How Old Are the Pews in Your Church?


Summer has arrived and this is the time of year when many churches see a drop in attendance. With no formal Sunday School classes in some churches, for instance, many families feel less motivated to get their children to church. In addition to no Sunday School, many families have busier schedules that include family vacations and more summer sporting events. This means, of course, that there are many more pews empty during the months of June, July, and August. As a result, many churches decide that this is the perfect time to tackle renovation projects. From refinishing or replacing church pews to making the decision to replace antique church pews with newer easier to clean seating options to repainting church steeples, there are many ways that a church can add to the value of a property, as well as add to the beauty of the space.

Church Steeple Construction Is Often Part of Small Town History
Churches are really just buildings, but they play important parts of the history of a community. As more and more churches meet for services in temporary spaces, it should come as no surprise that pews and steeples play less of role in the religious life of some. And while some people still think of steeples and pews when it comes to Sunday mornings, there are more times than not when churches take place in high schools, movie theaters, and other spaces that are available for rent. The fact of the matter is there are many groups that would rather set up and take down an entire set of chairs for congregation members than invest in a permanent space.

What this new type of transitional church means for the older more traditional churches is that there is less of a market for groups that might want to purchase church steeples for sale when a building is torn down or even fewer groups to buy antique church pews for sale when a church remodels.
Transitional congregations are the norm in many places and they seem to be a perfect fit for people who want to attend, but not join, a congregation. And while there are many times when it may seem that attending church in a high school auditorium is a little unconventional, it is important to realize that not all of the traditions that we think are essential have been part of the church’s history for as long as you might think. For instance, from the first to the early fourth centuries most Christian communities worshipped in private homes, often secretly. In fact, in the first three centuries of the Early Christian Church, the practice of Christianity was illegal so few churches were constructed.
It might also surprise you to know that churches were not commonly furnished with permanent pews before the Protestant Reformation. It was not until the rise of the sermon as a central act of Christian worship, especially in Protestantism, that pews became a standard item of church furniture. And while there will certainly be some congregation members who are concerned when antique church pews are removed from a sanctuary and replaced with a more comfortable and easy to maintain option, the most devote people know that a church is not really just a building, it is a living group of people who gather to celebrate the religion they follow.

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