Sanctuary and Church Chairs vs. Pews

Not long ago if asked to picture a church many people would have responded with an image of a white church complete with a steeple, rows of pews, and an organ. In today’s times however, much has changed in church design trends.

Rather than focus on only a Sunday gathering space, churches have moved to view their building as a space for a variety of activities. Churches can be more than just a Sunday gathering space. They can host concerts, bible studies, children’s carnivals, as well as many other events.

Today, it’s estimated that more than 85% of of new church seats purchased are upholstered and stackable metal chairs. For good reason too. With stackable chairs it is easier for churches to use their space in a variety of ways. We’ve outlined further benefits of switching to chairs below:

Increased Seating Capacity: Research indicates the average pew user takes up 24 inches of lineal seating space. The average worship chair is 20 inches wide.  This nets a 20% increase in available seating in a worship application while also providing increased handicapped seating access. Add in the fact American’s don’t like to sit closely together and from a practical viewpoint, it’s very difficult to fill a pew equipped space to more than 80% of possible capacity.

Overall Comfort: Quality worship seating contains 3.5 inches or more of virgin foam with the back pitch generally more relaxed than most pew backs making for overall superior chair comfort.

MultiUse Space: Chairs allow for flexible configuration of space for a variety of uses and worship applications which can expand the utility of existing space and/or eliminate additional construction requirements and costs.

Cost: Chairs are priced in the mid $30’s to $50’s per 20-inch seat while pews cost $65+ per lineal foot with 20% fewer available seats per application.

Add On Seating: Chairs allow for easy expansion or reconfiguration of seating arrangements as needed.

Attractiveness for Younger Families: It is a fact, younger families and people new to church appreciate the appearance, comfort and flexibility of chair seating over pews.

Pews have served churches well for many years and many still appreciate their tradition and beauty. But overwhelmingly, American churches are selecting the many practical advantages of worship chairs over pews.