Columbarium – Part 6: Moving?

One of the serious considerations that each church faced was moving the columbarium should the church ever relocate and the property be sold. As cities and suburbs change, churches wax and wane; some are closed for good and some move to a new location. In either case, what would the church do if moving the columbarium was necessary?

Relocating the Church

  1. The columbarium committee secured a commitment from the church leadership at the time that if the church ever moved, then the columbarium would go to the new location. That leadership will certainly be gone when/if the church ever moves but at the time that was comforting to the people who were buying niches.
  2. The niches were in a brass box – a series of about nine rows and seven columns which created 64 niches (singles and doubles). This brass box is exceedingly heavy and sturdy.
  3. The decision was made that should the church relocate, then a mason would chip away at the bricks surrounding the brass box of niches, each box would be lifted out and moved. At the new location, a new columbarium would be constructed and house the brass boxes.
  4. As to the areas where ashes were scattered or interred in the ground, the committee said that as much dirt as possible would be transported to the new location and placed in a new area set aside for ashes. It was recognized that not all dirt could be moved but that every effort would be made to move as much as possible in a dignified way.

Closing the Church

  1. Should the church close, the decision was that the church would approach a cemetery and make arrangements to move its niches and dirt. The sale of the church and the perpetual fund would cover the moving costs and the permanent fund at the cemetery.
  2. Then, the move would follow steps 3 and 4 above.

The committee was thorough. We wanted to ensure we created a sacred space for the eternal rest of people created in God’s image and then ensured that they would be taken care of forever. The committee achieved that and then disbanded. We gather now only when we meet at the funerals of friends but we also are glad that we made a place for them to be and their families to visit.

Lead On!

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