When my wife and I began talking about a final resting place, what seemed most important was to have a beautiful
place where the family could come to remember earlier generations if they choose and to reflect on their own lives.
For us, this place is Kennebunkport and St. Ann's. Summer residents since 1978, our children spent summers here and
now visit us with their own families.
During the last year, I have talked with each of them about the proposed columbarium / reflection garden. Each felt
that they would be more likely to return to Kennebunkport than any of the other places we have lived. I offer this
personal story because I know there are others with similar stories who feel the same way about our community.
Member of St. Ann's Church
In our increasingly busy world, St. Ann’s and Kennebunkport have become an anchor in the lives of many families. Not only are
the beautiful grounds an inviting place for reflection and meditation, but St. Ann’s is a gathering place for family celebrations
of life – baptisms, weddings, and memorial services. The Vestry Council recognized that a columbarium and reflection garden
would provide a place where family could come to remember earlier generations.
The term columbarium is derived from the Latin columba, meaning dove. Columbaria have been in use since ancient Roman
times though they fell out of favor among early Christian communities. Since the late 19th century, their use has increased
greatly, particularly in developed societies because it conserves land previously dedicated to cemeteries. The columbarium
will provide a final resting place where the cremains, or ashes, of the deceased can be interred, or stored in marked niches.
Alternatively, a deceased person can be remembered without ashes through an inscription on a common bench or monument in
the reflection garden.
The St. Ann's columbarium and reflection garden will be located behind the chapel, accessed through an arch in the rear wall
of the church garden adjacent to the Rectory. Great care has been taken to ensure that both the design and construction are
consistent with the historic architecture of the church and blend naturally with the large trees on the site as seen in the artist’s
The low wall bordering the church garden will be built up to include approximately 200 niches. Each niche will have the capacity
to hold two urns, each of which may hold the cremains of one person. Where possible, as in the arch leading up to the site and in
the top of the wall containing the niches, the stonework will match that of the church.
The reflection garden will be incorporated as part of the columbarium plan and extend from behind the church towards the
rocky shore, overlooking the ocean to the east.
The needed construction permits have been obtained and construction will be completed in fall 2011. The gardens and
landscaping are scheduled for completion in spring 2012, and the dedication and opening of the Columbarium and Reflection
Garden at the beginning of the 2012 summer season.
St. Ann’s is offering an opportunity to members of the church and the St. Ann’s community to purchase niches or to reserve
inclusion in the reflection garden. These sales will make possible the construction and provide a basis for funding the ongoing
perpetual care and maintenance of both the columbarium and reflection garden so that they may be enjoyed for generations
to come. Please contact the Chapel Administrator if you would like to learn more about our plans and would consider
purchasing one or more niches or memorials.