The Dedication of the Columbarium 30 November 1961

The first interments of cremated remains took place in the newly created Columbarium in 1958, but the “official” Dedication Service took place in 1961.

Towards the left of the picture is Albert Clayton, holding his Churchwarden’s staff. Next to him is Revd Michael Culliford curate (who lived in St Oswald’s House, Bollington Cross). The Bishop of Chester was Rt Revd Gerald Ellison (who went on to be Bishop of London). Next to the Bishop is Revd John St Hilary Mullett vicar, and next to him is Revd Trevor Hill curate. The man in the dark cassock towards the right of the photo is Harry Holland verger.

The first interments in the Rose Garden

The Columbarium at St John’s was opened in 1958 and fifty-odd years later, space for further interments was becoming limited. Many of you have been kind enough to contribute to the cost of creating more space within the Columbarium to try to meets the present and future needs of our community. We now have an area for interring cremated remains loosely into a Garden of Remembrance, which has as a central focus a variety of rose appropriately called “Peace”.

(In this new grassed section, ashes will simply be placed not in caskets but directly into the soil, and the names and dates of the deceased will be engraved on stone plaques fixed to the new Rose Garden wall. Under the agreed regulations, there won’t be any markers on the lawned area itself – as happens also at Macclesfield Cemetery Garden of Remembrance – so that this special area for interments will be able to accommodate far more interments in future than would be possible otherwise.)

William and Joan Mary Green were the first to have their cremated remains interred into the Rose Garden on 25 September 2015. The pictures show stonemason William Warrington fixing the first memorial to the adjacent Memorial Wall.

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Read more about the project to extend to the Columbarium here