The Church of St Alphonsus, popularly referred to as the Novena Church, was established in 1935 by the Redemptorists, a Catholic order dedicated to serving the poor and the abandoned. The Redemptorists were founded in 1732 by St Alphonsus Liguori, an Italian priest.
The first Redemptorist chapel in Singapore was based in a house at 339 Thomson Road (presently Thomson Medical Centre). In 1948, the Redemptorists acquired this plot of land from Wee Kah Kiat, a Chinese businessman, and completed their church building in 1950.
The church soon became known as the Novena Church due to its Saturday novenas which began in January 1949. A novena, which means “nine” in Latin, is a devotion carried out over nine days or weeks. Due to the popularity of this devotion, the surrounding area and nearby MRT station later acquired the name Novena.
The original church building, which was conserved in 2011, has a distinctive frontage with three arches and a circular stained glass window. It stands next to a new Gothic-style worship hall, which was completed in 2017.