Church of St. Alphonsus (Novena Church)

Get Page Link

This link has copied to your clipboard:



The Novena Church, located along Thomson Road, has played a significant role in the growth and development of the surrounding area, which is named after the church.


During the post-WWII era, Novena Church was the largest Catholic church to be built on the outskirts of Singapore’s Central Business District. The conserved building, which houses the main worship hall, was designed by Swan and Maclaren (a pioneer architectural firm in Singapore in the first half of the 20th century). It was constructed in 1950.

The term “Novena” is derived from the Latin word novem, meaning "nine", and refers to the nine days' of private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces. The Church is run by the Redemptorist Fathers, a male missionary society founded in the 18th century near Naples, Italy.


Built in an eclectic-Modern style, the design makes use of Classical elements such as fluted Doric columns along the external corridors, entrances and porticoes to bridge between modernity and classicism.

The eye-catching triple arc front pediment is a key contributor to its identity. Using the architectural language of the trinity, the centre main arc is emphasised by a round stain glass window to symbolise ‘oneness’ and is surmounted by a smaller cross at its peak. A row of tiny dentils along the perimeter further create visual interest.

As the Novena sessions multiplied, the main hall soon became too small, and wide covered porticoes on both sides were added in the late-1950s to accommodate the overflow. The existing side-walls were removed and grilles added.


The Novena Church has grown to become a local landmark and community touchstone. It is a meeting place for Catholics of different races, bringing together people from all walks of life.

Gazetted on 8 June 2011 for conservation.

Loading...Please wait...