A strong advocate for marketplace ministry, Mr Magnus urged Christians to "shine brightly in our personal, social and political arenas". Photo from

Salt&Light has learnt that former Judge Richard Magnus, a mainstay of the public service and church scene in Singapore, was called home to the Lord this morning (March 14), at the age of 77. 

He leaves behind his wife, Eileen, their two children and three grandchildren.

A strong advocate for marketplace ministry, he had urged Christians to “shine brightly in our personal, social and political arenas”.

Mr Magnus retired as Senior District Judge in 2008 after 40 years in the legal service. He is credited with helping to transform Singapore’s judiciary into one of the most efficient in the world.

He also held leadership and advisory roles in several private companies and bodies, as well as on international committees dealing with human rights and bio-ethics.

Mr Magnus was Chairman of the Public Transport Council and also Founding Chairman of Temasek Foundation Cares and Deputy Chairman of Temasek Foundation.

He was also the Chancellor to The Diocese of Singapore.

On National Day last year, he was conferred the Distinguished Service Order for his public service and contributions to the country spanning 50 years. Mr Magnus was appointed as Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the Republic of Finland later that month.

He graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) with a Master of Laws and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School.

Our calling is our worship

A strong advocate for marketplace ministry, Mr Magnus had given a sermon on “Let your light shine brightly for our Nation” at RiverLife Church.  In it, Mr Magnus had urged listeners to “shine brightly in our personal, social and political arenas”.

In the sermon, he had shared about how he sought the Lord’s guidance in his work, and urged the congregation: “We need to touch these institutions with the values of the kingdom of God and the church needs to be outward-looking. The church is called to equip God’s people so they can go out to the public square to stand for the values of the Kingdom.”

He reiterated that “Jesus exhorts us to be the Light”, and asked “How can we be like Joseph of the Bible, who persisted and obeyed such a calling, at the institutions or marketplace we are at?

“Our calling is our worship, the workplace is our pulpit and our colleagues are our congregation”.

In an interview with Salt&Light last August, Mr Magnus had emphasised that “the ordinary man, you and I, can make a difference”. 

“Our calling is our worship, the workplace is our pulpit and our colleagues are our congregation.”

Mr Magnus had said in a newspaper interview in 2019 that his basic motivation in life was to be “useful to society”.

When the reporter asked him what he wanted to be remembered for, given his long and illustrious career, he replied:  “Compassionate … love of people.”

He had added: “I always tell my children, ‘Faith, hope and charity, greater than that is love.'”

Mr Magnus was an Honorary Fellow with the Centre for the Study of Christianity in Asia at the Trinity Theological College and was concerned with issues of faith and leadership in the public square.

A life of integrity and purpose

His son, Mr Keith Magnus, told The Straits Times that their family was grieving the loss of “a loving husband, wonderful father and devoted grandfather”.

“He lived his life with integrity, purpose, dignity, service, honour and the highest set of moral values.

“He was a good friend to many from all stations of life and a loyal servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom he loved and has now been reunited with.”


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About the author


Salt&Light is an independent, non-profit Christian news and devotional website with a passion for kingdom unity, and a vision of inspiring faith to arise in the marketplace.