Adjacent to our church is a contemplative arbor garden available for the cremated remains of parishioners. Accessible through the Church breezeway or through a garden gate, it is a special place for remembering our loved ones.
We are all part of a pilgrimage through time that stretches from long before us until long after we are gone. First Parish and our garden are part of this pilgrimage acting as a centerpiece of memory and hope. The Miles and Gertrude Hanson Memorial Garden lies in respect for those pilgrims who preceded us and as a gift to each of us for ourselves and our future generations.
This garden was created as part of our 300th anniversary in the year of 1998.
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.
- All arrangements are to be made at the discretion of the Minister.
- The grave site will be prepared by an appointee of the Miles and Gertrude Hanson Memorial Garden Committee.
- Burial of cremated remains (refined ashes) will be directly into the earth without enclosure. Remains are not recoverable.
- There will be no special markings or plantings for any burial site.
- A permanent record of each burial will be kept by the Parish Administrator in church files.
- 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.
- Fees: A subscriber’s fee is required to cover the costs of interment, the name (plate) and plaque, the memorial book and perpetual maintenance.