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Policy for Columbarium and Memorial Garden








St John Bosco Parish




(Last updated 30/03/2016)



The Columbarium is a place designated for the inurnment and reverent disposal of the remains of the faithful departed.  It is offered to provide an opportunity for families to remember their loved ones and pray for them.   It is the hope of the Parish that this valued addition to our Church grounds will inspire a sacred reverence for this life and hope for eternal life.

 These Policy and Operating Rules are established to assure that the procedures for inurnment and memorialisation are carried out in an orderly and respectful manner, and to describe and explain the services provided by the Parish in connection with these activities.


The Columbarium shall consist of niches, uniform in size and style, for the inurnment of the ashes of cremated human beings.  Each niche shall be engraved with the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased, plus some limited text. 


The Columbarium shall be restricted to the inurnment of current or past parishioners of St John Bosco Parish Engadine, and the spouses of parishioners, parents and children or step-children of parishioners and other persons upon written request and approved by the Memorial Garden Committee. 


Only parishioners of St John Bosco Engadine, at the time of purchase, may purchase niches within the Columbarium and/or their immediate families as outlined above.  The Certificate of Purchase allows a licensee to select a niche assigned on a first-come first-served basis.  Once assigned the location will not be changed so long as the columbarium agreement has not been terminated. 

 The right to use a niche may only be sold or transferred upon written request from the licensee to the committee.  Eligibility shall remain constant as stated above.  Designation of the person to be inured may be changed by a request in writing from the licensee at any time prior to death.  A niche may be surrendered by the licensee, upon written notification, back to the Parish for a full refund of the original purchase price, less an administrative fee of 10%.  The legal title to all niches shall at all times remain with the Parish.  The purchase involves no ownership in the Columbarium and its property.

Each Columbarium niche will be assigned a specific number.  Specific niches for the inurnment of cremated remains may be purchased by eligible persons upon payment of designated fees and a completed application.  A schedule of current required fees can be obtained from the Parish website, Memorial Garden page.  The fees will be reviewed annually, and may change, as recommended by the Memorial Garden Committee and upon approval by the Parish Finance Committee.

Tree of Life plaques may be purchased for any person or group of people (eg family). The leaves will be placed on the tree in the position requested by the applicant.  Leaves cannot be paid for, or reserved, for a future time. The plaque needs to be ordered at the time of purchase.


The rights granted under the Certificate of Purchase shall lapse upon the happening of one or more of the following events:

i)            cessation of operation of the Columbarium (in which event the purchase price shall be refunded by the Parish, exclusive of interest, costs or other penalty) to the owner of the Certificate.  Cessation may occur should the Church lands be sold or the Church is relocated or ceases to exist as a Church;

         ii)            inurnment or interment of the owner of the Certificate elsewhere;

         iii)            in the event that no inurnment shall have occurred within fifty (50) years after the death of the person to whom a certificate of purchase has been issued, upon written notification the Memorial Garden Committee may terminate the contract unless the family representative, a spouse or lineal descendant shall have advised the Memorial Garden Committee in writing of an intention to have the remains inurned in the space after the expiry of 12 months’ notice..

 Upon lapse of the rights claimed by the certificate of purchase, the Parish shall be entitled to resell such rights.


The Parish Finance Committee, through the Memorial Garden Committee, shall be the custodian of all books and records of the Columbarium, including all Certificates of Purchase of Columbarium niches.  Such records shall include, but shall not be limited to, the name of the deceased in each niche, the deceased’s dates of birth and death, and the deceased’s next of kin or legal representative shall be included.  The Parish shall also maintain a list of the persons who have reserved niches, together with the names of the next of kin or legal representatives of such persons as a chart or diagram designating by number each niche. 

 The Parish Finance Committee shall keep a record of all income and expenses associated with the construction and maintenance of the Columbarium, which books and records shall be open and available for inspection by parishioners and eligible persons upon reasonable notice.

