The Vicar's Letter (written by Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of St Mary's Church in Eaton Bray) has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002
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Vicar's Letter

May 2004

Reverend Malcolm Grant, vicar of the Church of St Mary The Virgin, Eaton Bray with Edlesborough.

This Easter sees us able to embark on some long overdue improvements in the Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard, where the ashes of those who have been cremated are buried. The major new feature, now in place, is a stone monument, which will be the focal point of that area of the churchyard, and it has carved on it four important Easter sayings from the Bible:

  • Nothing can separate us from God's love
  • I am the resurrection and the life
  • I go to prepare a place for you
  • We shall be with the Lord for ever.

When the Garden of Remembrance was created, more than 30 years ago, the faculty authorizing its creation specified that no memorials of any sort might be place on the ground where the remains were to be buried. The Parochial Church Council has been aware that many people would like to have some visible commemoration of their loved ones, in addition to the inscription in the Book of Remembrance in the church, and so the monument has been designed so that small plaques can be mounted on it, recording the names and dates of those whose ashes lie in the Garden.

We shall be contacting, as far as we are able to identify them, the next-of-kin to give them full details about this opportunity. The Parochial Church Council will obtain the plaques and have them engraved when asked to do so by the appropriate persons that way we can ensure uniformity of design and good appearance, and no inscriptions other than the name of the person commemorated and the year of their birth and death will be allowed.

At the same time, we shall be undertaking some other improvements to the Garden. We are aware that it has not looked as well as it should recently, but there seemed little point in starting improvements until we were in a position to get the major feature built, and the planning and paperwork for this has taken much longer than we had expected. We do apologize to anyone who feels that we have not taken as much care as we should over the place where their loved one's ashes were buried.

There will be a facility for placing small bunches of flowers at the monument, just as wreathes are often placed around a memorial. We hope that this will meet the needs of those who want to place floral tributes in the Garden; if they are placed on the grassed area, the flowers impede the necessary work of cutting the grass, and the workmen do not have time to stop and move them.

The Parochial Church Council hopes that these developments will go a long way towards meeting the dissatisfaction some have felt about our Garden of Remembrance of late. We are always ready to arrange for the interment of ashes here of any resident (or former resident) of the village, should their family so desire.

May Christ our risen Lord nurture in all of us the hope of eternal life. MALCOLM

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About the Vicar's Letter

The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.

The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the area for these.