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columbarium option uk

Is there space for Columbariums to be an option for ashes the UK

columbarium Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC

Is there space for Columbariums to be an option for ashes the UK? I think so, in fact I think they are really overlooked in the UK. My only beef is the ones I see here in the UK and to a certain extent the US are a bit ugly and too utilitarian.  There is no imagination, no sense of the atheistic.

This is going to sound a tad harsh but most look like something you might see in a kitchen showroom run by the Adam’s family. I appreciate that if the columbarium is to be sited outside you may want something very hard wearing like granite and as the choice has to suit many tastes then perhaps one must seek out the lowest common denominator, but really they are so dull dull and a bit more dullness. Have a look at this one from Stockport crematoria, it looks like lockers from the gym, remember you wrist band and key and you will get your pound coin back. Does this place really fulfil the need when wishing to memorialise a loved one?

columbarium in stockport
Stockport Crematorium Columbarium

Why not something carved from Portland stone a stone local to the situation. I think I know the answer to that – cost and durability. However, nobody said they all have to be Dartmoor granite? Something that blends in with the locality? This could work really well if church opted to have them within the building. The one at the top on the post is from the Cathedral of St. John the Devine in New York. it fits is and very tasteful.

I think they could be a good income source for churches too. They are looking at making one at St Bartholomew the Great, in West Smithfield, London. The are planning one that has 196 niches each that can hold two set of ashes, again, I am not spellbound by the design but there is some good detail on it and it is in keeping. They are looking for expressions of interest so they can go ahead and build it.

Let’s be honest scattering does not suit everyone; or you may want somewhere to store the ashes while a spouse is alive or as a more long term solution; you may not want to bury the ashes, also the Catholic church like them. So what a good option I say.

One thing I think my general grumpiness on design is part of my general dislike of faux Victorian funeria, so there I said it.

1 thought on “Is there space for Columbariums to be an option for ashes the UK

  1. Reply
    Derek Harvey - 23rd September 2018

    A very interesting read and you make some good points. In the Anglican church I attended in the Philippines, there was a very pleasant columbarium at the back of the church with a small chapel, at the east end of the church building. Now that cremations are more likely in the UK than burials, I consider that columbaria on church premises should be a considered option and I don’t particularly like the utilitarian local authority cemeteries.

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