A peek into our long and fascinating past from
the Cathedral's historical archives are featured here
it Began |
Trek Through Our Past
| Tour of Cathedral
Virtual Tour of the Nave & Bell Tower |
are told that the site occupied by the Cathedral was expressly
reserved in 1823 for a church by Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder
of Singapore. At that time, the few members of the Church of
England were ministered to by the chaplains of the East India
Company ships or by missionaries of other denominations. The first
Anglican priest appointed to Singapore was the Revd Robert Burn
who arrived in 1826. Services were then conducted in the Mission
Chapel of the London Missionary Society which stood at the
junction of Bras Basah and North Bridge Roads.
was not until 1834 that the foundation stone of the first Anglican
Church was laid on the site of the present building. This church
was completed in 1837 but enjoyed a short and unfortunate history.
Twice struck by lightning it was condemned as unsafe and finally
closed in 1852.
St Andrew's Cross
The construction of the church building was funded by Scottish
merchants. As such, the Church was named after St Andrew, the
Patron Saint of Scotland, an Apostle and brother of St Peter. The
logo of St Andrew's Cathedral is the St Andrew's Cross.
4 Mar 1856, Bishop Daniel Wilson of Calcutta laid the foundation
stone of our present building. Underneath the foundation stone,
the exact position of which is not known, was placed a piece of
parchment inscribed as follows:
"The first English Church of
Singapore commenced AD 1834 and consecrated 1838 having become
dilapidated, this stone of a new and commodious Edifice,
dedicated to the worship of Almighty God according to the rites
and discipline of the Church of England under the name of St
Andrew was laid by the Right Reverend Daniel Wilson, D. D., Lord
Bishop of Calcutta, and Metropolitan of India, on the 4th day of
March, 1856, in the 24th year of his episcopate, and in the
nineteenth year of the reign of Her Gracious Majesty Queen
" The Hon'ble Edmund
Augustus Blundell, being the Governor of the Straits
"The Hon'ble Thomas Church,
being Resident Councillor Singapore.
"Lt Col Charles Pooley, of
the Madras Army, commanding the troops.
"The Revd William Topley
Humphrey being chaplain, and Captain Roland Macpherson, of the
Madras Army, being architect...."
The building was consecrated by
Bishop G.E. Cotton of Calcutta on 25 Jan 1862. Bishop Cotton
"On Saturday, 25th January
being the fast of St Paul's Conversion, I consecrated St
Andrew's Church. The memorial was read at the West door by the
Hon'ble the Resident Councillor, the morning prayer by Mr
Nicholson, the lessons by Mr Venn, missionary of the Society for
the Propagation of the Gospel, the Decree of Consecration,
Epistle, Offertory Sentences and Prayer for the Church militant
by Mr Vallings. I preached from Romans 12.1. The collection was
assigned to the Diocesan Additional Clergy Society."
building was designed by Colonel Macpherson, to whose memory
cross was erected which stands on the South lawn of the
Cathedral compound. The window over the West Door also
commemorates this designer who, though unqualified, produced such
a fine and dignified building. The building operations were in the
hands of Captain McNair of the Royal Artillery. He was in charge
of the convict labour and the supply of materials.
The use of convict labour for the
building of a Cathedral is often a subject of comment. In fact
much building in Singapore at this time was carried out in this
style of the present Cathedral is Early Gothic and the building
consists of a nave with north and south aisles. The north and
south transepts, originally built as porches for carriages, have
in more recent years (North
Transept: 1983) have been extended to provide halls, meeting
rooms and offices.
for a tour of the Cathedral building.