In the Woodland Rest
The Woodland Rest provides a pleasant and peaceful setting for the interment of ashes within a wooded area of consecrated land on the north side of the parish church. Individual plots have been created in the open area of the Woodland Rest. Each plot is adjacent to a path (with wheelchair access). A hexagonal memorial stone, suitably inscribed, covers the ashes
There are also facilities for the interment of ashes in a designated area without a memorial but with the plot recorded on a plan. There are limited facilities for the planting of memorial trees or shrubs, or for ashes to be buried adjacent to a designated tree
Please note: There are no facilities for ashes to be scattered (as this is contrary to the Chancellor’s regulations), or for the burial of a body. In all cases, ashes are poured from a container (supplied by the funeral director) directly into the ground
Detailed options for Interment of Ashes
Plots are single or double (the cost is the same), and are leased for a period of ten years, which can be renewed for further ten year period(s) if desired, on payment of the agreed fee. If the lease is not renewed, the plot reverts to St Mark’s, and any stone or marker may be removed. You are asked to inform the church of any change of address so that you can be contacted when renewal is due
Interment of ashes beneath a memorial stone
Ashes are covered by a suitably-inscribed hexagonal memorial stone, which is lettered prior to the interment. A single florist’s container is sunk into the ground, either at the head or foot of the stone, which may be used for cut - not artificial - flowers (with wrappings and ribbons removed). No other containers or mementoes may be introduced. The stone will be surrounded with pea gravel, maintained by the church. Plants or shrubs may not be planted in the pea gravel, which will be treated with weedkiller from time to time.
Stones must conform to the specifications laid down by the church. The church can arrange for the stone to be provided and inscribed, or plot owners may make their own arrangements
Interment of ashes near an existing tree
Ashes are interred in front of a marker made from oak with a plaque attached (for which a specification will be provided). In this case, no provision will be made for cut flowers, and no vases or containers may be introduced; however, wild flowers or bulbs listed in the British Wild Flowers Book may be planted at any time. (Note that not all trees are suitable for wheelchair access)
Interment of ashes near a new memorial shrub
Ashes are interred adjacent to a new shrub, which may be a named variety of azalea, or any named variety of rhododendron with a maximum height and spread of 1 metre. No provision will be made for cut flowers, and no vases or containers may be introduced; however, wild flowers or bulbs listed in the British Wild Flowers Book may be planted at any time. In choosing a site for a shrub, consideration should be given to the growth of existing trees which may crowd out newly-planted shrubs, and also to the possible future need for wheelchair access
Interment of ashes in an unmarked place
Ashes are interred in a designated area recorded on a plan; the ground will then be restored to its natural state. No memorial or other means of identifying the site is permitted, and containers for flowers may not be introduced. Wild flowers or bulbs may be planted, as detailed above, but no shrubs, trees or climbing plants. For those who choose this option, careful consideration will be needed as to whether these restrictions will cause inconvenience and distress in the future. Please note that although the designated area will be close to a path it may not be suitable for wheelchair access, and that other visitors to the site may cross the plot
A limited number of locations for memorial seats within the area have been identified, the Rector will advise on the current position. Seats should be of stout wooden construction, with an inscription (which must be approved by the Rector) carved or mounted on a plaque. You may purchase the seat yourself, or it can be provided and installed by the church. Note that, although many seats do not require maintenance, in woodland areas algae growth necessitates regular treatment with preservative to keep them in good condition.
There are a number of stipulations applying to each method of interment, and you are asked to consider these carefully in making your choice. In managing the Churchyard, Garden of Remembrance and Woodland Rest sites for the benefit of all users, and in order to maintain the natural setting of the Woodland Rest, the church retains the right to remove all unsuitable items, particularly those in breach of these stipulations
Memorial stones, shrubs or seats are the responsibility of the owner, who is also required to keep them in good condition and carry out cleaning and maintenance as appropriate. It should be noted that naturally-occurring mosses and lichens grow on stones in woodland areas which may require memorials to be cleaned from time to time. The church can arrange for this to be done, on payment of a fee.
St Mark Church will carry out regular maintenance of all areas utilized for the interment of ashes, and will ensure that paths and fences are kept in good order. Whilst every effort will be made to ensure a proper level of security, the church cannot be held responsible for theft, vandalism or other malicious acts, and accepts no liability for damage to memorials, however caused.
All enquiries should be addressed to the Rector. See Contacts Page