NewParish01.jpgA new church is to be built and a new parish established for the 3,700 Catholic residents of the area. The current parish of Holy Trinity will be divided into Pasir Ris/Loyang and Tampines/Simei.  

The announcement that a new church is to be built was made at all Masses at the Church of the Holy Trinity on the weekend of Dec 18.

"We must thank God for this wonderful Christmas present," said Pasir Ris resident Betty Lim after Mass.

"Holy Trinity Church is so packed at all Masses that we really need another church for worship," she added.

In the spirit of a participatory church, parishioners were also asked to suggest a name for the new church at the weekend Masses. A box will be placed in the lobby of the church for several weeks to collect suggestions.

The current census of Holy Trinity which covers all of three HDB Estates - Tampines, Simei and Pasir Ris - has a Catholic population close to 14,000.

Every Mass on a weekend is packed; there is standing room only for many worshippers.

The 3000 sq m land on Pasir Ris Street 72 is on a 30-year lease and was offered for tender by HDB. The archdiocese won the tender with a $9 million bid.

The parish priest of Holy Trinity, Father Johnson Fernandez, and the associate priests of the parish will be responsible for forming a Building and Fundraising Committee for the project.

"Actually, we have already begun some work," said Father Fernandez.

"After discussing with a few priests and some Catholic professionals in the building industry, we have put together a simple design brief for architects," he said. "Any architect interested in the project can contact me for the design brief."

"However, they must understand that the final decision is left to the Archbishop and his Consultors," he added.

The target date for completion of the new building is Nov 2007.

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Guidelines have been prepared for the proposed church building but architects may "feel free to suggest better alternative proposals," says the Design Brief. Interested architects are expected to present their designs in the last week of January 2006.


The proposed church at Lot 2274V, Pasir Ris St 72 is intended as a four-storey building.

The land is about 67m to 76m (L) x 42m (W) giving a site area of 3000 sq m. The plot ratio is 1:4.


As a central place of worship, the proposed church is "to express and promote community by encouraging prayer, liturgical participation and social interaction," the Brief says.

It states that the building should ideally be constructed of simple, basic, earth-rich materials and contain the following:

- Main worship area for approximately 1000 worshippers plus a separate mezzanine level seating 200 above the main worship area. Ideally, the sanctuary is to be of a roundish or semicircular shape radiating towards the altar area. The seating arrangement is to be fan-shaped to foster a sense of community and to bring the celebration of the Mass closer to the participants.

- Chapel for 150 persons

- Carpark for 60-80 cars

- Classrooms: 11-14 small ones for 30 children each and 3 large ones for 60 persons each

- Multipurpose Hall to accommodate 250 persons

- Canteen on the ground floor, priests' quarters, offices, caretaker's room

- Flat roof area for open-air activities

To make the church a welcoming place, the Brief describes the church entrance as having the features of an assembling area where worshippers are greeted before the opening of the liturgy to highlight the act of gathering as a crucial element in the liturgical celebration.

It would like a baptismal font/pool to be located along the entryway to the main worship area to remind parishioners of their symbolic entry into the church community through the waters of baptism.

Where possible, a hospitality room / area should be provided adjoining the entryway and also

opening onto the open area / courtyard so that churchgoers can congregate and socialise after the worship, before they depart, the Brief states.

It specifies the need for good acoustical characteristics of the worship area since one of the common complaints from the congregation is that it is difficult to hear speech from the back of the church, and sometimes there is an echo which also causes problems for clarity. (continued on page 3)

The Brief also calls for provisions for a LCD Projection System.

"The bottom line is that congregations are best served by sound and visual systems which work in harmony with the space and environment with properly designed acoustics," the Brief explains. "This consideration is of utmost importance as it enhances the worship experience."

The worship area is to have a high ceiling with soft curves to give volume and a sense of space. If possible, a skylight is to be provided in the roof to illuminate the altar to highlight it as a focal point in the Sunday Mass.

Provisions are also to be made for the Crucifix to be hung from the ceiling just above the altar; anchor points to hang banners and decorations to indicate the relevant church feast days; lighting that will provide an atmosphere of prayer and contemplation; and sufficient window areas to accommodate stained glass panels.

Interested architects may email Father Johnson Fernandez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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