The Church of St Teresa will receive about $1.35 million in funding for maintenance and restorative work through the National Monuments Fund this year, the National Heritage Board (NHB) said yesterday.
The amount is more than half of the total $2.1 million to be disbursed this year. The rest will be shared among 11 other national monuments.
Repairs to be carried out on the Kampung Bahru church include structural repair and strengthening, as well as restoration of the roof and ceiling, walls and exterior, timber windows and doors, and stained glass and terrazzo floor.
The church's walls will have to be stripped and repainted entirely.
Evidence of water seepage in the roof and ceiling was also found, which led to bubbles forming and cracks showing on the ceiling.
The total cost of the church's repairs is estimated at $4.3 million, and it will have to come up with the remaining $3 million. The church will celebrate its 90th anniversary next April.
Director of NHB's Preservation of Sites and Monuments division Jean Wee said repairs would not just be physical but also social and spiritual. "When the restorations are completed, more people will start to visit the church (and other monuments); more people will be wanting to get married here," she said.
The church was gazetted as a national monument in 2009, but this is the first time it has applied for restorative funding under the National Monuments Fund.
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Church parishioner Joseph Silverayan said: "(Since 2009,) we have been gathering reserves and donations from the congregation... to fund the repairs."
The National Monuments Fund operates on a co-funding and reimbursement basis. This means that monument owners must raise a sum of money equivalent to the total cost of repairs before applying for funding. They can then use the reimbursed money for other kinds of constructive work.
In the past, other places of worship also received sizeable grants after putting in an application. In 2014 for instance, Sultan Mosque was given $1.02 million, while the Yu Huang Gong temple received $480,000.
As of this year, $6.6 million of $11.7 million has been disbursed from the second tranche of the fund that began in 2016.
Disbursements are assessed based on the urgency and severity of damage to monuments.
A component of the National Monuments Fund introduced in 2016, called the Maintenance Fund, has also been enhanced.
It now covers the maintenance of vegetation around national monuments, such as the trimming of branches growing nearby. St Joseph's Church in Bugis will be the first national monument to utilise the fund for this purpose.
To date, 72 structures have been gazetted as national monuments in Singapore. Of these, 31 are run by non-profit or religious organisations eligible to apply for the National Monuments Fund.
Twenty seven monuments have benefited from the fund since its introduction in 2008.
12 monuments to receive $2.1m in public funds
Twelve monuments will receive $113,000 from the National Monuments Fund to co-fund maintenance work.
Six of these will also get $2 million in public funds to co-fund restoration works, details of which are as follows.
Church of St Teresa, Kampong Bahru
Maintenance funding plus restoration funding of $1,350,990 to be spent on:
• Structural repair and strengthening
• Restoration of roof and ceiling
• Wall treatment
• Restoration of ferro-concrete granolithic exterior
• Restoration of timber windows and doors
• Restoration of stained glass and terrazzo floor
Al-Abrar Mosque, Telok Ayer
Maintenance funding plus restoration funding of $107,500
• Repairing of cracks on gable end walls
• Repainting works on external and internal walls
• Improvement of toilets due to safety concerns
• Repairing and improvement of rear courtyards
• Re-varnishing of timber windows, doors and cabinets
Chesed-El Synagogue, Dhoby Ghaut
Maintenance funding plus restoration funding of $8,926
• Rectification works to front canopies
Maghain Aboth Synagogue, Waterloo Street
Maintenance funding plus restoration funding of $396,134
• Repainting of interior
• Replacement of timber roof
• Repainting of cast iron fence
• Repairing of timber windows
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Farrer Park
Maintenance funding plus restoration funding of $88,250
• Sculptural restoration works for Maha Samprokshanam (consecration ceremony)
• Retiling of inner sanctums with granite tiles
• Replacement of chipped granite floor at the main temple
• Repairing of boundary fence
Thian Hock Keng temple, Telok Ayer
Maintenance funding plus restoration funding of $2,200
• Repairing of roof
Armenian Church of St Gregory, City Hall
Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Bencoolen
Hajjah Fatimah Mosque, Beach Road
Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, Toa Payoh
St George's Church, Minden Road
St Joseph's Church, Bugis