Singapore

Novena Church starts charging parking fees

Worshippers at Novena Church at Thomson Road will now have to pay to park their cars there.

The church - which only reopened in September after three years of renovation works - introduced charges for its carpark on Monday to deter non-worshippers from parking at its premises.

The parish, located near Novena Square and Tan Tock Seng Hospital, often finds its 120 basement parking lots fully taken up, especially on the weekends.

Cars are now charged $1.50 for the first hour or less, and $0.50 for every 15 minutes after that, regardless of whether they are churchgoers or not.

UNFAIR

One churchgoer, who only wanted to be known as Mrs Tan, said it is "not fair" for the church to be charging worshippers.

"They should encourage people to come for mass. So during mass times, it should be free," said the retiree, who attends mass there three times a week.

Novena Church's move follows in the footsteps of other religious institutions that have imposed parking fees for their premises.

For St Andrew's Cathedral, located in the heart of the civic district next to the National Gallery and City Hall MRT station, parking fees were imposed in 2011.

On Queen Street, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul has also imposed parking charges, reinstalling the carpark gantry in June last year following restoration works, which ended in March.

COMMUNITY ISSUES