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Snellville United Methodist Church Columbarium

Snellville, Georgia

For centuries; family, faith and community were all connected to the local church, creating a lasting heritage.

Because of the rapid increase in the choice of cremation over traditional in-ground burial, SUMC recognized an opportunity to return to the traditional ministry of church interment on their church site.

The high density of a columbarium (A columbarium is a free-standing structure constructed of numerous niches designed to hold urns containing cremated remains) means that relatively little space was required.

An existing courtyard presented an opportunity to design an enclosed, protected exterior space for reflection. A large wall of windows already provided views of the courtyard from inside the church, but after years of harsh southern exposure, the wood frames had become brittle and needed replacement.
Realizing the benefits of reworking both the courtyard and windows at the same time, a low wall of polished gray granite niches with accents of black granite was designed to support a new window wall with state of the art glazing. The new glass permits high levels of natural light into the interior space, while blocking heat energy from entering, reducing the impact on air conditioning.
As a focal point and seating area to view the niche walls, a new fountain, made of the same black granite, provides the peaceful sound of flowing water, creating an inviting protected space for family members to visit and reflect on the memories of their loved ones.

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"Having worked with several architects on major projects over the years, I can say with great conviction that Chad is one of the finest, most creative members in his field."

Rev. Dr. Jim Cantrell
Senior Pastor, Snellville United Methodist Church