THE GARDEN’S ORIGINS
There is a long tradition in Christian churches for members to be buried on the consecrated grounds of their house of worship. In 1979, through the vision and efforts of Senior Warden Henry Ward Boylan, St. James’s original Memorial Garden, running along the north wall of St. George’s Chapel, was dedicated. The Garden was established to provide for the interment of ashes of members of St. James Church or their immediate family, and to offer a peaceful setting for rest, reflection, and prayer. The identities and birth/death dates of persons whose ashes are interred in the Garden are permanently displayed on bronze plaque boards. Otherwise, actual interment sites are unmarked.
In 1999, the Memorial Garden was expanded to the east side of the Chapel. The landscaping, stonewalls and paths were designed and laid out by John Ross, Inc. of Hendersonville. The ground plan reflects the triple Gothic arch design of the stained glass windows above the East Garden. In 2006, the trellis in the East Garden was reconstructed over a bench and planted with a wisteria to provide a shady place for reflection and prayer.
In the North Garden, there is a statue of St. Francis “In memory of Erle Stillwell, 1885-1978.” Mr. Stillwell was both a parishioner and a noted Hendersonville architect. Connecting the North and East Gardens is the Clevenger Arch and Plaque, dedicated in 2003 “In loving memory of Ted and Dorothy Clevenger.“ The Arch reflects the natural outdoor setting and was created by Jackson Steel, Inc. of Hendersonville. (Because of family affection for USC, there is a gamecock included in the design!)
The filigree, cast and wrought iron cross in the East Garden was given by Charles and Barbara West Porter “In Loving Memory” of her mother, Nanna Shepherd West. And finally, in 2012, the wood nymph statue “Angelica” was given by Patricia Whiteside and installed in the North Garden.
Following the dedication of the Memorial Garden in 1979, a group of volunteers provided the care for the Garden area. In 2001, a Memorial Garden Committee was formally organized and given authority by the vestry to provide perpetual care for the Garden. That committee, a dedicated group of parishioners, continues to care for the plantings and to ensure that the beautiful, serene atmosphere is maintained. Volunteers are always welcome for this very important ministry. Additionally, donations to support the perpetual care of the Memorial Garden are always welcome and greatly appreciated. Gifts may be sent to the church office, specifying that they are for the “MEMORIAL GARDEN FUND.” All gifts are tax deductible and will be acknowledged.
INTERMENT OF ASHES