Cremation: dispersions of ashes are on the rise at Saint-Chéron cemetery in Chartres

We had a big boom in requests, from 50 to 60% in a few months. “Surrounded by 750 granite niches housing the cinerary urns of the deceased, Fabrice Crézé, the curator of the Saint-Chéron cemetery in Chartres, stands next to a bottomless well, the latest” attraction “to date in this 13 hectare cemetery punctuated by a thousand cord-cut yews, where some 35,000 boarders rest in peace ”, in what is one of the largest parks in the capital of Eure-et-Loir

In the middle of the space reserved for the columbarium, the view of Chartres Cathedral is magnificent. “In the 1990s, only one to two dispersal of the ashes of the deceased were recorded, it was anecdotal,” says the curator. In 2017, there were five to six dispersions, there were eleven in 2018, twenty-two in 2020 and, since January 2021, twelve ceremonies have already taken place.

Faced with this increasingly important demand, new places to place the ballot boxes have been created with, in the center, a ceremonial space “so that families can gather in good conditions”, specifies Fabrice Crézé, the soft voice. and posed. But, right next door, in the garden of remembrance, it is the new well of dispersions that attracts attention, a bottomless well where the ashes will rest. to eternal life.

On the surface, white pebbles are there for the decoration but let pass the ashes which slip on before passing through a grid. A ceremony took place very recently. Some ashes remain attached to the small white stones, due to the humidity. “We really lacked this equipment. It is worthy of a large cemetery ”, rejoices the curator.

The well is completely free

Since the installation of the well, “the increase in demand for the columbarium is 10 to 15% per year, knowing that the number of deaths remains stable”, notes Fabrice Crézé. The share of cremation in funerals has been increasing for years to represent around 40 to 50% and not only in Chartres. “We are less and less close to our place of birth, we go to study elsewhere, we work here and there… We cannot necessarily go regularly to the cemetery to maintain the grave. Cremation is established among the French, it is easier, surely better suited to our current lifestyles and it is accepted by most religions. “

Since January 2021, the scattering of ashes is free. “The tax has been abolished in Chartres”, confirms the curator, who proposes, if the relatives of the deceased wish, to put a plate in perpetuity for 127 euros. The prices of a box in a columbarium, they vary according to the duration. Four hundred euros for ten years, 612 euros for fifteen years and 1,224 euros for thirty years. At the same time, the price of renewals of concessions for “classic” tombs and vaults reached 608 for 30 years and 970 for 50 years.

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