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Columbarium Construction Starts in May; 196 Two-Person Niches in Phase One

A columbarium has been under consideration at First Presbyterian for more than 15 years.  Now, with an initial gift, we will begin construction in late May.

The ministry of the church touches its members in all areas of life as well as in death.  A columbarium within the bounds of the church will allow our members to retain a connection with the church in death as well as in life, and provide a place of meditation and consolation for the families and friends of the deceased.

The paved area along the Post Office side of the Sanctuary will be widened with a higher retaining wall against which the columbarium niches will be installed. New landscaping, lighting, gates, and fencing will be installed, with benches for visitors.

We want to know members’ interest in acquiring one or more niches as we begin advanced sales.  Some key facts are below to help your decision.  Then, at the bottom, please click on the link and indicate your level of interest.

Architect’s Rendering of Completed Columbarium

Some Questions & Answers

What is a columbarium?
A permanent structure with 12-inch by 12-inch cubicles, or niches, for holding urns with the cremated remains of loved ones. Phase One of FPC’s columbarium will have 196 niches, each accommodating two urns and sealed with a granite front.  Three black granite panels, inscribed with Bible verses, also will be installed.

What can be inscribed on the granite front of the niche?
The full names, birth month/date/year and death month/date/year.  A military emblem also can be inscribed if the deceased served.

Who can be inurned in this columbarium?
Members or former members, pastors and staff of FPC, their spouses or partners, their children and step-children, grandchildren and step-grandchildren, their parents.

How will our columbarium be financed?
Through the sale of niches, donor contributions, and memorial gifts. Columbarium sales will fund maintenance and perpetual care through a portion of each niche’s sales price.

How much does a niche cost and what is included?
From $1,500 to $3,000 based on location and includes choice of location, inurnment by a FPC pastor, opening and closing of the niche, record-keeping, and maintenance in perpetuity. It does not include cremation, the urn, or inscribing the niche’s stone front.

How many niches may I buy?
As many as needed. Families or friends may opt to purchase adjacent niches.

Can I return a niche if my plans change?
Yes, FPC will buy back an unused niche at the original purchase price.

May I use my own urn?
Yes, as long as it fits within the niche.  Or, a 5½-inch by 5½-inch by 7-inch satin-finish, sheet-bronze urn is available through the church for $90.

What is the size of the niche?
The inscribed granite front of the niche is 12-inches by 12-inches. The interior is 11½-inches wide, 11¾-inches high, and 11¾-inches deep.

When can I access the area to visit a loved one?
Anytime the church office is open the columbarium area will be accessible.

Who will maintain records and operate the columbarium?
FPC staff will maintain all records and the Session, with a perpetual-care fund, will maintain the structure and landscaping, and supervise all service providers.

Interested? Need more information?
Click on this link to answer a brief survey to indicate your level of interest.

For more information, please contact Mike Bascle at 404-606-2275 or e-mail mikebascle@icloud.com.

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