KUCHING: St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church at Kampung Emperoh Jambu, Jalan Puncak Borneo now has a new RM1.3 million building to accommodate its growing number of parishioners.
Church building committee head Paul Ponar Sinjeng said parishioners could now pray in a better and more comfortable building, which can accommodate up to 500.
“The idea of a new building came with a whole idea of having a new church at a new location, and with a new design.
“The land was also donated by four families from the village to give way for the building of a new church to replace the old one. The concept was to follow St Joseph’s Kuching,” said Paul of the fully air-conditioned building.
The project started in 2007 at an initial cost of RM600,000.
However, due to some variation orders, the construction was delayed until last year.
Funding included grants from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (RM400,000), Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Dr James Dawos Mamit (RM150,000), businessman Steven Sia (RM200,000), and Assistant Minister of Public Health and Bengoh assemblyman Dr Jerip Susil (RM50,000).
Other individual contributions and raffle tickets contributed RM200,000.
Soldiers from the Penrissen Camp assisted with the earth filling work, which took seven months to complete.
The new building was officially opened recently by Archdiocese of Kuching Archbishop, the Most Rev Datuk John Ha.
The old church building will be used for church or village activities.