Saint Andrew’s Cathedral: The Anglican Cathedral in Singapore


Saint Andrew’s cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in the country of Singapore. This is said to be the country’s largest cathedral. It is situated near the City Hall MRT Interchange in Downtown core, adjacent to the Central Area in Singapore’s Central Business District. It is popularly known as the CathedralChurch of the Anglican diocese of Singapore. It is also said to be the mother church of the 26 parishes and more than 55 congregations. The logo of the said cathedral is Saint Andrew’s cross. In the year 2006, they celebrated the 150th anniversary of Saint Andrew’s Church Mission since 1856.


The cathedral is designed by George Drumgoole Coleman. The original Saint Andrew’s church was built for one year and was finished in the year 1836. The second church of Saint Andrew was designed and crafted by John Tumbull Thompson and was constructed in the early 1840s. There were rumors that a lot of people were deeply disappointed when the church was closed on 1855 and eventually demolished because of the natural disaster that happened; the church was struck by lightning not once, but twice.

The executive engineer by the name of Colonel Ronald MacPherson designed the new church. Indian convict labor was utilized to cut costs. The right reverend Daniel Wilson, Lord Bishop of Calcutta was the one who laid the foundation on March 1856. The first mass service was held on October of 1861.

Saint Andrew’s Cathedral is owned and controlled by the Synod of the Diocese of Singapore. It is considered as the center for Singapore’s Anglican Mission. In the year 1856, Saint Andrew’s mission launched the pioneer Anglican evangelical outreach in Singapore. The first Anglican bishop, the Right Reverend J. Ferguson – dacie was appointed in 1909.

In the Japanese liberal time, the cathedral was utilized as an emergency hospital. It was shortly before the fall of Singapore to the Japanese forces.


The primary Cathedral was designed and constructed in the Palladian style by George Coleman. Coleman is an architect who contributed many of the important buildings of early colonial Singapore.

The second cathedral was designed by J.T Thomson. It had a tower and spire but they were not architecturally appealing. They were also demolished after the two lightning strikes.

The third and still existing cathedral was constructed by the Indian convicts. MacPherson’s design or the church was inaugurated as a cathedral in 1870. It showcases some good qualities and makes a strong contribution to Sinagpore’s Skyline. It was constructed in a Neo-Gothic architectural style, and the finishing was with Madras Chunam. The architect draws his inspiration in terms of the designs from Netley Abbey, a ruined thirteenth century church in England. The piers of the cathedral have some resemblance with the piers of Netley.


The Anglican cathedral is said to be the country’s largest and most storied house of worship. The polished and luminous white interior walls and pillars was made from an interesting substance; egg whites, sugar and coconut husks; add a mixture of shell lime and there you have, a recipe called Madras Chunam. This was applied to the walls, with a stone finish and dusted with soapstone powder to create a gleam but glossy surface.

The central light of the cathedral was dedicated in memory of Singapore’s founder. Sir Stamford raffles. If you would take a peek at the west door, a window is dedicated to Colonel MacPherson. Some of the stained glass window are dedicated to John Crawfurd, the country’s first major settler, and major William Butterworth, the British Governor of the straits settlement.

Some of the memorials dot the site of the Cathedral. There is a memorial to the victims of a 1915 mutiny on the north aisle of the cathedral. There is also a memorial to the countless World War II dead; a cross made of nails that were rescued from the 14th century Coventry cathedral. They also utilized a portion of the carpet that was used for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Some of the historical stories can be visualize at the VisitorsCenter located at the South Transept. This is where pictures and artifacts are showcased for tourists and visitors. You can also ask for guided tours around the cathedral.

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