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Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church

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Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (10 July 2006)


Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church is a church along Telok Ayer Street. It belongs to the Chinese Annual Conference Methodist church of Singapore which has two locations: TA1 at Telok Ayer Street near Chinatown, and TA2 at Telok Blangah Road.

The Chinese Methodist Church of Telok Ayer was started in 1889 when Dr Benjamin West, a Methodist missionary, arrived in Singapore and set up a dispensary at Japan Street (today called Boon Tat Street) to help the poor Chinese labourers living there. The labourers were mostly ethnic Hokkiens and had succumbed to opium addiction. Dr West started church services at a rented house in Upper Nankin Street in August 1889.

In the beginning, the majority of the congregation was mostly Hokkien speaking. However, as new waves of migrants came in, people of other dialect groups also arrived in Singapore. Eventually, it was necessary to create a Foochow Methodist Church as well as a Hokkien Methodist Church. The Hokkien-speaking congregation eventually moved to new premises in Japan Street, and in 1906, the Hokkien church became known as the Telok Ayer Church.


Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, front view (8 July 2006)


In 1913, Reverend FH Sullivan bought a plot of land at the junction of Telok Ayer Street and Cecil Street. There he set up a tent and held services there. Unfortunately a year later the tent collapsed. The church then moved to Fairfield Girls' School in Neil Road. Meanwhile a structure of wood and corrugated iron was built on the plot, and in 1915, services returned to Telok Ayer Street.

In 1921, the church raised funds to erect a permanent building. The funds raised enabled it to buy the adjoining land as well. A three-storey building, designed by the architectural firm Swan and MacLaren, and built by French contractor Bross and Mogin, was erected there. The project began on 19 January 1924, and was completed by December of the same year. On 11 January 1925, the Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church was consecrated by Methodist Bishop Titus Lowe.

The Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church was gazetted a national monument on 23 March 1989.

Address

Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church
192 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068635

Getting there

The nearest Singapore MRT to the Tanjong Pagar MRT Station (EW15).

List of the Churches in Singapore

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