Archbishop Simon performs the ground breaking ceremony for St Peter's Church.

KUCHING: The new St Peter’s Church site at Padungan here was blessed yesterday to mark the start of its construction.

The ground-breaking ceremony was performed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuching, Most Reverend Simon Poh.

Tender documents were also signed and presented to the contractors, James Ling Chung and Helen Teng L W from Perbena Emas Sdn Bhd.

The church’s parish rector Reverend Father Vincent Chin stated that the site was about 10 acres.

The church will be a prominent landmark in the cityscape upon its completion within the next four years.

“The construction itself will take two years and the other two will be focused on furnishing the interior,” said Father Chin.

Archbishop Simon performs the ground breaking ceremony for St Peter’s Church.

He affirmed that the Gothic church design will need a lot of time to make sure it is done properly.

“The stained glass being the main feature of the church will be done by Italian professionals here in Kuching and not overseas.

“They will spend the next four years on the very extensive stained glass,” he said.

The church will be able to house more than 1,000 worshippers at any one time whereas the existing church built in 1949 can only accommodate about 800 parishioners.

Besides the new church, the State Planning Authority has approved a master development plan which includes a multipurpose hall with an attached office block, an eight-storey hostel for an international school, a four-storey formation centre, a two-storey columbarium and ample parking which is well-spaced throughout the whole area.

An artist’s impression of the new St Peter’s Church.