Among the remains of 45 congregants lying beneath a tree in the memorial garden at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in Fair Haven are those of Ann Dupree’s late husband. She interred them there after his death three years ago.
What to do with his ashes is one of more wrenching decisions to be made by the three dozen or so surviving parishoners of the River Road church as it nears its final mass, on October 24, before the doors are locked and the property goes on the market.
But it is just one element of a winding-down that has left congregants depressed, somewhat lost and more than a little angry, they admit.
“I was married here,” said Dupree, a senior citizen and member of the vestry who’s been attending Holy Communion for some 40 years. “I thought I’d be buried here.”
Pastor Nancy Speck reads from an 1885 entry in the church registry, left; the original church, which was demolished in 1967 because of a termite infestation; and the interior of the present church on the same site. (Click to enlarge)