In June 1969, religious bodies in Singapore were invited by the Government to tender for a piece of land of 40,000 square feet.
A month later, the Government announced that a Catholic church would be built at the junction of Toa Payoh Central and Lorong 4.
The announcement sparked off a massive challenge of raising $450,000 for a church building, which fell on the shoulders of the late Rev Fr Pierre Abrial and Rev Fr Adrian Anthony.
Prior to this, the growing catholic community of Toa Payoh conducted their religious activities at the Ho Ping Centre and then at the Social Function Hall of the HDB East Area Office.
The 1st mass was celebrated in the function hall on 6th April 1969.
While, contributions were forthcoming from benefactors and parishioners, Fr Abrial had to make personal visits to parishioners to solicit money, some of which were collected over 18 months installments.
By mid June 1971, only some $30,000 was short. This was made up by the many generous parishioners.
About two weeks later, the Church of the Risen Christ was officially opened on 3rd July 1971 by His Grace, the Late Mgr Michael Olcomendy.
Originally, the Church was to be known as "Church of the Resurrection", but was changed to "Church of the Risen Christ" as the former term was found to be rather abstract and impersonal.
A quotation from the souvenir magazine published in conjunction with the Church's official opening cites the following rationale;
The name "RISEN CHRIST" expresses in a better way the unique character of the Easter event. We believe in a Risen Christ. We believe that He is alive and that we have a relationship with God through Him. Our Church stands as a permanent witness to such a faith".
Situated in the centre of the new satellite town then, Church of the Risen Christ was meant to serve a population of 200,000 middle and low-income flat owners.
As Toa Payoh town estate grew in its affluence and size, so did the Church and its parish community.
In an effort to reduce noise from the road traffic nearby, Church of the Risen Christ became among the first Roman Catholic Church to install an air-conditioning system within its premises in 1974.
The grotto was later built in 1990 in honour of our Blessed Mother. Upon its completion, the grotto was blessed by His Grace, then Archbishop Gregory Yong on 15th August 1990, the Feast of the Assumption.
The Grotto has since become a center of devotions and prayers for individuals, families and church groups. The wooden shed and benches were later added during the last renovation.
As time went on by, space constraint posed a growing concern.Catechism classes for children were conducted in places like the sacristy and kitchen, thereby impeding on the priests' privacy and opportunity for interaction.
Hence, the Church decided to build a new extension that would meet the needs of the growing community.
Construction on the new 4 storey extension began in early 2003. Costing approximately $3.5 million, the new building houses the priest quarters and kitchen and contains 13 rooms that doubles up as classrooms and meeting rooms,
At the same time, renovations within the Church were carried out.The flight of stairs leading up to the Main Entrance was replaced by a new staircase with an extension built to house a youth room and an auditorium.
A mural painting of our Lord preaching to a small crowd with Lake Galilee in the background adorns the inner wall of the extension.
To reduce renovation cost and time, layering of new floor tiles over existing ones was carried out.
Small stained windows depicting the Passion of the Lord replaced the previous orange lanterns with illustrations of the scenes of the Passion.
The old seating benches gave way to sturdy new ones.
Most significantly, the use of hymn books and bible leaflets were discontinued with the use of projectors and television screens displaying liturgical prayers, bible readings, hymns and announcements during mass.
The renovations resulted in a modern and brighter atmosphere for worship and prayer. The Church opened the new extension for viewing to the parishioners in November, 2003.
The latest building extension and renovations marked another chapter in the history of Church of the Risen Christ.
With the Lord's blessing and guidance, may its shepherds serve and guide the Parish Community towards their heavenly home.