For years, pews have been the traditional church seating. But church chairs are now becoming the more popular option due to their flexibility, comfort, and cost. If your church is making the switch to chairs, you’ll first need to remove the pews. Follow these steps to transition from pews to chairs:
- Purchase Church Chairs
- Plan the Layout for Your Chairs
- Gather Volunteers to Help Remove the Pews
- Find the Pew Supports
- Remove the Fasteners
- Decide Whether to Take the Pews Apart or Move Them Intact
- Load the Pews Onto Dollies
- Find a Place to Store the Pews
- Coordinate Volunteers to Arrange the Church Chairs
Step 1: Purchase Church Chairs
Most churches wait to remove their pews until they have decided on a church chair model to buy. This makes the transition as quick and easy as possible. After all, you don’t want a situation where you have no seating for your members.
If you haven’t picked out chairs yet, it’s best to make this purchase first. That way, you can coordinate the pew removal with the chair arrival.
Step 2: Plan the Layout for Your Chairs
The great thing about church chairs is that you can arrange them in any layout you choose. Take time to plan the chair seating arrangements carefully. This will make things go smoothly after your chairs arrive and you start setting them up.
Step 3: Gather Volunteers to Help Remove the Pews
You will need a team of volunteers to remove the pews quickly and efficiently. Make sure your volunteers are strong enough to lift the pews, since they can be very heavy.
Also note that there are professional pew removal and transportation services available. If your church has the budget to do so, it may be easiest to call in a team of professionals. If you’d rather use volunteers, follow the rest of the instructions below.
Step 4: Find the Pew Supports
Pew supports are used to anchor a pew to the floor. This keeps it stable when members sit and stand. Typically, they are found at each end, but there may also be a support in the center, especially for longer pews. Examine one of your pews and look for the “legs” that extend to the ground.
Step 5: Remove the Fasteners
Once you’ve found all the pew supports, locate the fasteners that hold the pew to the floor. They may be hidden behind a plastic or metal plate. Look for a screw that goes through the pew and into the floor. Use a screwdriver that corresponds to the type of screw to remove the fasteners.
Step 6: Decide Whether to Take the Pews Apart or Move Them Intact
There are two ways to move pews once you have them disconnected from the floor. You can move the entire pew intact, or you can remove the support pieces from the rest of the pew to make it easier to carry. If you decide to disassemble the pew, look for additional screws that hold the support piece to the rest of the pew. Be careful not to mix up pieces from different pews or lose the screws.
Step 7: Load the Pews Onto Dollies
Since pews are so heavy, it’s much easier to use dollies to transport them. It may take two to four people to lift a pew onto the dolly.
Step 8: Find a Place to Store the Pews
Unless you have a buyer lined up or plan to donate your old pews, you’ll need to store them until you can sell them. If you don’t have a space to put them in your church facility, you can either rent a storage facility or find another local church that is willing to store them.
When storing church pews, make sure you protect the wood from scratching and other damage. It might be necessary to stack pews on top of each other if you lack space. If this is the case, use padding to protect the wood.
Related: Church Chairs vs. Pews
Step 9: Coordinate Volunteers to Arrange the Church Chairs
When you purchase your church chairs, you’ll be given a delivery date and time. Coordinate volunteers to bring the chairs into the church and arrange them when they’re delivered. Consider purchasing chair carts or dollies if you don’t already have them; these will make it easier to move the chairs.
Making the switch from pews to chairs is a major decision. It takes time and coordination. Follow these steps to help the process go smoothly. And if you are currently shopping for church chairs, we invite you to browse ChurchPlaza’s selection. Our pew chairs are specially designed to give you the continuous seating of a pew and the flexibility of a chair.