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The building was designed by CJ Stephens, 

from the firm Swan & Maclaren. Distinctive 

features included the use of red brick and 

the raised brickwork which formed a tower 

and belfry along the centre of the gable wall. 

Along the axis was a simple altar transfixed 

at the lower middle part of the façade. It 

comprised a cross and a canopy.

The rebuilding cost $55,000, and when it was 

completed in 1931, there was still a debt of 

$10,000 outstanding. The debt was finally paid 

off in 1937.

1904 – The Widows’ and Orphans’ Home

1947 – The Institute Hall
Men in the few families that existed in 

Singapore were ravaged by disease because of 

the lack of public health and passed away at 

an early age leaving their wives and children 

destitute. This led the Straits Chinese Church 

to build a Widows’ and Orphans’ Home in 

1904. The home occupied the upper floor of a 

two-storey building.

The ground floor, known as the CCA Hall, was 

used for the Chinese Christian Association 

(CCA). Victorian bookcases which lined After the war, the Chinese pastor of the 

the Hall had Christian books as well as the Tekkha Church moved to new premises at 

writings of well-known English writers such 142 Prinsep Street. The pastor’s house was 

as Charles Dickens. It was used as the replaced with an Institute Hall, to serve the 

meeting place of the Straits Chinese Reading needs of the Boys’ Brigade (BB) and the 

Club, as well as the Friendly Band and the 
Sunday School, and later the Girls’ Brigade 

Sunday School Bible class.(GB). It was a two-storeyed building, with 

one large hall upstairs for activities and three 
1930 – The new sanctuary
rooms downstairs for classes.

The Malay Chapel, which was almost 90 

years old, was torn down and replaced by the 1959 – The Manse and Social Hall

present sanctuary. The foundation stone for In the 1950s, the church expanded, due in 

the new sanctuary was laid in 1930 by Song no small part to the BB and GB ministries 

Ong Siang. However, the church had already as well as the youth ministries. More space 

established a building fund for this purpose 30 was needed. Under the leadership of Rev 

years earlier in 1901.Henry Poppen, the Institute Hall was pulled


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