Main façade

Main façadeSituated at the junction of Wong Nei Chong Road and Broadwood Road, St Margaret’s Church was designed by Italian architect U. Gonella, completed in 1923 and consecrated in 1925.

The broad ascent to the church is organised in two tiers, each with 17 steps paved in granite. The porch is composed of an entablature and a pediment, supported on four granite columns, in the manner of a traditional Greek-style entrance to a basilica.  A round rose window is built into the pediment and below, set in the entablature, are four Chinese characters, embossed in gold, meaning “Catholic church.”  Standing inside the porch and guarding the entrance are two over-sized sculptures: St. Peter, holding a book in one hand and keys in the other, symbolising Christ’s promise to give him the way leading to the kingdom of Heaven, and St. Paul, holding a sword in one hand and a book in the other, symbolising his works in evangelisation and martyrdom by the sword, for the Gospel’s sake.

Standing inside the porch and guarding the entrance are two over-sized sculptures: St. Peter & St. PaulThe majestic entrance porch and monumental granite steps together form a highly solemn and richly sensuous backdrop. Because of this, the church is a popular venue for marriages, preferred by many faithfuls.

Church interior

Entering through the main doors, the most striking feature that greets the visitor is the Romanesque barrel-vault ceiling, adorned with neatly aligned, rectangular coffers. The vault conveys a soothing and harmonious feeling, while the rectangular coffers give a hint of orderliness.  At the rear end of the barrel vault is a semicircular, gridded window, which lets in light, as if an eye were looking down from Heaven, with merciful affection, on the faithful congregated in the church.

Church interiorAt the front end of the nave, towering above the main altar, is a hemispherical dome. A metal-ringed, stone spiral staircase to the left of the altar leads to the bell tower, suggesting one’s uplifting towards the above. Behind the altar is a painting of Jesus appearing to St Margaret, patron of the church. Throughout her life, the saint took it as her duty the promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and was canonised by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

Before liturgical reform, a high altar was centrally placed at the end of the apse; set in a marble portal, it gave a dignified and solemn image. Two rows of columns, standing on waist-high pediments, define the side aisles, which are enclosed by full-height windows with stained glass set in a geometric pattern of yellow, blue, red and green, imparting a measure of innocence and joy.

Translated: Heritage Exploration Web Translation Team