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    Garden of Remembrance

    This page describes our garden and gives details about interments, memorials and flowers.

    The Garden of Remembrance at St. Mark’s was built in 1992 after careful consultation with experts and landscaping contractors it is now a place specially designed for interment of ashes. With a fountain and many beautiful plants the Garden is a welcoming environment for those remembering a loved one. Access is easy for wheelchairs throughout the Garden.

    About the Garden of Remembrance

    The Church Council at St. Mark's decided in 1991 that it would be of great benefit to build a Garden of Remembrance at the church. There are large grounds surrounding the church which offered the opportunity for landscaping and the creation of a Christian churchyard for burial. The location of the church is good, on major bus routes and with excellent parking. The present site is an ideal location and the grounds continually benefit by the addition of new plants, trees and shrubs, often donated in memory of a loved one. We are indebted to Arnold's Funeral Directors who made an extremely very generous grant to enable the work to take place. Following the initial construction the garden has received wide support and every funeral director in Bedford contributed towards the final cost to enable it to be constructed within one year. Several local charities and individuals also made generous donations. The garden was consecrated by the Bishop of Bedford on September 14th 1992 and now provides a specifically Christian place of burial to the local community. There are facilities for interment of ashes with or without memorial stones.

    Book of Remembrance

    A Book of Remembrance is kept on view at the church in memory of those whose names are recorded on the date on which they died. If you would like an entry recorded following an interment then please contact the Church Centre Manager with the details. We will be able to help advise you over a suitable inscription.

    Cremated Remains

    It is important for families to know that the cremated remains brought to the church for interment are those of the person who has died. The ministers frequently visit the crematorium and can assure you that this is the case and that the highest code of ethics is observed. A special form issued by the Federation of British Cremation Authorities can be obtained from the church which outlines the procedure in some detail if you should wish to know more.

    Service of Interment

    All interments which take place as St. Mark's do so in the presence of one of the ministers and a short burial service of prayers and a reading takes place. Although we believe that our loved ones have departed to God's merciful keeping, we treat their bodily remains with the respect and dignity required for those whom God created. Families and relatives may decide to attend at the interment or you may prefer for this to be done quietly at the church by the minister some time after the service.

    The Cost of Interment

    The costs shown are for 1998 and may increase slightly each year. We have tried to ensure that interment at St. Mark's is as inexpensive as possible. Our costs should not exceed charges made elsewhere and are usually about half the cost of local crematoria. It is our desire to make only those charges necessary to cover the cost of memorial stones and to ensure that the garden is properly kept, and developed. All charges include burial fees, service of interment, verger, grave digging, fitting of stones, legal records and entry in the Book of Remembrance. The only charge not included is that of lettering on the granite stones. The cost for this is £1.90 for each letter to be cut and blacked, then to polish the stone afterwards. We are obliged to ensure that the lettering on the stone be fairly simple in a style which records only the name of the person who has died and their date of birth and death or alternatively age. This lettering style allows sufficient space on the stone for two interments. (VAT is also included in all charges)

    Gravel plot with granite stone. Interment of casket in plot to accommodate two caskets. Marked by granite memorial stone 16" x 12" £425 (Also £2.00 per letter).

    Subsequent interment in same plot £116 (Also £2.00 per letter)

    Unmarked interment. This is often called a scattering of ashes. £50

    Entry in Book of Remembrance. You may ask for a personal entry of any reasonable length. No Charge

    The Church Council has placed no restrictions as to who may be interred
    in the garden and reservations of plots may be made.

    Flowers in the Garden

    Understandably relatives often wish to leave flowers in the garden near to the place where a person has been buried, please feel able to do this. a nice flowerA single small arrangement can be placed on the stone, which will be taken inside each evening. We have a tap fitted in the garden for your use and rubbish bins are also provided. Floral tributes left in the garden are collected at the end of each day and taken inside the church. They are placed by the prayer board and sometimes used in arrangements for the Sunday service. This will ensure that the garden is always kept tidy and your flowers are used in a way that is honouring to the one you wish to remember. For best appearance the flowers are displayed in Portmeirion vases and we always appreciate additional donations for our collection.

    Memorials

    You may wish to donate a tree, shrub or some other plant for the garden as a continuing reminder. We will be pleased to discuss a suitable choice and location in keeping with our plans for the future development of the churchyard. Occasionally we receive requests to donate some other kind of memorial either in the garden or the church itself, perhaps a bench or some other kind of furniture. We are always grateful to receive such kind gifts as a lasting memorial; however, in such cases the ministers will be required to obtain authorisation from the Church Council and the St. Albans Diocese.

    Opening Times

    You may visit the Garden of Remembrance at any time. Access to the garden is through the gate at the side of the church. If you would like to telephone before coming, we will arrange for the Administrator to show you around. Security lighting is active during the hours of darkness and our premises are covered by Video recorded CCTV

    Light In Our Darkness

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    Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
    but will have the light of life. John Chapter 8:12


    Lighting a candle of prayer

    Each Sunday we light a candle and remember in prayer people who have died and pray for them and their loved ones. Why do we light a candle? The candle represents the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings hope. Jesus Christ is the light of the world, a light which no darkness can quench.

    • Lighting a candle is a prayer: When we have gone it stays alight, kindling in the hearts and minds of others the prayers we have already offered for them and for others.
    • Lighting a candle is a parable: burning itself out it gives light to others. Christ gave himself for others. He calls us to give ourselves.
    • Lighting a candle is a symbol: of love and hope, of light and warmth. Our world needs them all.

    You turn our darkness into light, in your light shall we see light.

    If you would like us to light a candle in our chapel for you in remembrance of a loved one please email us and we will be pleased to pray for you. You are also welcome to attend our service of commemoration of the souls of the faithful departed each year on the first Sunday in November. Please contact us for further details.

    e-mail us at: vicar@ThisisChurch.com