Monday, December 17, 2007

Singapore Notebook: St. Andrew's Cathedral

Here I finally begin posting some reflections and reactions on my recent trip to the Far East. My 11-year old daughter Kirsten and I left for Singapore on December 3, returning on December 12. The main purpose of the trip was to serve Singapore Youth for Christ by teaching at their annual Bible Trails Conference, as well as to visit a career partner in a nearby country that is officially closed to Christian work.

Singapore is a beautiful island/city/country of nearly 5 million people. The conference was held at St. Andrew's Cathedral, a gospel-centered Anglican church in the heart of the city. The grand sanctuary was built roughly around the same time that Tenth Presbyterian Church was built in Philadelphia. The church also has a beautiful new worship facility with terraced seating, built down into the ground, as well as (this is rare for Singapore) beautiful green space around the central buildings.

What really excited me, though, was the subway station that is located virtually on the church property. Downtown commuters stream up the escalators and exit directly adjacent to the church's all-glass visitor center. St. Andrew's does a wonderful job of presenting the gospel in their written materials, and also of inviting passers-by to come into the church for rest, reflection, and meditation. Few things quicken my pulse as much as a gospel-centered church in the heart of the city, and it was encouraging to see St. Andrew's taking advantage of its golden opportunities for evangelism. One of my own parishioners was there on a recent Sunday and reports that the church was full for multiple services (the new worship center seats perhaps 800).

I was pleased and perhaps somewhat surprised to see the church fully outfitted with the English Standard Version -- another promising sign for Bible-teaching ministry. And it was good to see St. Andrew's sharing its facilities with Singapore Youth for Christ and other Christian ministries, thereby serving the wider church.

-Phil

1 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Glad you enjoyed your time, Phil. I'm sure Singapore welcomes you back!

8:14 PM  

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