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 perfect white wooden building complete with a steeple, rows of pews, and an organ. In today’s times, 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. These versatile buildings can host concerts, bible studies, children’s carnivals, as well as a variety of other events. The sanctuary has become more of a large event space and classrooms are blank canvases for groups to use with different styles of meetings. What was once a pew lined sanctuary can be a Valentine’s banquet room, coffee shop style small group meeting space, or youth group area for games and service.

Today, it’s estimated that more than 85% of new church seats purchased are upholstered and stackable metal chairs. And, for good reason too. With stackable chairs, it is easier for churches to create multiple purpose spaces. But the benefits of using chairs do not end here, in fact the also include:

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 most people 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 inches or more of virgin foam with the back pitch generally more relaxed than most pew backs making for overall superior chair comfort. Pews may only have up to 2 inches of foam support on the back making chairs the more comfortable option.

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. They are easier to use, move, and rotate about to spread out wear.

Cost Savings

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.

Additional Seating

Chairs allow for easy expansion or reconfiguration of seating arrangements as needed. Tables can easily be added or extra seats when services are incredibly full.

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. If you’re looking to refresh your sanctuary or replace your current church chairs, browse our selection of high-quality church chairs to see how you can update your current worship space. When you’re ready to purchase, allow our dedicated sales staff to help you with your decision. Our team at ChurchPlaza will take the time to answer all your questions so we can ensure that you feel completely comfortable with your purchase. Start by requesting information or a free sample today, our service team will guide you through the purchasing process from start to finish.


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