Church relaxes cemetery access with new berm

Church relaxes cemetery access with new berm

A church service on Sunday will see St Stephen’s Church in Tamahere mark its 140th anniversary by opening up access to its historic cemetery.

A memorial berm at the St Stephen’s has been established to address restrictions on access for burials and the interment of ashes.

“We know from written history that the original church and cemetery were established by a wide range of people in the district,” Tamahere Cemetery Committee chairman Don Law said. “We know from talking to people present at the time the first church was burnt down in 1970 that the replacement church we have today only came about by the will of locals who felt it was important to keep a community church. We wanted to continue the inclusive record of St Stephen’s, so we have created the memorial berm.”

The Dingle Memorial Berm is for placement of memorial plaques and will be blessed on Sunday by Archdeacon Sue Burns, vicar of St Stephen’s, and Bishop Sir David Moxon.

The cemetery was established in 1891. The donated land adjacent to the grounds of the first church built in 1883 was originally a burial ground for the people of the Tamahere district.

Only a handful of burial plots remain in the graveyard area and access to this and the cemetery’s ashes berm along the Airport Road boundary is limited to those who have had active involvement with the church for at least 10 years.

The new memorial berm access criteria is broader.

“The person to be memorialised by a plaque on the new berm only needs to have a stated and recognised connection to the Tamahere area and/or St Stephen’s Church,” Don Law said.

“We know our district is becoming more densely populated, and also there are a growing number of people who feel connected through the Tamahere Country Market and the many other ways in which the Anglican church reaches out to the community. We hope the new memorial berm will meet a need for those who want to leave an enduring memory of themselves right here in Tamahere.”


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