Wat Song Yae Catholic Church

THAI NAME: วัดอัครเทวดามีคาแอล
LOCATION: Amphoe Thai Charoen in Yasothon Province
GPS: 16.069624 104.373576

Located in Ban Song Yae, Amphoe Thai Charoen, the Catholic Church is actually called Father Dechanel who is the first rector of the church. The church serves villagers of Ban Nong Song Yae, all of who are Catholics.

Initially, the church was a tiny hut, and it was rebuilt many times. This is the fourth church built in 1947 by wood contribution by the villagers. Built in Thai traditional style, the country’s biggest wooden church is 16 metres wide and 57 metres long. It is made of 80,000 wooden roofs, 360 wooden piles in different sizes, floor made from huge pieces of Malabar ironwood and jamba timber, wooden benches which can accommodate over a thousand people. The 260 wooden piles in the middle row are the biggest, with over 10 metres long. The church bell, 2 feet long in diameters, is in bell tower in Thai style, but it is separated from the church. Huge amount of remaining wood is enough for building Ban Song Yae Pittaya School.

How to get there: From Yasothon, use highway 2169, turn left after passing Amphoe Kud Chum for 7-8 kms, and keep going for 600 metres. The school and the church share the compound.

History of Ban Song Yae Church. It was said that in 1908, five families sought a refuge in this area, this was lush jungle, after being hurted and evicted as they were blamed as zombie. They have met Father Dechanel and Ombrocio , Ban Se Song, Tambon Chiang Peng, Amphoe Pa Tiew of Yasothon, and asked them to get rid of devel in their bodies. After the success, they become Catholics. More people migrated to Ban Nong Song Yae. In 1909, a small hut was built for Catholic rites and that was the beginning of Song Yae Church.

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