This blog is about sharing our experience of living in Singapore from February 2007 thru to February 2012 and all the wonderful things we saw, what we did and the places we have been. In other words, our everyday experiences! This blog will continue to survive as I add more information when appropriate.
Monday, 17 October 2011
Mission Possible - Church of Saints Peter and Paul
Earlier this month John and I went on a MISSION POSSIBLE Tour. It was advertised as "Get
an historical and personal insight into how inspiration, faith, grit
and destiny combined to make the seemingly insurmountable task of
establishing Catholic churches in 19th century Singapore possible".
Monuments that were covered on the tour were:
Church of St Joseph, Church of St Peter and St Paul and Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
ThePreservation of Monuments Board run
many walking tours throughout the year and any one of them is worth
attending. Our tour guide was excellent and was very helpful at all
The history of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul is closely linked
with the beginning and growth of the Chinese Catholic community in
Singapore. The church, with its tower, was constructed between 1869 to
1870. It was erected by the Chinese Catholic Mission serving a congregation of all the Chinese dialect groups and their Indian brethren. It was also a centre for many European missionaries who needed to learn the Chinese language before other postings.
Initially, the Chinese Catholic community had contributed to the
building of the first permanent Roman Catholic house of worship along Bras Basah Road. With a fifth of the construction cost borne by them, the chapel
was ready by 1833. However, by the end of the 1830s, the chapel had
become too small. Instead of enlarging the chapel, work was begun on the
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd nearby and Saint Joseph's Institution took over the chapel's premises.
(note the fine detail in the architecture)
Currently, the church is under the care of theDiscalced Carmelite Friars. All masses are usually in English with a Mandarin service on Sunday mornings.
The first Catholic chapel in Singapore was set up in 1832 on the
future site of St. Joseph’s Institution, and was home to the French
Catholic Mission, which included a Chinese Mission. During this period,
there were some 200 Chinese Catholics in Singapore. The first Catholic
church, the Church of the Good Shepherd, was completed in 1846. The old
chapel was converted into a parish school and Chinese missionary
activities continued to be based there. Owing to the expansion of the
Catholic congregation at the Good Shepherd, a new church for Chinese and
Indian Catholics was constructed in 1870 in Queen Street. This was the
Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Adapted from the Singapore Encyclopedia (2006)
More information on this monumentcan be found in Singapore Infopedia, National Library Board.