Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
A Queen Street (subway station City Hall)
Working hours: MON - FRI: from 8.00 to 21.00, SAT - SUN: from 7.00 to 21.00
The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, situated in the city’s old colonial district, is the oldest catholic temple in Singapore. Moreover, this elegant, light building in Renaissance style is considered an architectural monument of national importance.
A Catholic community planted its roots in Singapore back in the early 19th century, when the country became an official colony of the British Empire and was turned into one of the busiest Asian ports, attracting tradesmen from all over the continent. In 1833, the Catholics who lived on the island built a small wooden chapel, the location of which today lies on the premises of the modern Arts Museum of Singapore. After a short period of time however, the Catholic community had grown in size and the chapel could no longer accommodate all comers to masses and thus, the need for a full-blown Catholic Church arose.
Funding for the construction of Singapore Cathedral was centred around in France. Its success meant that the temple’s first stone was laid in 1843, while four years later, the building of the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was finally completed. An elegant tower with a spire was adjoined to the structure a year later. The temple’s interior is adorned with some magnificent stained-glass windows and an original altar. However, the cathedral’s main treasures are undoubtedly its two organs, which were specially brought to Singapore from Europe. The first one – the large organ – was constructed by the famous firm Bevington and Sons and was installed in the building back in 1912. The second one – the choir organ – would appear much later, in 1994. Both are fully functioning to this day.
During the Second World War, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was used as a hospital, but it has been restored to fulfil its intended purpose; a meeting point and religious symbol of Singaporean Catholics.