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 |
Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, expressly
reserved the site occupied by the Cathedral for a church.
Lieutenant Philip Jackson, the colony’s engineer and land
surveyor, was tasked by Raffles to head the Town Committee
to revise the layout of the city; to divide it into ethnic
functional subdivisions and to layout the colony in a grid
pattern so as to bring some order in the growth of
thriving colony. The map completed in February 1823 is
known as the Plan of the Town of Singapore or the Jackson
Plan. It is on display in the Singapore History Gallery of
the National Museum of Singapore.
The Plan was
based on a vision that Raffles had for Singapore; [that
she] “will become a place of considerable magnitude
and importance” and as such, “an economical and
proper allotment of the ground intended to form the site
of the principal town is an objective of the first
importance.” The map shows that Raffles had set aside
a site for the building of a church near the Esplanade,
right in the heart of the city. In 1835, the foundation
stone for the original St Andrew’s Church was laid.
This first church, designed
by Mr G.D. Coleman in an elegant Palladian style, was completed in
1837. A tower and spire was subsequently added in 1842. Twice
struck by lightning, it was condemned as unsafe and finally closed
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, Msionary 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.