Pews vs Chairs

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Many churches are exchanging thier pews for Chairs.

    What are the pros and cons

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. annsni

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    I personally prefer chairs but in an old church, pews are beautiful! Our home church has a very large sanctuary that is reset a few times a week to different configurations and it can even double as a catering hall for weddings if one desires to have their reception there. At our campus, we have chairs because we're in a former office building and so we didn't have pews to begin with. Our third campus is a 150 year old church and we will NEVER remove those pews!! They are gorgeous!
     
  3. wpe3bql

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    The church of which I was once a member had chairs (& still does).

    They did this primarily because the floor was originally designed as a concrete floor for a gym; thus, drilling into the concrete for pew anchors would have been quite costly and may have damaged the floor.

    (Since I left that church [to move closer to my job---some 50 miles one way] some 20+ years ago, they've carpeted the gym floor and bought much better chairs, but they still use chairs.)
     
  4. HeDied4U

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    The church my wife and I attended before she passed away had both pews and chairs. Pews in the (older part of the) auditorium and when the balcony was added, chairs were installed up there.

    Really though, does it matter what one sits on while in church? Is there a certain segment of Christianity that thinks one is more holy if they sit in pews?

    I myself (and my rear end) much prefer a padded chair to a hard wooden pew any Sunday of the month.

    :)
     
  5. Salty

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    That could be the 64,000 dollar question
     
  6. Revmitchell

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  7. Jerome

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    Salty, what about theater seats?
     
  8. Use of Time

    Use of Time
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    Salty you are a sharp guy but I think you can get bogged down in some of the unimportant minutiae of the church at times.
     
  9. JonC

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    That is interesting. I don't see that the preferences of the unchurched should matter, but I think that the observation is valid. In trying to be relevant to the contemporary culture many churches have actually moved towards the irrelevant.

    But I see another difference between chairs and pews. Pews are permanent, chairs are not. The difference is often (IMHO) in one’s mindset of a space set apart for the worship of God and a utilitarian space. We use chairs.
     
    #9 JonC, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2015
  10. preachinjesus

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    We exchanged our pews for chairs in the worship center and picked up several hundred seats. Our chapel, which we then renovated, took some of the pews.

    For us, the reality was that pews are not good indicators of actual seat count. Most architects will use either 18" or 24" as a measure of seating capacity in pews. However, most people use about 36"-42" when sitting. Not to mention people don't tend to sit close. Our seating options, in using chairs, provides a set number of seats and puts them far enough away (only a couple of inches on the armrests) to make sitting next to each other easier.

    Our pews worked okay, but our chairs are great. When fabric rips or becomes damaged we just replace the chair and not the entire pew.

    Happy that we made the switch.
     
  11. padredurand

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    Pews are much more spiritual. :thumbs:
     
  12. Salty

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    You might have had a point - but it looks like Rev M bought up a good point.

     
  13. agedman

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    The problem with either chairs or theater seats is what to do with the "stuff."

    For the traditional church that actually uses worship hymns from a book and doesn't have fancy screens to advertise, the pew offers an enormous blessing over the chair types - even those that come with some kind of rack.

    I wonder if anyone has done a study on the numbers of hand held bibles brought to church when comparing the seating.

    Another problem with chair types is the width. For many retired arthritic folks, unless the chair has arm rests, it is actually more difficult to stand up. The old pews offered a wonderful back in which one could reach out and pull up to stand.

    Finally, a problem with chair types is the lack of comfort. Too often those setting them up want to push people together, and those who are arthritic or have knee/leg problems need the extra room! The distance between pews was usually set so that at least a person could swing slightly sideways to lift a hip that had aching joints.

    I often wondered why a church auditorium design didn't include a combination of removable theater seats and pews. The theater seats could be removed along the front three rows - three rows deep - to allow for stage expansions during dramas, orchestras ... The pews would have good leg room and wonderfully long and wide slots in the book racks that could accompany the large print editions of the bible. The pew lengths would sit no more then six people and the isles would be wide enough that two wheel chairs could sit side by side and people still get through. From the platform (that must be somewhat oval) the auditorium looked like spokes of a wagon wheel. The capacity to be up close to the people from the pulpit would be greatly enhanced and few would have to turn their heads (also sometimes uncomfortable for the elderly) to look at the platform.

    Folks,
    There is rare worse for us old folks, who may have various problems that naturally come with aging, than having to contend with stumbling over people when needing to get into the isle. We are already hurting, already slightly off balance, and already embarrassed that our bodily needs no longer respect time or place, and it is a shame the younger folks don't do much to accommodate and just being aware. I've gotten to the point that I look for how many toes I can step on!
     
