For much of the past, the church provided resting-places for the dead in or around local buildings of worship as a continuing witness of our confident hope in the risen life that is found in Jesus Christ.
The Memorial Garden Columbarium of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church reclaims this ancient practice and with it the spirit of dignity and reverence for loved ones at rest within the communion of saints. The Memorial Garden Columbarium is located within our Prayer Garden in the northeast corner of our property, with both the columbarium and garden being designed and landscaped to complement the beauty of our church building and grounds.
May their souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, rest in peace.
Benefits of a Columbarium
Spiritual Site for Final Resting
The principal benefit a columbarium affords church members and their families is the opportunity to select their final resting place in the shadow of the church that has been central to their lives. It provides a sacred site of beauty and dignity where loved ones can visit and meditate any time they visit the church.
Simplicity of Planning
The purchase of a columbarium niche eliminates the pressures of choosing a burial site, casket, vault, and monument; also, there is no need to plan for interment and memorial services at different locations and times.
Substantial Financial Savings
With the columbarium, significant costs are limited to cremation, the niche, and the obituary.
Take time now to bring peace of mind to yourself and loved ones. Write an email (see below) or call the church office today to request more information or to make an appointment with a Columbarium representative.
Donations in support of this ministry and
of our adjoining Prayer Garden may be made payable to:
St. Andrew’s Memorial Fund
531 Herbert Street
Duncan, BC V9L 1T2
The Background of a Columbarium Ministry
For many centuries cemeteries were commonly found in churchyards, allowing churches to minister to the spiritual needs of their members, from baptism through life to death. Clearly, urban churches cannot build cemeteries today. But there is a modern alternative, which more and more churches are offering their members: the columbarium.
A columbarium is a collection of niches designed to house urns containing cremated human remains (cremains). The word “columbarium” comes from columba or dove, meaning a series of recessed niches or literally “pigeon-holes.” Inscribed with the person’s names and dates of birth and death, columbaria are constructed to serve as permanent structures in churchyards or within churches themselves.
The Columbarium is self-funded, using income derived from the sale of niches for construction and operation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who may use the Columbarium?
Inurnment in the Columbarium is ordinarily limited to present or past members and adherents of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and members of their immediate families, including spouses, parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren. Requests for inurnment of others may be honoured following special approval by the Columbarium Committee and the Session.
How many niches are in the Columbarium?
The Columbarium has 48 niches, each with the capacity to hold two urns. As demand dictates, additional columbaria may be added in the future.
How is the Columbarium being paid for?
The columbarium is entirely self-funded through the sale of niches, and through the generosity of a number of people within our church.
How much does a niche cost?
Each niche, holding up to two urns, costs $1,660 (subject to annual review). This cost includes the opening and closing of the niche for inurnment, inscription for the niche plaque, and perpetual care. It does not cover any of the costs related to services offered by a funeral home, such as the cost of cremation. Urns are available from St. Andrew’s at a nominal cost.
How can I arrange to purchase a niche?
All the information you need to learn about the Columbarium, the selection of a niche, and submission of application forms are available from the church office. Upon final acceptance of the application, a certificate covering inurnment ownership rights will be sent to the purchaser of the rights.
May I select the niche that I want?
Niche assignments are controlled by the Columbarium Committee and are allocated in accordance with the desires of each applicant on a first-come, first-served basis, determined by the date of receipt of a fully completed, paid-in-full application.
Who administers the Columbarium?
The Memorial Garden Columbarium is part of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and functions under the authority of the Session, and under licensure from the Province of British Columbia. A Columbarium Committee, appointed by the congregation annually, oversees operation of the columbarium. A copy of the document, Rules, Policies and Regulations Related to the Memorial Garden Columbarium of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, is available upon request.
If I have other questions, whom can I call?
You are encouraged to call the church office at 250.746.7413, or ask that the chair of the Columbarium Committee call you with additional information.