GEORGE TOWN: The Church of the Assumption in Farquhar Street, Penang, is raising RM2mil to fund its project that will see the church restored to its original condition in 1928.
Fund raising committee chairman John Lau said the total cost is estimated at RM2.5mil of which RM500,000 has already been contributed by the church.
“This prestigious project entails an iconic building located in the George Town heritage site where other buildings of huge historical significance have already been restored or renovated.
“Therefore, this project is not only confined to the Catholic population but is also opened to people of all races in Penang regardless of status and religion as it should be the pride of everyone living in the state,” he said.
Lau said the committee would be organising three major fund-raising activities, including the Assumption Food Fair to be held on the church grounds on Dec 3, and targetting to raise RM100,000.
Penang Roman Catholic Bishop Rev Sebastian Francis said the church was first built in 1860 and completed in 1861.
In 1928, two wings were added to cater to the growing Catholic population, he added.
Assumption Church Restoration Committee chairperson Father Gerard Theraviam said the church is already a monumental landmark in the George Town Heritage site, situated almost next door to many other notable buildings such as St George’s Church, the High Courts, the Logan Memorial, as well as Convent Light Street and St Xavier’s Institution.
He said the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) had approved restoration plans on April 14, adding that the projected time frame of the restoration works is about 14 months. Works are expected to start on Sept 1 until Oct 31, next year.
“The scope of work will include replacement of the existing glass louvre windows with timber shutter windows used in 1928.
“Extensive repair works will be carried out inside and outside,” he said.
Father Gerard also noted that the church’s recently restored century-old pipe organ, that has been partially covered, will be covered fully after the church celebrates its last mass on Aug 14 before the restoration works commence.