The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is situated in Singapore’s Museum Planning Area. It is the country’s oldest Roman Catholic Church and belongs to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore. Originally the Roman Catholics of Singapore gathered at the house of a merchant, Dennis Lesley McSwiney for mass. As the congregation expanded there was a need for more space. Construction on a small chapel started in 1832 and was completed in 1833. However, towards the end of the 1830s the congregation’s size had increased further making the construction of a larger church a necessity.
A large campaign was launched in the early 1840s to raise money to build a new church. Several designs were presented but the one put forward by Dennis Lesley McSwiney was eventually chosen. McSwiney’s design was partly inspired by the architecture of St Andrew’s Church. The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd bears some resemblance to two iconic London churches – St Martin-in-the-Fields and St Paul’s. Construction of the church began in 1843 and was completed four years later. It was later given cathedral status in 1888. Since its completion, the timeless cathedral has undergone few changes and is now recognised by the Singaporean government as a national monument. It has emerged as a popular tourist spot over the past few years.
The cathedral is an interesting place to visit and there are many things to see here. These include statues, stained glass and antique furniture. The cathedral has six entrances, including one that opens onto Victoria Street. Visitors who enter through the main entrance are greeted by statues of two saints – Francis Xavier and Anthony of Padua. There are many other statues found throughout the site. From the outside the cathedral is easily discernible thanks to its steeple. The steeple houses a set of bells that were cast in Paris.
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Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.