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The Importance of Functional Seating in Churches

The type of seating used in churches can have a significant impact on the overall church experience. According to the Church of England, comfortable seating encourages more people to attend services and become regular members of the church. It is therefore extremely important for churches to have seating that is both practical and comfortable, especially due to the fact that church buildings are now used for a variety of different community events besides just worship.

Types of church seating

Wooden pews

Traditional church seating consists of long wooden pews. The advantage of these is that they can accommodate large numbers of attendees and create an interior that reflects the traditional church style. However, they are generally regarded as hard and uncomfortable, especially when sitting for long periods. Traditional wooden pews are also typically fixed and cannot be moved. This means they can’t be stored away or moved to another location.

Stacking chairs

Traditional wood pews are increasingly being replaced with portable stacking chairs. These chairs are generally upholstered and cushioned, meaning they are far more comfortable. This modern church seating is also much more flexible. Stacking chairs can quickly and easily be folded and stored to maximise space, or moved to wherever they are needed.

Importance of church seating

Churches are places of worship as well as being social spaces at the heart of the community. Church use has expanded greatly over the years. They are now used for much more than just the regular Sunday service and play host to a huge number of community events and activities. This includes fundraising events, neighbourhood watch meetings, and children's workshops. Here are some of the key reasons why seating is important in all church buildings.

Comfort

Regardless of the reason for their visit, all people want to be able to sit comfortably while attending church. During a church service or event, no attendee wants to sit on an uncomfortable wooden pew or hard folding chair. Providing comfortable seating means that all attendees have adequate support and are able to sit for long periods of time without experiencing pain, discomfort, or injury.

Flexibility

As discussed above, church buildings are now used for a huge range of different community events and activities. The type of seating used in modern churches therefore needs to be resilient and able to accommodate a variety of different users. Stacking chairs are lightweight and can be quickly and easily moved when additional seating is required, or to make space for certain activities. They are one of the most flexible seating options available as they allow any number of attendees to be catered for. They are also designed to be folded and stored conveniently to maximise the available floor space.

Minimise distractions

It is clear that any discomfort detracts from the overall church experience. Attendees who are sat in uncomfortable seats, are likely to move around and fidget often in an attempt to get into a comfortable position. This is likely to distract the pastor, as well as other attendees. The position of traditional pews also means that someone generally has to disturb the whole row if they need to get out during a service for any reason. Providing comfortable, practical seating means that everyone can focus on the service without worrying about discomfort or distractions.

Accessibility

Upgrading traditional wooden pews to stacking chairs is a great way to make church buildings more accessible to people with additional needs. Stacking chairs are extremely portable and can be easily moved to wherever they are needed. This means they can accommodate any attendees with limited mobility, or be moved to create additional space for wheelchairs or buggies. Modern stacking chairs can also be easily moved and positioned so that all attendees have a good sight line, meaning that everyone can see and enjoy the service.

Durability

Church seating is used by a large volume of people on a daily basis. For that reason, it needs to be durable and long-lasting. Modern stacking chairs are manufactured from quality materials which gives them a high level of durability. This means they should remain in good condition for many years, even when they are used frequently.

Final thought

The type of seating used in churches plays an important part in the overall church experience. Many people believe that traditional wood pews don’t suit the way we now worship, which is more informal and varied. Modern churches are used for a huge variety of different community events, so have to accommodate a wide range of different users and activities. Stacking chairs make the ideal church seating choice as they provide comfort, flexibility, and durability - this all helps create the ideal church experience for everyone to enjoy.

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