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On Tuesday evening last there was meeting of those interested in theGardenofRemembrance. Paddy Milner, parish chairman, led the discussion and introduced David Gibbs, the architect.

David outlined the stages of preparation already taken and presented various examples of how a small space can be transformed.  There was a very useful discussion and several valuable points emerged.  This is not a formal record of the meeting but I just want to share some of the ideas I can recall.

The first and most significant point is that at no stage is any disturbance of existing interments going to happen.  The ashes already interred in the ground will be left in peace.

The agreement that families may have three members interred in one plot will be honoured.

The vision of the renewedGardenofRemembranceis to create a Sacred Space which will foster a contemplative mood where people will be drawn to pray and rest close to their departed.

To help create this contemplative space various railings etc will be removed to create a greater sense of physical space.

Various possibilities about the deployment of existing head-stones were discussed, particularly the idea of keeping them in place but laying them flat to enhance accessibility to the Sacred Space.

Because of the acute shortage of space a new method of interring ashes will have to be agreed;  one attractive possibility is the idea of a water feature through which the ashes reach the soil in the Sacred Space.

Many details are still to be considered and at this stage nothing is final.  As much consultation, especially with families with loved ones already interred, will be held and further meetings are planned.

The whole question must be treated with the utmost sensitivity and respect both for the living and the dead.

Fr Sean Wales, C.Ss.R.

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