Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore

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Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes 2, Jan 06.JPG
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in January 2006
Location50 Ophir Road, Singapore 188690
Built1888; 132 years ago (1888)
Governing bodyNational Heritage Board
Designated14 January 2005; 15 years ago (2005-01-14)
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore is located in Singapore
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore
Location of Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore in Singapore
Main entrance to the Church.
The Church's interior showing the nave, altar and stained glass windows.

The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes (Tamil: தூய லூர்து அன்னை ஆலயம்) is a Catholic church in Singapore. It is located at Ophir Road in the Rochor Planning Area, within the Central Area in Singapore's central business district.

History[edit]

The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was blessed and officially opened in 1888. This is the first Tamil Catholic church in Singapore. The building site was obtained in 1885 and the cornerstone laid on 1 August 1886 by Bishop Gasnier, D.D. and Sir Frederick A. Weld, G. C M. G in an official ceremony that was witnessed by a number of religious and laity. It bears a resemblance to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, in France. Within the Church building itself is a grotto with life-sized statues depicting the appearance of Our Lady appearing to Saint Bernadette.[1]

Many architectural historians attribute this building to Swan & Maclaren, but it was more probably designed by a priest–architect, such as Father Nain, as many other Catholic buildings in Singapore were at the time. It could not have been executed by Swan & Maclaren, to whom it is often attributed, as the partnership was not formed until 1893, at which time the building was completed. More than likely the plans were submitted by A.W. Lermit of Swan & Lermit (predecessor of Swan & Maclaren).

Today, the Church is used, up to a point, for the purpose for which it was built, i.e. as a worshipping place for Tamil Catholics. However, over the last decade, and in the interests of a multi-racial nation, it has welcomed Catholics of all races. Masses are held in English, Tamil and Sinhalese.

The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes was gazetted as a national monument on 14 January 2005. As a national monument, it was given funding from the National Monuments Fund, administrated by the National Heritage Board, in 2016 for renovation works.[2]

Architecture[edit]

The Church is a neo-Gothic building of good proportions and fine details and is said to have been modelled on its namesake building in the town of Lourdes in France. For some time it was in need of care and maintenance and the church was also somewhat eclipsed[according to whom?] by the addition of a new school building, Our Lady of Lourdes English School, on the same grounds.

Its brightly coloured redecoration of reds, greys and yellows, in late 1982, was considered by many[by whom?] to have been unfortunate, however, in early 1986, renovation was carried out on the building, which was redecorated with a coating of white paint and the doors were highlighted with two shades of blue.

In 2009, the church building underwent restoration works to resemble the original church at a budget of S$1.75 million.[3] It was completed in October 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Catholic Progress in Singapore: Singapore Weekly Herald". Archived from the original on 4 February 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  2. ^ "8 national monuments to get S$2.22m in grants for facelifts". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ Clement Michael (2012). The Dance of Faith: Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Singapore, 1888-2011. Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. p. 112. ISBN 978-981-07-1141-2.
  • Norman Edwards, Peter Keys (1988), Singapore – A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places, Times Books International, ISBN 9971-65-231-5
  • Wan Meng Hao (2005), Know Our Monuments [1], Preservation of Monuments Board

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 1°18′12″N 103°51′22″E / 1.3032°N 103.8560°E / 1.3032; 103.8560