A garden is a place of refreshment and peace, a place where we are especially aware of the marvels of God’s creation. A garden invites us to stop and rest awhile. The Memorial Garden at St. Bartholomew’s was created to be a place of natural beauty for the respectful burial of the ashes of loved ones. The garden’s natural cycles of seasons, of death and life, recall to us the Christian mystery, that our coming more fully alive in God is comprised of many deaths, many dyings to the old so that new life may break forth. It is also intended that the Memorial Garden serve as a place to celebrate life with joyful services such a baptisms and weddings.
So may this Memorial Garden be for all who come to it a place of refreshment, of renewal, of peace, and a sign of the hope that God is always holding out to us: “See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5-6)
History of the Memorial Garden at St. Bartholomew’s The Memorial Garden at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church was established in 1996 with a generous bequest from Marian and Victor Haughton. The land west of the church building belongs to neighboring Royall Point Neighborhood Association, which granted an easement to St. Bartholomew’s for the purpose of establishing a garden for the interment of ashes. In June 1996 the Vestry adopted a set of Regulations for the Memorial Garden, and site construction began in the fall. A drainage ditch at the far side of the Garden was dug, the site was professionally landscaped, plantings were established, and granite boulders were brought in from a quarry on Granite Street in North Yarmouth.
Memorial Garden Consecration by Bishop Thomas Brown We had beautiful weather on May 7, 2023 for the Bishop of Maine Thomas Brown's consecration ceremony of the Garden.
To date there have been 33 interments of ashes in the garden. Reservations have been received for approximately 16 spaces in the Garden. As the need arises, St. Bartholomew’s is fortunate to have adequate space for expansion of the Garden along the western facing side of the church building. Memorial Garden Regulations Interment Rights for ashes are granted to members or former members of St. Bartholomew’s Church, and to their immediate families. All rights are purchased with perpetual care understood.
Interment. The scheduling of burials of ashes is made with the Rector. Ashes are to be placed in simple cotton muslin bags provided by the church.
Engraving. Granite rocks placed throughout the garden are to be used for the engraving of names and dates. Bronze plaques are also available as an alternative to engraving. Inscriptions are uniform in style, with Roman capital lettering, and are limited to names and years. Not all of the granite rocks are available for engraving; some surfaces are too weathered.
Flowers are permitted at the time of burial for one week, for a remembrance day, and at Easter. A wreath is placed in the garden at Christmas. The Memorial Garden is intended to be a woodland, partially shaded garden with plants approved by the Memorial Garden Committee as being suitable to the site. Maintenance of the Garden is provided by volunteers.
Note: A complete copy of the Regulations is available in the church office.
Procedures A reservation form for space in the Memorial Garden can be obtained by calling the parish office at (207) 846-9244. It should be returned to the office, together with a nonrefundable fee of $800.
A form for specifying the engraving of the name and date(s) can also be obtained on request from the parish office. Engraving expenses will be billed directly to the family/estate from Richardson Monument Company in South Portland. Engraving is generally done once a year, in the fall, when the ground is dry and the weather is reliable.
To choose a site, plan to schedule a visit to the Memorial Garden with the Rector, or with one of the members of the Memorial Garden Committee--Margaret Bettsemail or Liza Chandler email. Because some of the rocks are intended to be landscaping accents, only certain rocks are suitable for engraving. Additional rocks will be added to the Memorial Garden as needed.
To use the Memorial Garden as a site for events other than the interment of ashes, consult with the Rector.
From Psalm 62:
1 For God alone my soul in silence waits; from God comes my salvation. 2 God alone is my rock and my salvation my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken. (The St. Helena Breviary)