The Armenian Apostolic Church of St Gregory the Illuminator
60 Hill St, Singapore 179366
The Armenian Church's Memorial Garden holds the tombstones of many well-known Armenians
including GD Coleman, Singapore First Architect and Catchick Moses, the co-founder of The Straits Times.
The Armenian Church located at Hill Street in the Museum Planning Area is the oldest Christian church in Singapore. It is located within the Central Area, Singapore's central business district.
In 1820s, the Armenian community in Singapore was hardly more than a hundred. 7 years later – in July 1827, a temporary chapel was set up with the arrival of the first resident priest Rev. Gregory ter Johannes. By September, they had moved into a small rented room at Merchant Square to conduct their Sunday service.
Since then, the Armenians had started to collect subscription funds to build their own church. In 1833, an appeal was made for land to build a church. Finally in 1834, the appeal was approved for the sandy grounds at the foot of Fort Canning.
The foundation stone was blessed by the Supreme Archimandrite, the Rev. Thomas Gregorian on 1 January 1835. On 26 March 1836, it was consecrated by Rev. Catchick in a three and a half hour ceremony. It was dedicated to St Gregory the Illuminator, the first monk in the Armenian Church.
Cost of A Church
The Armenian Church costed 12 Armenian families a total of $5,058.30 Spanish pesetas. The Church was completed in 1909. It became one of the first buildings in Singapore to enjoy the benefits of electricity.
Fate of the Church in World War II
Masterpiece of Singapore’s First Architect
Shortly after the founding of Singapore in 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles presented his Town Plan in 1822 to allocate land for the development in the town centre. Raffles had sought the advice of several experts and one of them whom he consulted was an Irish civil architect known as George Drumgoole Coleman (GD Coleman).
Besides planning for the development of the town centre and creating roads, Coleman also designed and constructed many of the finest colonial buildings, such as St Andrew’s Cathedral and CHIJMES.
1. Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory. (2015, July 30). Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator Singapore. Retrieved from ARMENIAN APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF ST. GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR SINGAPORE: Link Here
2. Singapore Tourism Board. (2015, July 30). SEE & DO: Armenian Church. Retrieved from YOURSINGAPORE: Link Here
3. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2015, July 16 ). Article: Armenian Church, Singapore. Retrieved from WIKIPEDIA THE FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA: Link Here