  14. Alcott

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    Whether that's said in jest or not, this is surely an issue in which a few people will scrounge for excuses as to why they are more 'spiritual.' The fact is, of course, that's just what most of have been long used to. I haven't looked at that survey saying most 'unchurched' prefer pews to chairs, but the reasoning would be the same... they're chuchy; that is, it's a direct mind association. Certainly that's been beaten on other issues-- dressing up for church, KJV only, music styles and instruments used, and churches constructing gymnasiums or having pool tables and other games.
     
  15. agedman

    agedman
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    POOL!!!!

    Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
    I say, trouble right here in River City.
    Why sure I'm a billiard player,
    Certainly mighty proud I say
    I'm always mighty proud to say it.
    I consider that the hours I spend
    With a cue in my hand are golden.
    Help you cultivate horse sense
    And a cool head and a keen eye.
    Did ya ever take and try to give
    An iron-clad leave to yourself
    From a three-rail billiard shot?

    But just as I say,
    It takes judgement, brains, and maturity to score
    In a baulk line game,
    I say that any boob kin take
    And shove a ball in a pocket.
    And they call that sloth.
    The first big step on the road
    To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
    I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
    Then beer from a bottle.
    An' the next thing ya know,
    Your son is playin' for money
    In a pinch-back suit.
    And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
    Hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.
    Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
    But a race where they set down right on the horse!
    Like to see some stuck-up jockey'boy
    Sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
    Well, I should say.
    Friends, let me tell you what I mean.
    You got one, two, three, four, five, six pockets in a table.
    Pockets that mark the diff'rence
    Between a gentlemen and a bum,
    With a capital "B,"
    And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!

    And all week long your River City
    Youth'll be frittern away,
    I say your young men'll be frittern!
    Frittern away their noontime, suppertime, choretime too!
    Get the ball in the pocket,
    Never mind gittin' Dandelions pulled
    Or the screen door patched or the beefsteak pounded.
    Never mind pumpin' any water
    'Til your parents are caught with the Cistern empty
    On a Saturday night and that's trouble,
    Oh, yes we got lots and lots a' trouble.
    I'm thinkin' of the kids in the knickerbockers,
    Shirt-tail young ones, peekin' in the pool
    Hall window after school, ya got trouble, folks!
    Right here in River City.
    Trouble with a capital "T"
    And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!

    Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
    I'm gonna be perfectly frank.
    Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
    On while they're loafin' around that Hall?
    They're tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out cubebs,
    Tryin' out Tailor Mades like Cigarette Fiends!
    And braggin' all about
    How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.
    One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
    Headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry!
    Libertine men and Scarlet women!
    And Rag-time, shameless music
    That'll grab your son and your daughter
    With the arms of a jungle animal instinct!
    Mass-steria!
    Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground!People:
    Trouble, oh we got trouble,
    Right here in River City!
    With a capital "T"
    That rhymes with "P"
    And that stands for Pool,

    That stands for pool.
    We've surely got trouble!
    Right here in River City,
    Right here!
    Gotta figure out a way
    To keep the young ones moral after school!
    Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...


    (lyrics in part from the "Musicman")
     
  16. Use of Time

    Use of Time
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    Yeah but it's a seven year old poll that just showed people pictures. To be honest, all it said to me was that people have a preference in traditional architecture which I would agree with. I mean there is more of an artistic license when adopting the older traditional architecture and I think older cathedral type churches are more aesthetically pleasing myself.

    I mean you show an unchurched person a picture of the sistine chapel and a wal-mart, what do you think people are going to say they prefer?

    I would hope most churches focus on functionality tailored to the existing demands of the church and it's members. Cost has an effect as well as the traditional gothic style churches are going to require some capital for design and construction fees.

    We are talking about pews vs chairs now. I don't really see how Rev's article applies to a conversation about pews vs. chairs. These are first world problems for sure.
     
    #16 Use of Time, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2015
  17. Van

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    Our church uses chairs, nice wide chairs. They have a rack below the seat to hold the pew bible and two little round holders to hold the tiny communion grape juice cups. Every so often we replace the most worn ones, and these migrate to the classrooms for us older folks.

    The chairs allow us to use the auditorium for a multipurpose room, i.e. we can roll in many round tables and set the chairs around them for a dinner type event.
     
  18. padredurand

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    They are more spiritual because the home church had hard pews. I sat on hard pews as a youth, my Mama and Daddy sat on hard pews, Grandma sat on hard pews, Grandpa sat in his underwear in a recliner reading the Sunday paper but the rest of us sat in hard pews and we liked it. Sitting on a hard pew is a form of outward piety. It demonstrates the willingness to endure hardship for the cause.

    Velvet pew cushions lead to card playing, drinking hard liqueur, going to the motion picture THE-ater and soft Christians. :wavey:
     
  19. Deacon

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    A church near me renovated a theater and uses its "theater seating".

    Rob
     
  20. Use of Time

    Use of Time
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    This is awesome. That is all.
     

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