Friday, July 5, 2013

St. Thomas's Cathedral, Kuching

Just beside the Padang Merdeka, stand a magnificent cathedral in the heart of Kuching city. It has a history of more than a century.

The Church of England sent its first missionary to Borneo in 1847 at the request and invitation of the first white Rajah, Sir James Brooke. The Revd. Francis Thomas McDougall, priest and doctor was chosen for this pioneer work and his team landed in Kuching on 29th June 1848 after sailing for 6 months from England. A considerable area of jungle-covered hill behind the old town then was given to the church by the Rajah.

On 28th August 1849, Revd. McDougall began the erection of a fine wooden Gothic Church capable of holding 250 persons. On 22nd January 1851, Bishop Wilson of Calcutta consecrated this church to the glory of God and in honour of St. Thomas, the Apostle. It serves as the Pro-Cathedral until 1920 when it was considerably enlarged and raised to the status of a cathedral. The old cathedral was situated at the site of the present Parish Hall.

The foundation stone for the present cathedral was laid on 15th October 1953 by H.R.H. the Duchess of Kent while the first sod was cut by Bishop Nigel Cornwall on 27th January 1955. The building was completed by May the following year. The greater part of the cost was given by the Christians and others in the Diocese as each parish sponsored a part of the building. The consecration of the Cathedral took place on the 9th June 1956 at the hand of Bishop Cornwall

1 comment:

foongpc said...

Interesting Cathedral. I've never been to Kuching.