St. Joseph's Church


The St. Joseph's Church in Singapore is a Roman Catholic Church, situated on the Victoria Street within the Rocher Planning Area of Singapore's business district. It was established in 1912 by the Portuguese Mission in Singapore. The St. Joseph's Church was declared a national monument on the 14th of January, 2005. The St. Joseph's Church is best known for its Good Friday Procession, held every year to honor the passion of Christ. The St. Joseph's Church was one of the venues for the Singapore Biennale exhibition.

History of St. Joseph's Church
The history of the Church of St. Jose and its successor, the St. Joseph's Church constructed in the same area, dates back to the Portuguese Mission. In 1826 the head of the Portuguese Mission, Father Francisco da Silva Pinto e Mario arrived from Goa and established the mission in Singapore. Father Francisco died in the year 1850, leaving behind some plot for establishing a small church and some money as well. Donation made by the Portugal's King boosted the funds and the church came to be known as the Church of Saint Jose. Reverend Vincente de Sante Catherina who succeeded Father Francisco built the church in1853. The Church of Saint Jose was demolished in 1906. The famous firm Swan and MacLaren constructed the present church in 1912 on the same site.

The church compound houses the Saint Anthony's Girls' and Boys' school which were associated to the Portuguese Mission. Father Jose Pedro Sta Anna da Cunha started the school in 1879. In 1886 the school shifted into the church complex and its name was altered. Separate schools for girls and boys were established in 1893. The Saint Joseph's Church was handed over to the Archdiocese of Singapore by the Portuguese Mission in 1981.

Architecture of the St. Joseph's Church
Built in the classical style, the St. Joseph's Church's building is quite impressive. Four columns support the portico and the church has a bell turret and a low square tower.Structured like a Latin cross, the St. Joseph's Church is an architectural wonder with ornate glass-windows. A distinctive feature of the church is its main octagonal domed-tower, flanked on both sides by the two smaller towers.

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