The St. Andrew’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral of Singapore and it is the diocese and mother church of the Anglican religion in Singapore having twenty-six parishes and fifty-five congregations. The sight of this Anglican Church is beautiful with its Neo-Gothic features, it is really a must-visit site for everyone who is fond of architecture and interesting worship places in Singapore.
The story of the St. Andrew’s Cathedral of Singapore is unique. The actual cathedral you can see is in fact the third construction which has finally been accepted not only by the people but as it seems, also by the upper powers as the first church being built on its place in 1845 has been proven unattractive and the second structure has been demolished by two lightings straight from the sky. Luckily as it seems, the third structure has gained the like of everyone and ever since, it has been standing there undisturbed. The final composition was ready in 1861 and in its designs, it resembles the 13th century Netley Abbey located in Hampshire, as it was from where the architect Roland Macpherson took the inspiration. The cathedral interestingly also bears Indian elements by means of architecture as it had been built fully by Indian workers, in order to make the costs of the building as cheap as possible. On the church, you can see Indian construction elements such as the external plasterwork called the Madras Chunam and it consists of egg white, shell, lime and sugar with coconut husk and water. This chunam was plastered to the whole surface of the cathedral and later polished by crystal stones. In its outlook, it has a traditional and rather laidback Neo-Gothic design. Singapore’s only cathedral is huge being able to welcome hundreds of Anglican worshippers in the same time.
The St. Andrew’s Cathedral’s most distinctive features are its three huge stained glass windows featuring the three most important personalities as decided by the contemporary imperialistic leaders: Sir Thomas Raffles founder of modern Singapore, the first British resident of Singapore called John Crawford and finally the Strait Settlement Governor Major General William Butterworth. St. Andrew’s Cathedral is an official national monument from 1973. Among the other interesting features, we can find a small exhibition within the church treasuring some relics of high importance by means of the Anglican religion which include the Canterbury Stone being the gift of the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Canterbury; the distinctive looking Coventry Cross which was made out of the remains of the early Coventry Cathedral and the cross was made out of two silver plated nails and last but not least the famous Coronation Carpe which contains part of that very same rope which Queen Elizabeth II wore for her coronation. There are also several photographs and films telling about the history of St. Andrew’s Cathedral which for a while also served as a hospital little before the Japanese occupation of Singapore. The Visitors’ Centre of the cathedral is located in the Southern transept of the church.
St. Andrews Cathedral is really a great part and a trademark of the history of Singapore representing the memory of imperial Britain. The cathedral functions just like any other cathedrals, offering worship place for the several English inhabitants of Singapore, not to mention the many British tourists arriving here in search of remains and monuments.