The winds of change sweeping through Singapore will soon blow through yet another place that is familiar to me. This time around, it is perhaps a change that perhaps will be welcomed and one that will perhaps see the oldest Catholic church in Singapore, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, restored to its former glory.
The Cathedral, its structure ravaged by age and nearby construction activity, has long been in dire need of repair; a large crack in the wall behind the sanctuary, has clearly been in evidence, as have crumbling plaster work and temporary wooden shoring at columns supporting the Victoria Street end of the building where the steeple and bell-tower is.
With limited public funding available through the Preservation of Sites and Monuments for such repair work, a huge effort was required to raise sufficient funds to start on the much needed repairs, and it wasn’t until November 2013 that work did eventually commence, with the last mass before the Cathedral’s closure for repairs taking place on 27 October 2013.
The repair and restoration efforts will also see a new 3-storey annex block, housing a heritage centre on its thrid floor, being erected, as well as restoration of the Cathedral’s century old Gallery pipe organ, the work for which will be carried out in the Philippines. Besides the structural restoration efforts on the Cathedral building’s supporting structure which will also include work on the gallery floor, the roof and the bell-tower and on the masonry, work will also be carried out to add air-conditioning to the Cathedral. Works will take place over a two-year period during which will see the Cathedral and its grounds, long an oasis in the midst of the city, closed.
More on the Cathedral and the work expected to be carried out during its closure can be found at the following links:
- 7 May 2013: An oasis that will be lost for two years (on this blog)
- 12 May 2013: Oldest Catholic church may soon begin overhaul (Straits Times)
- 17 Oct 2013: Good Shepherd Cathedral to close for revamp (Straits Times)
- 20 Oct 2013: Cathedral to close for restoration for 2 years (Catholic News)
Artist Impressions of the restored Cathedral and its new annex
More photographs of the Cathedral and its grounds