Churches responding to increase in cremations

Detroit Free Press

Steve Morton read a few years ago that changing religious views, convenience and the recession were leading more people to choose cremation. As the senior pastor of Hopewell United Methodist Church in Downingtown, Pa., he knew he had to respond.

“The church has got to get in there with something sacred and beautiful,” Morton said he and other church officials thought. “I have so many church members where Mom is in the basement, or Dad is in the garage.”

So last year, the church opened a memorial garden and two columbaria — which contain niches to hold urns — for the cremated remains of congregants and community members. And the church has a long-term plan to build up to four more columbaria. Read more