He had wanted to “pay attention to places to pray and places of learning”, said Fr Joachim Chang, parish priest of the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.
In an interview with CatholicNews on the soon-to-be-completed renovations in the main church, canteen and parish hall, he said it all started with the “aircon breaking down”, after which they were told by Singapore Civil Defence Force that they had to rewire certain parts of the church.Therefore, in conjunction with the parish’s 60th anniversary this year, they decide to “renew the place”. The last renovation of the church was 17 years ago.
Fr Joachim said that the reason for the renovation is so that the church can look more attractive outside as well as inside to people.
The theme of the church design is to depict the various aspects of Mary’s name as Queen. As one enters the church by the main door, from the entrance there is a clear view of a bright green star directly above the statue of Our Lady at the main sanctuary.
It comes across as the Star of the Sea, a title given to her.
Other changes in the church include the refurbishing of the Stations of the Cross and the shifting of the crucifix and tabernacle from the side of the altar to the centre.
In front of the altar, there is also a new baptismal font, which takes a “traditional shape with the four evangelists”, Fr Joachim said.
There will also be new life-size statues of the 12 Apostles and Archangels Gabriel and Michael along the 14 pillars inside the church, as the queenship of Mary includes her as Queen of Angels and Queen of Apostles.
The parish hall, where activities such as talks are held, used to have a higher roof but that caused an echo when people spoke. According to Fr Joachim, it was also “very cluttered and not very good”.
Thus, they renovated the place and also tore down a structure inside the parish hall.
The renovations began in December last year, and are expected to be completed in late August, according to Fr Joachim.
Archbishop William Goh will celebrate the parish feast day Mass on Aug 15 at 7 pm. During the Mass, he will consecrate the newly renovated church as it has never been consecrated before, only blessed.
By Clara Lai