Celebration of life and love at Berkhamsted's Rectory Lane Cemetery

Each of the tiles and the overall design of the memorial is the work of a local glass artist

By Holly Patel
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 10:22 am

Berkhamsted’s Rectory Lane Cemetery have created a memorial to enable the local community to commemorate loved ones in life and death.

The memorial which is called ‘A Celebration of Life’ is a vibrant wall of glass tiles, situated in the cemetery’s Garden of Remembrance.

Individuals can purchase one or more glass tiles to be hung onto the wall, with an engraved dedication.

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When the wall is complete it will reveal Jessica Ecott's vivid flower bed design

Each of the 450 tiles available and the overall design of the memorial is the work of local glass artist, Jessica Ecott. The design has been carefully planned so that with each tile that is added a picture begins to emerge of a flower bed in full bloom.

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Community engagement officer and ranger, Kate Campbell, said: “The aim is to create a beautiful and growing art-work that keeps the cemetery alive as a space for remembering for the people of Berkhamsted.

"Tiles don’t have to be dedicated to those who have passed away. They can celebrate a life or a life lost."

Some of the tiles already added to the memorial wall

Project manager James Moir said: "The memorial is very much an expression of love in all its forms, whether for friends and family, for those who are with us now, or who died recently or long ago.

"The tiles have been painted in such a way that they get shot through with the light and become a very poignant way of connecting with the memories and thoughts of loved ones that can be forgotten in our busy day-to-day lives.”

The Rectory Lane Cemetery turns 180 years old this year. It was recently the focus of a volunteer-led restoration project to turn the long-neglected site into a vibrant and contemporary garden of commemoration, with an emphasis on improving the local community’s emotional well-being and connection with local heritage and wildlife.

To find out more about the Celebration of Life Memorial, and how to commission a commemorative tile for your loved one, email: [email protected].

Jessica Ecott preparing the commemorative tiles in her studio

The fee for the purchase of the tile, management of the engraving and hanging process and registering the tile is £78. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the cemetery.

Rectory Lane Cemetery is a free public space, open to all, every day: off the High Street Berkhamsted, HP4 2HQ.