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Church of Saints Peter and Paul

Church of Saints Peter and Paul

Know About Church of Saints Peter and Paul In Singapore

A Roman Catholic church in Singapore is called the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. It can be found on Queen Street in Singapore’s Central Area, in the area known as the Bras Basah Bugis precinct. The church, constructed in 1870, has a long-standing connection to Singapore’s Chinese Catholic community’s expansion. In 2003, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul structure received national monument status.

Origins

A small chapel gets erected in the 1830s on the premises of what was originally St. Joseph’s Institution (now the Singapore Art Museum) near Bras Basah Road to accommodate the spiritual needs of the Chinese Catholic population. As the congregation grew, the chapel quickly became insufficient. The chapel’s Chinese congregation moved there to worship when the adjacent Cathedral of the Good Shepherd opened in 1847.

Father Pierre Paris, who was then in charge of the Chinese and Indian Catholics, then made plans to construct a new church to the expanding requirements of diverse language communities. Thus, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul was built and finished in 1870. 

The church bears the names of St. Paul of Tarsus, who became a Christian while traveling to Damascus, and St. Peter, the principal apostle of Jesus. Pedro Tan Neo Keah, a well-known Chinese Catholic, made a Large contribution to the church building and urged supporters to give money to the cause. Father Paris passed away in 1883, and his remains, along with those of Father Adolphe Issaly, another church founder, were buried there.

Architecture and Furnishing

Neo-Gothic architecture, characterized by stained-glass windows, pointed arches, and a barrel vault, was used to create the Church of Saints Peter and Paul (an architectural construction that allows the church to enjoy high ceilings). The church’s patron saints, Saints Peter and Paul, each carrying a sword, are shown on the frontal façade of the building, which also features a rose window. The porch, which has lancet-shaped arches embellished with metal tracery work, is framed by eight Roman columns. The bell tower, located above the main entrance, has an elaborate cross atop it.

Among the most striking aspects of the building inside the church are the spectacular stained-glass windows that line the sanctuary wall. They show Saint Joseph, Jesus’ foster father, Saint Peter the Apostle, the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Paul the Apostle, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus (from left to right). The rich colors used in the drapery and embellishments on the panels make the figures depicted in the stained-glass paintings come to life; they get painted and created with an emphasis on realism. The church’s walls get lined with huge windows and doors, making the space well-ventilated.

Between the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, the church received several modifications and additions. Chinese Catholic merchants and traders like Joseph Chan Teck Hee and Cheong Quee Thiam, who were ardent supporters of education and gave generously to schools, covered a large portion of the expenses.

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