Saturday, January 07, 2012

Not-So Grad Trip: Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

Just reachable and see-able from CHIJMES, was another building crowded with followers on that Sunday morning. They had just finished their Sunday mass and I walked into the cathedral, ignoring the crowd. The other side of the cathedral was having some reconstruction due to its old age. I could see some cracks on the wall which they were trying to rebuild the support as so to maintain the safety of the building. Being built between 1843 and 1847, it is not surprising this building does need some fixing, isn’t it?

Half Day Trip in Singapore

According to certain websites, in February 1843, a French priest, Father Jean-Marie Beurel got a land from the colonial government and built Church of the Good Shepherd. The foundation stone was laid by a merchant resident in Singapore, John Conolly, on 18th of June 1843. This information could be seen on this plate below.

Half Day Trip in Singapore

Probably because I am still not a professional in looking at architectal style and art pieces, this church is of Renaissance style. It only made sure to me through the reference site:

The architect Denis Lesley McSwiney apparently competed with John Turnbull Thomson for the design of this new church, with McSwiney's design chosen because his had been cheaper. It was built at a cost of just over $18,000, in Renaissance style with the traditional cruciform plan and Roman Doric pillars. Shortly after the completion of the church, Father Beurel blessed it on 6 June 1947.

According to the same source, the church gained status to Cathedral in 1888 and “On 14 February 1897, the Bishop of Malacca, the Reverend Rene Fee consecrated the church after all bills were settled. The relics of St. Laurent Imbert, the first priest to visit Singapore (later martyred in Korea), are preserved in the Cathedral”. As of its fate now, it had been gazetted as national monument on 28 June 1973.

Half Day Trip in SingaporeHalf Day Trip in Singapore
Half Day Trip in SingaporeHalf Day Trip in Singapore

What would be interesting was a real organ in the now Cathedral.

Half Day Trip in SingaporeHalf Day Trip in Singapore

Around the cathedral stood different statues. Some were symbolical and some were for commemorating such as the one with the pope to remember his visit years ago.

Half Day Trip in SingaporeHalf Day Trip in Singapore
Half Day Trip in Singapore

References:

1) Tan, Bonny. “Cathedral of Good Shepherd". http://infopedia.nl.sg/articles/SIP_756_2004-12-17.html. April 1999.

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