It is always rare to see such a beautiful Roman Catholic Church in Asia as is St. Joseph Church in Singapore. Being the bastion of the Roman Catholic Church in Southwest Asia this church also serves as beautiful historical attraction too for both the locals and the tourists. The St. Joseph’s Church is located in the central commercial district of Singapore along Singapore’s downtown Victoria Street.
The foundation stone of St. Joseph’s Church was laid back in 1904 and the construction works have started in 1906. After six years, Singapore could happily celebrate its very first Roman Catholic Church. The founding of the church can be thanked for the Portuguese missionary activity in Asia as all around the world. As for the architectural styles, the St. Joseph Church is a beautiful and a monumental fully gothic church and it has a central role in the delivering and promoting of the Roman Catholic religion in Singapore, which is currently the second main religion of Singapore under the section Christianity together with the Anglican and Protestant churches of Singapore. The predecessor of St. Joseph’s Church was the Sao José Church, which was built exactly on the same site by the Portuguese Mission.
The Portuguese Mission arrived in Singapore as early as in 1826 and set up their mission right away, After the death of Father Francisco Da Silva, founder of the mission his funds, together with the gift of the King of Portugal were invested in the building of the first missionary church of Singapore which was the Sao José Church. This church was pulled down as the plans of the new church St. Joseph started to gain shape. It’s interesting to note that the St. Joseph Church isn’t only a church but also a missionary school for boys which is still functioning in Singapore called St’ Joseph’s School.
The Portuguese Mission’s entities, containing St. Joseph’s Church and St. Joseph School were handed over to the Archdiocese of Singapore in 1999 and in 2005 the beautiful church has been declared a national monument by the Singaporean government. The St. Joseph Church has played a great role in the 2006 Singapore Biennale during which it was one of the main exhibited sites of Singapore. The beautiful church has earned quite fame with its picturesque Good Friday celebration during which Christ’s Passion is also represented. The St. Joseph Church works just as any Christian Catholic church all around the world, thanks to the regular visit of local and tourist believers.
The most interesting architectural motives of the church include its shape as it has the shape of the Latin cross, the main symbol of Christian Catholic religion and its marvellous stained glass windows, which look outstanding. Another interesting feature of the church is its central octagonal tower growing out of the middle of the dome. Since its main construction, several additional parts and buildings were building next to or into the church.
If you like unique and beautiful sites, then visiting St. Joseph’s Church is a great program for you, not to mention if you are Christian Catholic as well. The St. Joseph’s Church right in the centre of Singapore is one great site to visit.