Saint Andrew’s Cathedral

11 St Andrew's Road, Singapore 178959

Location: 11 St. Andrew’s Road


Saint Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore’s oldest Anglican Church, has borne witness to the spread of Anglicanism in the region. Located next to City Hall MRT in Singapore's central business district, it is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Singapore. Named after the patron saint of Scotland, the Cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Singapore and the mother church of 26 parishes and more than 55 congregations also testifies to the contributions of the local Scottish, English, and Indian communities and the growth and development of Anglicanism in Singapore. Other than the logo of St Andrew's Cross, the Cathedral also expresses its affiliation with the Anglican Communion in the U.K. with the Canterbury Stone, the Coventry Cross and the Coronation Carpet.


The Cathedral was named St Andrew’s because the early construction was funded by Scottish merchants who named it after the patron saint of Scotland. The original Palladian-styled Neo-classical building, designed by George Drumgoole Coleman, was completed in 1837, with a spire added on later as instructed by Governor Surveyor John T. Thomson. However, it was rendered unsafe and dilapidated by 1852 after being struck by lightning twice in 1845 and 1849. The Neo-Gothic cathedral was designed by Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald MacPherson, and constructed entirely by Indian convict labourers. Completed in 1861, the church was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1870. The cathedral served as an emergency hospital during World War II.

One of Singapore’s few remaining examples of English Neo-Gothic architecture, the cathedral had a belfry, lancet-shaped windows and elegant spires, taking after the famous Salisbury Cathedral in England. A half-tonne bell for the belfry was donated to the Church in 1843 by Maria Balestier, which was replaced by a new peal of bells in 1889. The building, 68.58-metre (225 ft) long and 35.5-metre (115 ft) wide, has a nave, side aisles, north and south porches, and a roof made of teak and slate. The building features Madras chunam, a distinctive plaster made from shell lime, egg white, coarse sugar, and water in which coconut husks had been steeped. The plastered walls and columns were then polished and dusted with fine soapstone powder, creating a durable and distinctive white exterior. The two-storey nave has aisle arcades with clerestory windows to shed natural light into the interior. The wooden pulpit was donated by Sir Cecil C. Smith, then Governor of the Straits Settlements. The sanctuary has a high altar with an altarpiece depicting the Nativity of Jesus, and bordered by the images of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew. The three colossal coloured- and stained-glass windows behind the altar are dedicated to John Crawfurd, Sir Stamford Raffles and Major-General William J. Butterworth, Governor of the Straits Settlements between 1843 and 1855.

The first service in the Cathedral was held on 1 October 1861 and the church building was consecrated on 25 January 1862 by the Right Reverend George E. L. Cotton. St Andrew's Cathedral was struck by lightning on 20 June 1891.

The north transept also known as the War Memorial Wing and south transept, was added in 1952 and 1983 respectively, the former was donated from the late Mrs Loke Yew and opened by Malcolm MacDonald, commissioner general in Southeast Asia. The cathedral and its grounds contain several memorials and dedications.

The country's largest cathedral was gazetted as a national monument on 28 June 1973. As Cathedral continue to serve the Anglican


The Quiet Places Project was initiated in 2003 to build an extension; the Cathedral New Sanctuary was completed in November 2005 for the growing congregation. An archaeological excavation was held in its grounds in May 2004 by the National University of Singapore prior to building of the underground extension. Built on the North Lawn, the 3,221-square-metre building with two basement levels houses a new worship hall that can seat 800 people.

The Cathedral continues to serve the community in Singapore through many services in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, and Burmese.


1. National Heritage Board. (2015, July 2). Saint Andrew's Cathedral. Retrieved from National Heritage Board: Link Here

2. National Library Board Singapore . (2015). St Andrew's Cathedral. Retrieved from Singapore Infopedia: Link Here

3. Singapore Tourism Board. (2015). SEE & DO: St Andrew's Cathedral. Retrieved from YourSingapore: Link Here

4. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2015, July 20). St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore. Retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Link Here

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