Along Waterloo Street, a devotee from the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple walks two doors down to the neighbouring Sri Krishnan Temple to offer prayers. This is a common sight in the area, where temples, churches, a mosque and a synagogue are all within a stone’s throw of one another.
These houses of worship stand as testaments to the diverse communities who lived, worked and played side by side around Queen, Waterloo and Bencoolen Streets in Singapore’s Bras Basah/Bugis precinct, exemplifying the values of understanding and openness that have allowed them to exist and thrive together.
With the launch of a new programme titled Harmony Walks by the National Heritage Board (NHB), Singaporeans will be able to embark on free guided walks along Queen, Waterloo and Bencoolen Streets and learn more about the commonalities shared by diverse communities in the areas of religion, culture and built heritage.
Harmony Walks comprises three guided walks that will cover the following designated areas:
- Harmony Walks: Queen, Waterloo and Bencoolen Streets
- Harmony Walks: Telok Ayer (To be launched in 2020)
- Harmony Walks: South Bridge Road (To be launched in 2020)
The first of three walks is Harmony Walks: Queen, Waterloo and Bencoolen Streets which covers a total of seven religious institutions – Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple, Sri Krishnan Temple, Maghain Aboth Synagogue, Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Kum Yan Methodist Church and Masjid Bencoolen. The two subsequent trails will be rolled out progressively in 2020
Maghain Aboth Synagogue along Waterloo Street
Photo courtesy of the Preservation of Sites and Monuments, National Heritage Board
Harmony Walks: Queen, Waterloo and Bencoolen Streets‘ two-hour guided walks will be held weekly from 23 November 2019 to 31 March 2020 (not inclusive of public holidays and with a break between 9 and 31 December 2019).
Registration for walks from April 2020 to June 2020 will be available from February 2020. The dates and timings are:
- Saturdays at 9am
- Sundays at 4pm
- Last Friday of every month at 4pm
Registration for the guided walks will be available here from 14 November 2019.
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