Memorial Garden

Memorial Garden

St Paul's Anglican Church Canterbury Memorial Garden….a witness to the Christian belief in resurrection

St Paul’s Anglican Church Canterbury Memorial Garden

The St Paul’s Memorial Garden is for the interment of ashes. It is a witness to the Christian belief in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and to our assurance that we share in his resurrection to eternal life.

Interment Service

Most commonly, a funeral service is held and the cremation follows. At a later time the ashes are returned to the church – either by the undertaker or by the family – and a brief Interment of Ashes service is held in the Memorial Garden (A Prayer Book for Australia, page 735).

Memorial Book

The name and other details of the deceased person is recorded in the Memorial Book in the church (to the left of the altar in the side chapel). Memorial plaques are not permitted in the Memorial Garden.

“Earth to earth, ashes to……..”

In the Memorial Garden, ashes are interred, that is, poured into the soil. The service includes the words, “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” in reference the words of Genesis 2:7 “the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being”.

Our Christian practice is to mingle the ashes with the earth. This is quite different from the practice in some public Crematoria where ashes are buried in the ground enclosed in a plastic container and maybe recovered at the end of the contracted period and disposed of where the contract is not renewed.

Because the ashes are mingled with the earth Memorial Gardens are not subdivided, nor are records kept to indicate where a particular interment occured. It is quite inappropriate – indeed impossible – to recover particular ashes at a later date.

In rare cases where a parish church may be closed down in later years, Melbourne Diocesan practice is to remove the whole garden to a depth of about eighteen inches and to place the soil in a Memorial Garden of another church. This is done with particular care.


Please refer your enquiries to the Vicar.

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