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Resonance, Restoration and Renewal

Fairfield Methodist Church celebrates 75 years and looks ahead to a new season

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In 1983, Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School moved from Neil Road to a new space in Dover. As an affiliated church, the members of Fairfield Methodist Church had to choose: follow the school to Dover, or stay in her current neighbourhood. They discerned that God wanted them to be in Chinatown; their calling and ministry would be there.

In response, members gathered after church for months, sacrificing their lunch preferences and money for wholemeal bread and Milo instead. They did this in faith for God to provide the funds to purchase an old cinema building at the junction of Maxwell and Tanjong Pagar Roads. This sense of purpose and spirit unified Fairfield.

As the church gathered in unity 40 years ago, our 75th anniversary marks a unique season of restoration and coming together again, as we move towards our centennial. Fairfield’s mission is for every member to be committed to magnify God, multiply disciples and minister to all peoples in Singapore and beyond. Looking ahead, as we consider how church life has been disrupted, it is time to reflect on what an authentic Christian faith in community means, especially for the younger adults.

A song, “Come Magnify the Lord” was written to commemorate this occasion, weaving in another song “We Magnify” that was written in 1998. The choruses of the songs can be sung simultaneously, signifying harmony and unity across the generations, all magnifying God as one.

On 29 January, over 650 people from the English, Cantonese and Mandarin congregations celebrated our 75th anniversary, kicking off the year of celebratory events. We had the privilege of hosting TRAC President, Rev Stanley Chua and his wife, Vice-President Dr Cheah-Foo Fung Fong and her husband, with 12 other community partners, who toured our Heritage Room before adjourning to lunch. Hawker stalls from Maxwell Food Centre—26 of them—also played a part by providing food for our celebrations.

Our hope is that the 2023 theme “Cultivate authenticity, Embrace our community” will be expressed in many ways. As church vibrancy ebbs and flows, we seek to renew connection with one another; a great way is through intentional fellowship in eating together. Starting with the church anniversary lunch, there will be monthly lunches to mingle and share stories about God, life and faith.

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(from left to right) LCEC Chairman Mr Mark Zhou, TRAC Vice-President Dr Cheah-Foo Fung Fong, TRAC President Rev Stanley Chua, Pastor-in-Charge Rev Wendy Tay, Honorary Steward Ms Hee Piang Chin, Pastor Reginald Chan and Rev Ivan Tan

It may feel challenging to share a meal with acquaintances or those who mainly speak another language, but our desire is that churchgoers realise how we are all part of the body of Christ, instead of distinct small groups or congregations. The stories we share of faith, suffering and his everlasting grace may inspire a lunch buddy to delve deeper into an authentic relationship with Jesus, join a small group or discover a new platform to serve in church.

Besides embracing community within Fairfield’s walls, we want to reach those in our spheres of influence, like Maxwell Food Centre hawkers, and through our outreach arm (Yong-en Care Centre) to Chinatown and Jalan Kukoh. God-willing, regional missions will resume to countries like Malaysia and Thailand.

On 18 February, we participated in the Kreta Ayer RC Spring Festival, amplifying our commitment to be a steadfast presence for good and the Gospel. Fairfield’s City Connect ministry has restarted, offering Maxwell diners respite from the heat. Within two months of restarting, two diners received Christ as their Lord and Saviour. We believe that the harvest is plentiful, and we need to faithfully and obediently work where the Lord calls us to.

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Bringing an offering of worship through flags, dance and music

As Fairfield’s original lease winds down, church members were mobilised in February to each cover a 75-kilometre distance over five months, and invite loved ones’ support by walking together and giving financially. These funds will be funnelled to the church’s lease renewal, which costs another $3 million for a 30-year extension. Beyond raising funds, this endeavour is like walking with Jesus—a reminder that we are not alone in our Christian walk, even when it feels passionless or arduous. An authentic Christian community provides a safe space to experience God and his truth, and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, relying on his sovereign provision to meet our needs.

The stories of God’s faithfulness need to be told and retold, so that generations to come will hear, know and believe that he is always working in our lives, families and church. We look forward to what he will do in Fairfield Methodist Church and beyond!

For the anniversary songs and other 75th Anniversary celebratory events, visit Fairfield Methodist Church’s website at www.fairfieldmc.org/75Anniversary

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Over 650 attendees at the 75th Anniversary Service, with current and past church members celebrating God's faithfulness together
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Church members mingling after the 75th Anniversary Service

Theme verse for 2023

Psalm 145:6-7
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

 An excerpt from Come Magnify the Lord:

May the young among us shout Your praise,
and the old declare Your greatness,
Not just with empty words, but acts of grace
that reflect Your righteousness.
And may those who see it turn to You,
touched by us who call on Your name.
O Holy Spirit, work in hearts anew,
and bring the lost back to You.

Text, photos and illustration courtesy of Fairfield Methodist Church

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