The hard, wooden pews synonymous with cathedrals are slowly disappearing in the modern churches. They sure served their purpose in days gone by, but the present day congregation seems to have a different taste.
Just what is informing this change? Is it time to bid farewell to the good old pews? Here are some considerations to make when selecting chairs for a modern church
Most people have invested in comfortable seats at home and in the office, and these standards are now carried to church. The traditional wooden pews are hard, and there’s no privacy as you have to squeeze against one another.
Modern congregants prefer individual church chairs, preferably with arm rests. This way when one is fidgeting, the others are not disturbed. The seats should also incorporate cushions and ergonomic back support.
Churches are nowadays used for all sorts of activities such as concerts, weddings, conferences, weddings, plays and all sorts of meetings. It should be possible to change the seat arrangement to serve other purposes. Unlike in the past when the pews were stuck to the floor, today’s church chairs must be easy to move and even stack where necessary to create more space.
How big is the church in question? How many people is it required to accommodate? Packed-up rows of chairs might look good in an empty church, but once occupied will be squeezed and cumbersome.
The space between the rows should be sufficient for occupants to move in and out without disturbing the rest. The rows should not be too long either. The entire arrangement should be geared towards giving parishioners a comfortable view of the pulpit, enabling stress-free movement and making the best of the available space.
Modern seats come in all sorts of colors, shapes and styles. The current day church does not want to look boring and conventional. Classy chairs are finding their way into our places of worship.
Contemporary churches are artistically built, with exquisite architecture and state of the art fittings. Why should the seats be any different?
Let them match the theme of the rest of the church. The fabric can be of vibrant color. There are also various styles to choose from, like those that fold up when you stand to allow more space.
Stocking a church with seats requires a significant budget. It is not the kind of thing that you want to repeat every couple of years. Durable church chairs will serve you for several years, giving good value for money.
The durability largely depends on the material. Are the seats made of wood, plastic or metal?
Each material has its pros and cons regarding availability, weight and flexibility. Metal is hardy but heavy. Plastic is lighter but can break easily. Wood strikes a comfortable middle ground.
Ultimately, any of these materials can be adjusted to achieve the desired results; chairs that will remain in good condition for years to come.
The church chairs do not have to be one size fits all. Many churches have a precise sitting arrangement with designated sitting areas for teens, children, adults, the elderly, nursing mothers and so on.
You can have custom-made seats for the different groups. For instance, those for the elderly can have extra cushioning and back support while those for nursing mothers can have large arm rests to help support their babies. The children can have smaller chairs with interesting details.
The 3 or so hours spent in church are essential for spiritual growth. Comfortable seats will ensure that the congregants spend that time listening keenly to the Word of God without any strain whatsoever.