Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Chinese: 圣母圣诞堂) is a Catholic church in Singapore. It is located at Upper Serangoon Road in the Hougang Planning Area, within Singapore's North-East Region.
The origins of this Catholic church can be traced to an attap (thatched roof) chapel that was built in 1853 on Upper Serangoon Road, its congregation comprising mainly Teochew farmers living in Serangoon and Punggol. Subsequently, a brick chapel was built in the area and named St Mary's Church. Father Jean Casimir Saleilles, parish priest from 1881 to 1911, was responsible for building the present church in 1901.
Father Saleilles also helped to spread the Catholic faith to Johor. He founded the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes (Johor), later renamed the Church of the Immaculate Conception and subsequently designated a cathedral. His good relationship with Sultan Ibrahim of Johor let the Sultan to present the Church in Johor, as well as the Church of the Nativity in Singapore, each a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church of the Nativity's statue still stands in front of the church building.
The Church of the Nativity founded many educational institutions in the region, including the Holy Innocents' High School, Hai Sing Girls' High School (now Hai Sing Catholic School), Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Punggol (now CHIJ Our Lady of the Nativity), and Montfort School (now Montfort Junior School and Montfort Secondary School).
Architecturally, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was based on the Gothic designs of Father Charles Benedict Nain, who was also the architect of the Chapel of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus and the façade of St Joseph's Institution.
- John Bertram Van Cuylenburg Singapore through sunshine and shadow 1982- Page 20 "The Roman Catholic church at the junction of Ponggol and Upper Serangoon Roads was a small building in the early part of the century"."
- Tommy Koh et al. (2006), Singapore: The Encyclopedia, Editions Didier Millet and National Heritage Board, ISBN 981-4155-63-2
- Wan Meng Hao (2005), Know Our Monuments , Preservation of Monuments Board
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