Fall is here! It’s my favorite time of the year. The cool weather is wonderful. No more air-conditioning, and the heat doesn’t have to be turned on. Windows opened, I just love it! Summer is behind us and time to get focused on projects. If you don’t already have a Columbarium Committee formed, now is a great time to start talking with like-minded people about having a columbarium at your church or organization. It takes time to get ready for construction so maybe by the spring or summer of the following year you will be ready to begin.
A Columbarium can be put in places that are un-useable by the church or organization. The first photo to the left is a “before” photo of a project we recently completed for a church. You can see that this was a location that the church could not really expand on or use for any other purpose. It was also difficult to keep up.
But now, you can see in the “after” photo the space has becomes very useful. They have 150 niches right now in that area and can add 180 more niches when they are ready. There are also benches, trees, a fountain and flowers making the area a peaceful, beautiful place of spirit. The church has sold a number of niches already to members who can’t imagine having their remains anywhere else.
In the second “before” photo you can see that there is just a plain wall in the chapel area. The committee wanted the columbarium to be inside, away from the outside elements. So now this simple wall has 52 niches with imported Italian polished Perlato marble niche fronts and polished Dark Emperador marble niche fronts that highlight the cross. All of the niches are designed for two cremation urns.
In the last “before” photo you can see that this church has a location that was not being used to the side of their campus. The church is next to a shopping center. Church volunteers cleaned and painted the surrounding walls. We worked with a local brick company that supplied and installed the beautiful brick pavers and with a local landscape architect company that completed the wonderful landscaping.
The first phase has 90 niches, a fountain and benches. There is also a granite tribute tower with locations for names of loved ones.
These are just a few examples of what can be done in an unused space. More and more churches are considering a columbarium program. With the rapid increase in the choice of cremation, churches have a wonderful opportunity to return to the traditional ministry of church inurnment and provide a lasting place of remembrance for their members and families. These beautiful places of spirit provide your members a relaxing peaceful place to pray and reflect. They also create heritage for your families. We hear from so many church members, once they see what the project is about, that they want to be inurned on their church campus when the time comes. This program pays for itself and can also provide additional funds for other projects or ministries. Look around, where are the un-useable spaces on your campus?