Memorial Garden

For all the saints who from their labors rest
O blest communion, fellowship divine,
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!  –William Walsham How (1864), author

Montreat Conference Center

The Nancy Holland Sibley Memorial Garden is designed as a place of rest, meditation, and prayer, and to serve as an appropriate site for interment of human ash remains for any of God’s people. The Garden reminds all who visit that those who went before us are beloved and not forgotten. This addition to the Montreat community inspires reverence for this life and hope for the life to come.

For more information, contact Polly Cameron at or 828.419.9801.

Harwood Home for Funerals
208 W. State St.
Black Mountain, NC 28711

The Presbyterian Church (USA) is fully supportive of cremation as an appropriate means of dealing with earthly remains. We believe that the body which is raised in the resurrection is a spiritual body; therefore the choice for either burial or cremation is appropriate in the Presbyterian faith. While either means may be chosen with confidence, the practice of cremation is becoming more widespread in that it is theologically sound, as well as good stewardship.

1. Who is eligible to use the Memorial Garden?

The Montreat Memorial Garden is designed as an appropriate site for interment of ash remains for any of God’s people.

2. Who is the Memorial Garden Committee?

The Memorial Garden Committee consists of persons appointed by the MRA President to supervise the Montreat Memorial Garden.

3. Who is a Certificate Holder?

Certificate Holder is the person who owns the certificate and has the right to have his/her ashes interred in the Montreat Memorial Garden, or can specify who uses it.

4. Could you clarify some of the terminology?

“Certificate” is the contract between Mountain Retreat Association (MRA), d/b/a Montreat Conference Center, and any person who wants to use the Memorial Garden for inurnment or scattering of ashes. It is understood that this certificate does not constitute a sale of property rights but provides a license for the use of space for interment of ashes in accordance with Policies, Procedures & Directives adopted by the MRA Board of Directors. “Interment” is the act of placing cremated remains in a scattering garden or urn. “Inurnment” takes place when cremated remains are placed in a cylinder/urn as opposed to scattering. The cylinder/urn is placed in a niche. “Memorial Garden” is the Montreat Memorial Garden which contains a columbarium wall and a scattering garden located in Montreat, North Carolina. “Memorial Plaque” holds plaques that are inscribed with only the deceased’s name, date of birth and date of death of those whose ashes are scattered in the Memorial Garden. “MRA” is the Mountain Retreat Association which is the corporate name of the Montreat Conference Center. “Niche” is a designated space in the columbarium wall. Each niche is covered by a granite face plate on which will be inscribed only the deceased’s name, date of birth and date of death. “Plaque of Remembrance” is a place to remember those persons interred elsewhere but wish to be remembered in Montreat. The cast bronze plaque is inscribed with only the deceased’s name, date of birth and date of death of the person being remembered. You may download a Plaque of Remembrance request form.

5. What if I lose my certificate?

If you lose your certificate, contact Polly Cameron at 828.669.2911 or, and the certificate will be reissued. A fee will be charged to reissue a certificate.

6. May ashes be scattered?

Yes, the Montreat Memorial Garden contains an area designated for the scattering of ashes.

7. Will perpetual care of the Montreat Memorial Garden be guaranteed?

The Committee arranges for the maintenance of the Garden and ensures that repairs, enhancements, and additions are consistent with the master plan for the Garden.

Are there facilities such as a chapel or a sanctuary available for memorial services?

The Montreat Memorial Garden is in an open area of beauty and tranquility. There is not a chapel or sanctuary in the Memorial Garden.

8. Is assistance available to help plan the needed arrangements and/or memorial service?

Arrangements for cremation are made through a funeral home. You may download a list of resources that will assist with planning your memorial service.

9. Will the Memorial Garden be available at all times for visitation and reflection?

Yes; however, when a service is in session, we ask that visitors are considerate of the gathered friends and family.

10. May I plant something in the Memorial Garden?

No planting or digging is allowed within the confines of the garden area except in accordance with the guidance of the Memorial Garden Committee and in accordance with the master plan for the Garden.

11. May a niche be reserved?

Yes, any niche(s) that has not been previously reserved by another person may be reserved for future use upon payment of fees and in accordance with Policies, Procedures & Directives in effect at the time the application is approved by the Memorial Garden Committee and the Memorial Garden Certificate(s) is issued.

12. What fees are involved?

Fees for niches, rights to the scattering garden, nameplates on the Plaque of Remembrance, and other fees are established and periodically reviewed by the Montreat Memorial Garden Committee. The fee covers placing the inscription on the granite faceplate or casting of the bronze nameplates for the scattering garden Memorial Plaques and Plaque of Remembrance. Below are the current fees:

Single Niche/Columbarium: $1000
Double Niche/Columbarium: $2000
Scattering of Ashes
(for one person)
Plaque of Remembrance
(per plaque – for those interred elsewhere)
The cost of cremation and any attendant expenses are not the responsibility of the Montreat Memorial Garden.

13. What can be inscribed on a nameplate?

All inscriptions on nameplates or granite faceplates contain only the deceased’s name, date of birth and date of death.

14. Are there naming opportunities to memorialize or honor a loved one or friend in the Memorial Garden?

Yes. You may have a bench designated as a memorial to a loved one plus there are other naming opportunities within the Garden. You may download addition information about opportunities like this or contact Polly Cameron at 828.669.2911 or

15. Will the Conference Center repurchase a certificate?

The Memorial Garden Committee is under no obligation to repurchase a certificate and therefore all payments are final and no refunds will be made.

16. If my plans change, may I resell or assign my niche or scattering rights?

With prior written consent of the Memorial Garden Committee, the reservation of a niche(s) or scattering rights may be conveyed, assigned or transferred, using the Transfer of Montreat Memorial Garden Certificate form.

17. Where may I get an application?

You may download the Application for the Montreat Memorial Garden or contact Polly Cameron at 828.669.2911 or

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