Group worship has been around for a long time. In the early fourth century Christians would meet and worship in secrecy inside private homes. It was not until more recent times that church furniture became a part of every church. Many people think of church steeples and pews as an essential part of houses of worship, but for over a thousand years churches were large open spaces. During service worshipers were free to wander and mingle with their neighbors. It was not until the Protestant Reformation that church pews became standard and permanent church furniture.
Pew rental was once a controversial topic. In the 1840s and 50s churches in England opposed this process and formed “Free Churches.” Church furniture can be different depending on the size of the building, when it was constructed, and the personal views of the person in charge of constructing or buying church pews for sale. Some pews are large benches, some are padded and others are not. Some pews may feature individual dividers to mark the seating spaces for each parishioner. Depending on denomination some churches offer hassocks. Hassocks are footrests that can also be kneeled on during specific times in the service.