Welcome to Our Garden!
The Memorial Garden at KCPC was conceived and donated by church member Juanita McKain, as a peaceful and final resting place for the cremated remains of KCPC members. The garden’s mission is to be an inviting and welcoming place for church members, their families and visitors who seek peace and comfort within it. It was completed and dedicated with a ceremony following a Sunday service in 1995. Over the years since, it has been lovingly maintained by groups of volunteers who have stepped forward during gardening season to prune and weed, divide, replant and cultivate the shrubs, trees and perennials in the garden and along the foundation walls of the church buildings. These “lay weeders” meet weekly during the growing season and new volunteers are always welcome.
Within the garden the cremated remains of three individuals are commingled with the soil. Those individuals are KCPC Charter members Walter and Wilma Bastiensen and the father of KCPC’s first pastor John Wall, Donald Kingsbury Wall. Future hopes for the garden include expanding to the grassy area below the garden to create a columbarium – a reserved space of individual burial niches for cremated remains – where members of the congregation and their families can be interred and memorialized in a dignified, affordable, and attractive final resting place.
The bell in the center of the garden was cast by the Meneely Bell Company of Troy, New York as a memorial to the deceased wife of a member of the East Ryegate, Vermont Presbyterian Church. When the church disbanded, the bell was passed on to KCPC. Talented men in our congregation constructed the bell house. The bell is rung to call worshippers to each of our Sunday services.
The granite benches offer resting places for quiet contemplation. A walkway guides one’s footsteps around the garden, past plantings that encourage one to touch, to smell and to take in the beauty of the growing season. Birds’ songs and the quiet hum of insect activity amidst the plantings offer music for one’s soul.
The old hymn invites us to “come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.” It is our hope that those who come to the garden will find that they are “nearer God’s heart in the garden, than anywhere else on earth.” We invite you to visit the garden, to volunteer there, or to support the garden with your donations.
For more information and/or to volunteer, please use the contact form to the right:
Colors & Seasons in Our Garden
Looking through the Garden on Christmas Eve 2016 (photo by Becca Bride Webb)
An honored Sunday morning tradition at KCPC is the tolling of the hour just prior to the beginning of each worship service. If you've had the privilege to don the hearing protectors and ring the bell, you couldn't help but notice the extensive rust on the cast iron yoke and yoke support arms. In September Bruce and Andy took on the task of rust removal, priming, and painting a fresh coat of rust inhibiting paint on the support pieces of our beloved garden bell! They also cleaned and painted the wooden wheel used to ring the bell when it was originally mounted in a high steeple. Many thanks to these two for their work and love to preserve this piece of history.
82 King Hill Road, New London, NH