Spend your Xmas eve at stunning sanctuaries like Wesley Methodist Church, Blessed Sacrament Church and St. Andrew’s Cathedral
’Tis the season to be jolly! We’ve already told you where to buy Xmas trees, where to catch twinkly lights and festive decorations, which bazaars and markets to roam around and even where you sing along to “Deck The Halls”. But as merry as the Christmas mood may be, it is also a time of sombre spirituality for Christians of all denominations. Whether you’re Catholic or Anglican, Methodist or Presbyterian – or even if you’re not Christian yourself – you’re welcome to soak in this holy experience at some of Singapore’s finest churches and cathedrals.
Blessed Sacrament Church
Possessing one of the most contemporary designs in church architecture, this Catholic sanctuary is often dubbed the “origami church” by visitors and parishioners alike. Its blue, ‘folded’ roof symbolises the “tent of meeting” in the Old Testament, and interior symmetrical slits illuminate the church with rays of natural light. Believe it or not, you can ring in Christmas with both style and solemnness.
Blessed Sacrament Church, 1 Commonwealth Drive, Singapore 149603, p. 6474 0582.
Church of St. Bernadette
A revered figure who drew pilgrims with her unbreakable devotion to God, St. Bernadette (then, a French 14-year-old in 1858) blessed and healed faith-seeking folks with a stream of holy water that she’d dug with her own two hands. Today, this Catholic landmark continues to honour her name, with France-imported bells inscribed with the name of St. Bernadette and her parents – reinforcing the sacred values of family.
Church of St. Bernadette, 12 Zion Road, Singapore 247731, p. 6737 3529.
Church of the Holy Trinity
Unlike most churches that plaster their main prayer halls with a crucified portrayal of Jesus Christ, Holy Trinity conveys a more positive and powerful message with a statue of the Risen Christ. Exalting the return of the Messiah from the dead – a pivotal act that Christians deem a miracle – Holy Trinity is an apt locale to celebrate the birth of this saviour come Christmas.
Church of the Holy Trinity, 20 Tampines Street 11, Singapore 529455, p. 6784 2332.
Church of St. Teresa
Named after a devout French nun who was referred to in the 19th century as The Little Flower of Jesus, this Catholic sanctum will put anyone at peace, no matter how down their spirits might be. With archaic architecture inspired by dome-roofed Basilicas of the Vatican City, and stained-glass windows that peer over grand aisles, this church is also a favourite amongst wedding couples.
Church of St. Teresa, 510 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 099446, p. 6271 1184
St. Andrew’s Cathedral
Not many churches in Singapore can regard themselves as a gazetted national monument. Now an immortalised fixture of City Hall, this Anglican architctural icon is also the largest cathedral in Singapore. With its heavenly-white walls, Neo-Gothic steeples and arched pathways, this landmark never fails to impress.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral, 11 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178959, p. 6337 6104.
Saint Joseph’s Church
Another sacrosanct gem that resides along the rat-racing commercialism of Victoria Street, SJC owes its origins to the Portuguese crusaders of the early 1900s, who helped build it in 1912. ’Til this day, the Catholic relic is still a sight to behold with its Gothic ambience and awe-inspiring octagonal towers.
Saint Joseph’s Church, 143 Victoria Street, Singapore 188020, p. 6338 3167.
Saint George’s Church
A pristine artefact that remains intact in the heart of Dempsey, this Anglican church caters to those who wish to engage in Sunday mass (perhaps before a spot of tea at one of the nearby cafes). Despite its leisurely surroundings, history buffs will be familiar with how this rustic establishment once withstood the tides of history – enduring the torment of WWII as a Japanese ammunition dump. Yet here it continues to stand, protected, perhaps, by a higher power.
Saint George’s Church, 44 Minden Road, Singapore 248816, p. 6473 2877.
Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church
Compared to Catholic and Anglican denominations, the quantity of Presbyterian churches on this isle is much fewer. So when it falls upon the oldest Presbyterian church in Singapore to uphold its traditions, PSPC is spiritually committed – has been for over 170 years. Its warm, brick-red exterior also presents a sight for sore eyes amidst the cold commotion of the city.
Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church, 77 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188649, p. 6337 0595.
Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour
For over 50 years, OLPS has been a haven for Catholic worshippers residing in Katong and Siglap, with a seating capacity close to 2,000. Honouring the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, OLPS depicts this figure of prayer with a vast stained-glass window that overlooks a wooden crucifix mounted on ebony marble walls.
Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, 31 Siglap Hill, Singapore 456085, p. 6241 9565.
Wesley Methodist Church
The oldest amongst Methodist churches in Singapore – also the second to be built in 1907 – WMC guides the Methodist congregations from all walks of life. From its Filipino Fellowship to its Mandarin Ministry, to groups catered to children, seniors and women; WMC is regarded as home to hundreds who gather beneath its Gothic-Revivalist interior and maroon, bricked embellishments.
Wesley Methodist Church, 5 Fort Canning Road, Singapore 179493, p. 6336 1433.