 The Parish Finance Committee will receive all payments and disburse all expenditures in a separate trust account to be known as “The Memorial Garden Fund” apart from and entirely separate from the general Parish budget.  Appropriate annual audits and reviews will be performed in accordance with the Parish’s regular accounting procedures. 

 A separate account styled “The Memorial Garden Reserve Fund” will be maintained for the purposes of perpetual care of the Memorial Garden facility.  20% of each niche sale will be retained in this fund. The fund will not be used for day to day maintenance of the garden.

Users of the Columbarium agree that St John Bosco Parish Engadine shall not be held legally responsible for any damage caused to the Columbarium or its contents by vandalism, weather, or acts of God.


It shall be the responsibility of the purchaser to keep the Parish advised at all times of the current contact details of themselves, the person for whom the niche is purchased, and of the next of kin of the designee.  The purchaser will normally be the individual that the Parish would contact for any reason.



The urn/container shall be provided by the Memorial Garden Committee. The cremated remains of the person to be inured in the Columbarium shall be placed in the urn by the family of the deceased or a representative.  A niche may contain only one deceased persons ashes.  The interior dimensions of each niche shall be determined by the MGC.


Any fee paid to the Parish pursuant to these operating rules does not cover the cost of cremation. The Catholic Cemeteries Board at Rookwood can offer cremation services at the only Catholic Crematorium in Australia, known as the “Mary, Mother of Mercy Crematorium and Condolence Lounge”.  They can be contacted on (02) 9649 6423.

 Niche Plaques

Each Niche Memorial Plaque will be inscribed with the name and dates of birth and death of the deceased, plus other text at your discretion.  There is to be a maximum of ten lines on each plaque.

The deceased’s full name may be written on one line, provided there are no more than 20 letters and spaces in the name. Otherwise it is suggested that the first name be on one line and the surname on the next.  The dates of birth and death will be on one line.

 No flowers, flags, decorations, candles, oil burners or other memorabilia will be permitted inside or attached to the Columbarium.

Engraving of Niche Memorial Plaques will be of predetermined uniform size and style.  The Parish will arrange for such engraving as a part of the prescribed fee for the Niche Memorial Plaque.  Niche plaques will be purchased after death, and not the time of purchase of the niche, if purchased prior to death.

A niche may be opened and the contents removed only for good cause as determined by the Memorial Garden Committee.  Any expenses will be borne by those requesting such action.  All openings and removals shall be fully documented with the Parish being released from any and all further responsibility.  Removal terminates the right to further or future use.

 Right to Remove Cremated Remains and Niche Covers

The Catholic Church retains the absolute Right, in its discretion, to remove containers of remains, niches and niche covers and to relocate all or any part of the Columbarium (including niches) as it may deem necessary or advisable.  If it is necessary to relocate an existing niche for any reason, the Church will provide another niche for the cremated remains and will endeavour to advise the next of kin of the new location and the reason for the transfer.  However, the Church will allow movement of the cremated remains to another location upon receiving legal authority from a designated heir of the deceased. 


The Memorial Garden Committee of the Parish shall supervise the use, management and maintenance of the Memorial Garden.  Membership shall be determined by the Parish Priest from time to time.  The Parish Priest shall serve as ex-officio.  The Chair of the Memorial Garden Committee shall be nominated by the Parish Priest. 

The Memorial Garden Committee will have the authority to amend, change or modify these operating rules, which shall govern all activities and services relating to the Memorial Garden, subject to the approval of the Parish Finance Committee.




The process of reducing the body to ashes through the application of intense heat or alkaline hydrolysis.


A construction made for storage of the cremated remains of a deceased person. It is located on the church grounds, in the Memorial Garden, and includes niches in a granite wall.


The hollow opening in the Columbarium wall designed to hold human cremated remains, which is covered by a removable bronze plaque.


The process of opening a Columbarium niche, placing the cremated remains of the deceased in the niche, and closing it.


The plastic container obtained from the Memorial Garden Committee that holds the human cremated remains. 


The Memorial Garden Committee (MGC) is authorised by the Parish to administer and manage the Columbarium and its surrounds, within the Memorial Garden.