A Watertown church has an unusual request for relatives of dozens of former worshipers who have passed away.
Christ Church on the Green is asking them to remove their loved ones cremated remains from a memorial garden on the church grounds, the Waterbury Republican-American reports.
Relatives of 46 former church members learned about this move after the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut decided to sell the church.
The historical chapel went up for sale last year after a drop in membership. In late 2007, the parish lost half its members over a conflict of opinion regarding the national church’s position on homosexuality, among other issues.
"You have a situation here where, by virtue of a sale, the diocese will no longer be responsible for the land, its use, or any care of anything in it," the Rev. Stanley Kemmerer, priest-in-charge, said. "It's really an effort to be pastoral."
So now, the church is calling surviving relatives, like Carol Herman of Harrington, to claim the remains of her loved ones.
"What upsets us is they have to move. It's a memorial garden. It's just ashes. Why can't they just leave it there?" she told the Republican American.
Christ Church on the Green is being sold to Taft School. The paper states that after the church finishes contacting everyone, the remains will be removed and reburied in consecrated soil and the church grounds will be deconsecrated.