First Parish Church in Weston

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Miles and Gertrude Hanson Memorial Garden

Dedicated in 1998, the Miles and Gertrude Hanson Memorial Garden is a lovely, contemplative garden behind the church, available for the burial of cremated remains of parishioners. We continue to be grateful for the efforts of Elise Rockart, former Standing Committee Chair, and Sue Newbury, former chair of the Memorial Garden Committee, and others for their foresight and dedication to the creation of the Garden.

See the Policies section for details.

Garden Plaque

Why a Memorial Garden?

Churches are communities of memory and hope. We know that we are part of a pilgrimage through time that began long before us and continues long after us. This garden represents a respect for those pilgrims who preceded us. It is also a gift to future generations, having been created during our celebrations of our 300th anniversary in 1998.

Garden View with bench

Hanson Garden

This garden is intended to be a lovely place, a place of remembrance and contemplation. The fact that it is located next to our Church School wing and playground, places of children's voices, reminds us of the progression of the generations. It reminds us that life goes on. It reminds us that we are recipients of a great gift, the gift of life, which is to be cherished. It ought to remind us to give thanks to the Great Giver.

And that is one of the purposes of a Church.

– Thomas D. Wintle
Senior Minister

Miles and Gertrude Hanson

The Memorial Garden is named in honor of Miles and Gertrude Hanson.

Hanson Garden

Miles Hanson, Jr. (1893-1980) was the 11th minister of The First Parish Church in Weston. Born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, Miles was 17 when his father, a Unitarian minister brought his family to the United States. Miles was a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College (1920) and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School (1927).

Miles served First Parish from 1927 until 1964. During his ministry, the handsome Sears Memorial Chapel was built, the women's group developed into one of the most active in the denomination, and the church school became one of the largest Unitarian Sunday Schools in the state.

Gertrude W. Hanson came to Weston in 1928 as Miles' bride. She too was a native of Yorkshire, England. Gertrude graduated from college in England with a music degree. She was an excellent painter in both watercolors and oils, and a superb gardener and flower arranger. She was the first president of the Benevolent Alliance after the two women's groups of the parish (the Women's Alliance and the Ladies' Benevolent Society) merged in 1951. She headed up that organization at another time since that merger as well as serving on a number of its committees.

She was a beautiful and charming woman who remained a loyal member of First Parish until her death in 1994 at the age of 98.

Hanson Garden

Hanson Garden
Hanson Garden
Garden View from benchPolicies
  1. All arrangements are to be made at the discretion of the Minister.
  2. The grave site will be prepared by an appointee of the Miles and Gertrude Hanson Memorial Garden Committee.
  3. Burial of cremated remains (refined ashes) will be directly into the earth without enclosure. Remains are not recoverable.
  4. There will be no special markings or plantings for any burial site.
  5. A permanent record of each burial will be kept by the Parish Administrator in church files.
  6. A name plate inscribed with name, year dates of birth and death of each person whose ashes are among those in the Memorial Garden will be placed on the plaque within the garden.
  7. Fees: A subscriber's fee is required to cover the costs of interment, the name (plate) and plaque, the memorial book and perpetual maintenance.

Contact the Parish Administrator for information regarding fees and applications.

Donations in memory of loved ones are very welcome. A record of every gift is recorded in the memorial book.