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St Teresa ‘s Church

St Teresa ‘s Church altar

What to Know About St Teresa‘s Church Singapore

The Church of St. Teresa is at 510 Kampong Bahru Road, on the eastern slope of Bukit Purmei, also known as the beautiful hill in Malay. Romano-Byzantine style, recognized by the use of imposing domes, cupolas, and arches on its exterior, is unique to this 1929-built Catholic church. When first erected, the St Teresa‘s Church primarily served Catholics who spoke Hokkien because they did not have a church of their own. 

It serves Catholics who reside in the communities of Kampong Bahru, Telok Blangah, Cantonment, and Spottiswoode Park. It also serves as the hub for the Apostleship of the Sea, assisting mariners docked at the adjacent port. In 2009, St Teresa‘s Church received the national monument designation.

Architecture

The Church of St. Teresa is the only structure in Singapore with a Romano-Byzantine design. Father Jean Marie Ouillon designed the church structure based on sketches, and most of it gets influenced by the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre, Paris, France. The final architectural drawings get created by Emile Brizay under Brossard Mopin Malaya Co Pte Ltd. Emile Brizay also designed the Former Ford Factory.

A cross gets enclosed in a circle as decoration on the windows positioned within arches on the church side walls. Before the installation of air conditioners, these windows and the clerestory windows served as the church ventilation system. Swan & Maclaren Architects created the baldachin that hangs over the high altar. Each of the top pediments of the building, supported by High columns, has a wreath-like design in the center.

Bells

Devout parishioner Joseph Chan Teck Hee donated five bronze bells in November 1927 and named them after his children. The five varied tones and varying bell sizes create a chord of music when struck. The Cornille-Harvard Bell Foundry in Villedieu-Les-Poeles, Normandy, France, cast them during Pope Pius XI reign.

Stained glass

In 1931, the sanctuarys rear stained glass windows, produced in France, were put in. The three windows, each with six panels, detail St. Therese of Lisieux, France, as she lived her life.

Church of Saint Teresa: Mass Times & Schedule

Since Hokkien-speaking Catholics did not yet have their church, the church first catered to their needs when first constructed.

Church members and followers also believed that St. Teresa of the Child Jesus intercession was responsible for helping to obtain the location on which the structure gets placed because it was complex to find adequate land at the time. It gets therefore decided to give it her name. Currently, it serves the Catholic communities of Telok Blangah, Kampong Bahru, Spottiswoode Park, and Cantonment.

The designs for the church building get created by Singapore MEP Procurator Jean M Ouillon. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre in Paris, which likewise had a Romano-Byzantine design, served as a source of inspiration for him. The church architect and structural engineer, Emile Brizay, that it could hold up to 1,400 worshipers at once.

Mass is celebrated every weekday at 6 p.m. in the chapel, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in the main church.

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