Church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator – First Christian Church in Singapore

Church of Saint Gregory the IlluminatorThe Armenian Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church located at Hill Street in Singapore’s central business district is the oldest Christian church in the city-state. This masterpiece of famous architect George Drumgoole Coleman is one of the finest landmarks of the early architectural development of Singapore. The church was modeled after the Church of Saint Gregory in Etchmiadzin, Armenia.

Prior to the completion of the church and after the funds for the construction works had been collected, the first priest of the Church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, Reverend Krikor Hovhannes (Gregory John), arrived in Singapore in 1827.

By 1835, the church had been completed. Reverend Catchick Johannes consecrated the church in 1836. He would also dedicate the church to the first Patriarch of the Armenian Church, Saint Gregory the Illuminator (c. 257 – c. 331). The church was gazetted as a national monument on July 6, 1973.

The church grounds house the parsonage and the gorgeous Memorial Garden to Armenians. The parsonage was built by Nanajan Sarkies in memory of John Shanazar Sarkies, her late husband, in 1905. The Sarkies family was arguably the most notable Armenian family in Singapore. Several tombstones of renowned Armenians lie here as well, such as the tombstone of Agnes Joaquim, the discoverer of “Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid”, the national flower of Singapore.

Armenian memorial, Singapore
Armenian church, Singapore, memorial
Statue at Armenian Church garden, Singapore
Statue of Armenian Church garden, Singapore
Statue at Armenian Church garden in Singapore
Statue at Armenian Church in Singapore
Memorial, Armenian Church, Singapore
Armenian church memorial statue, Singapore
Memorial Garden of the Armenian church in Singapore
Armenian Church garden, Singapore
Interior of the Armenian church in Singapore
Armenian Church 1835, Singapore
Bungalow at the Armenian church memorial garden
Armenian Church Singapore, top view
On the wall of the Armenian church in Singabpore
The church’s entrance features heavy two-leaf timber doors framed by moulded semi-circular pediments.
Armenian memorial at the Armenian church of Singapore

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