Church of the Risen Christ
91 Toa Payoh Central, Singapore 319193
We believe in a Risen Christ. We believe that He is alive and that we have a relationship with God through Him. Our Church stands as a permanent witness to such a faith.
In July 1969, the Archdiocese of Singapore was announced as the successful bidder in a land tender which would allow a Catholic church to be built at the junction of Toa Payoh Central and Lorong 4. The challenge of raising the money for a church building fell on the shoulders of Father Pierre Abrial and Father Adrian Anthony, which they took on admirably.
Prior to this, the growing Catholic community of Toa Payoh conducted their religious activities first at Ho Ping Centre, and later, in the Social Function Hall of the HDB East Area Office. The first mass was celebrated in the function hall on 6th April 1969.
Two years later, the Church of the Risen Christ was officially opened on 3rd July 1971 by Archbishop Michael Olçomendy.
Originally, the Church was to be known as “Church of the Resurrection” but was changed to “Church of the Risen Christ” as the former term was found to be rather abstract and impersonal. In the opening souvenir of the Church, the name change was explained that “the name RISEN CHRIST expresses in a better way the unique character of the Easter event. We believe in a Risen Christ. We believe that He is alive and that we have a relationship with God through Him. Our Church stands as a permanent witness to such a faith.”
Situated in the centre of Toa Payoh, the Church of the Risen Christ was meant to serve a population made up of middle and low-income flat owners. As Toa Payoh town estate grew in its affluence and size, so did the Church and its parish community.
In an effort to reduce noise from the road traffic nearby, the Church of the Risen Christ became among the first Roman Catholic Churches to install an air conditioning system within its premises in 1974.
Our Lady’s grotto was added and blessed on 15th August 1990, and became a centre of devotion and prayers for individuals, families and church groups.
As time went by, space became a constraint. Catechism classes for children were conducted in places like the sacristy and kitchen, thereby impeding the priests’ privacy and opportunity for interaction.
Hence, the Church decided to build a new extension that would meet the needs of the growing community. Construction on the new 4-storey extension began in early 2003. Significant changes were made, for example, doing away with hymn books and bible leaflets, with the use of projectors and television screens displaying liturgical prayers, bible readings, hymns and announcements during mass. The Church opened its new extension in November 2003.
The latest building extension and renovations marked another chapter in the history of the Church of the Risen Christ, shepherded by Father John Sim. With the Lord’s blessing and guidance, may its shepherds serve and guide the Parish Community towards their heavenly home.
This article was extracted and edited for brevity from the History of the Church of the Risen Christ. The full article may be accessed at http://www.risenchrist.org.sg/about/history.