History of St Anne’s Church
In February 1961, a piece of land adjacent to the former Meng Tech School (currently St Joseph’s Convent) was acquired and late Fr Hippolyte Berthold was credited with building St Anne’s Church in Ponggol. It was intended to serve the growing number of Catholics in the area who were mainly engaged in farming and small scale fishing. The Church was completed in July 1963 and on 26 July, St Anne’s Feast day; the late Archbishop Michael Olcomendy blessed and declared the Church open for worship. Fr John Yu was the first Parish Priest and he served till 1968, when he was then posted back to the archdiocese of Malacca / Johore.
In the 1970’s, the entire area was cleared of farming and animal husbandry and the Church population dwindled to around 300. In the words of late Fr Berthold, “we have more pigs than men” and there were plans to even close down the Church. Thankfully, the blue print for Sengkang and Ponggol new towns were released and St Anne’s Church sits right in the centre. In fact, even in 1998, St Anne’s Church had only one Mass on Sundays at 8am compared to four Sunday Masses plus one Sunset Mass on Saturdays which commenced in year 2004. Today, our Church population is around 6000 and St Anne is one of the fastest and youngest growing Parishes in the archdiocese.
Landmark Development of St Anne
The Current landmark of St Anne stamped from the vision and foresight of Fr John Lau who in March 1993 and in his own quiet way started to prepare the Parish for an influx of Catholic communities with the fast development of Sengkang Estate and Punggol 21. Finally, in 1997, a Church Building Committee was formed and we were blessed with the following development:
Renovation works on the Church was carried out at a cost of $1.2 million and completed in May 1999
Second phase of a Parish Complex and Columbarium of 8000 niches commenced at a cost of $6.8 million.
5 Jun 1999
Blessing of renovated Church by late Archbishop Gregory Yong DD
27 May 2001
Parish Complex and Columbarium were blessed and declared open by late Archbishop Emeritus Gregory Yong DD
In Feb 2002, when the dust had settled and we had officially taken over the new complex, the Church was in debt to the tune of around $8 million. Thanks to the dynamism and creativity of our Priests, coupled with the wholesome and untiring support of our Members of Ministries / Groups as well as the Parishioners, Well-Wishes and Benefactors, we embarked on fund-raising events, year in and out. Finally, in Aug 2005, praise to the Lord, St Anne’s Church was debt free.
Founding Fathers of St Anne:
July 1963 – 1968, Rev Fr John Yu
September 1968 – 1975, Rev Fr Moses Tay (deceased)
December 1975 – 1982, Rev Fr Hippolyte Berthold (deceased)
January 1982 – 1991, Rev Fr Cyril John Lee
August 1991 – 1992, Rev Fr Joseph Jeannequin
February 1992, Rev Fr Nicholas Ho
August 1992 – 1993, Rev Fr William Goh
March 1993 – February 2002, Rev Fr John Lau
February 2002 – August 2005, Rev Fr Richards Ambrose
September 2005 – November 2007, Rev Fr Henry Siew
December 2007 to August 2011, Rev Fr James Yeo
September 2011 to Present, Rev Fr Francis Lee