Someone mentions church furniture and you might immediately think of wooden pulpits, communion tables, baptismal fonts and tithe boxes. These are traditional furniture pieces found in most church sanctuaries that are seen on Sunday mornings and during special church events such as weddings. But most churches have a vast life beyond their sanctuary. Let’s explore other church furniture items you might not know you need.
There’s a certain weight to church furniture, both spiritually and quite literally. Through history the pastor alone led worship and the church furniture remained stationary, front and center.
Now, with a great variety in worship styles, there may me a team of singers and readers, maybe a rock band with a full drum kit, or of course there still could just be the pastor. Traditionally the Baptismal Fonts, Communion Tables, Flower Stands, and the all important Pulpit that have long resided permanently in front of the congregation. Equally keeping in tradition, these church furniture chancel sets are substantial in size and cannot just be swept into a closet when the band begins to a drum solo in praise of Him.
Casters, is that the answer? When you make the church furniture mobile, it can move to the left or right and make room for special church presentations. But, does that lessen the visual solidity that is sought in church furnishings?
The concept of the “Centrality of the Word” is of great importance in Christianity and implies that the reading and preaching of the Bible is the centerpiece of a service of worship, and thus takes priority over the sacraments. The Central Pulpit is intended to give visual representation of this idea.
In many Protestant churches, the pulpit is placed in the center of the platform, and is generally the largest piece of church furniture. This is to symbolize the proclamation of the Word of God as the central focus of the weekly service of worship. The pulpit may be smaller in more contemporary evangelical churches, and is generally carried out after the end of the song service. The term “From the pulpit” is often used metaphorically for something said with official church authority.
It is a well-observed fact – as the holiday season draws nearer, Church attendance tends to rise. Having adequate church furniture and seating can be very important. While many Churches rely on simple folding chairs, more and more Churches are turning towards pew-style stackable church chairs for their versatility. Pew style stacking chairs generally have a “wing back” to them, so that the seat back “wings” make contact with one another, creating the look of a continuous row of pew seating most associated with Churches. Most pew style stacking chairs have a “ganging” feature that holds the church chairs tightly together, creating tightly fitting, semi-permanent rows of chairs.
Pew style chairs can be upholstered with fabric to closely mimic the fabric used on your existing pews or elsewhere in your church for the best match. Although folding chairs may only serve the function of overflow seating a couple of times a year, pew style stacking chairs allow you to add semi-permanent seating and capacity to your sanctuary that can be moved to other areas of the church for uses in events like banquets or private church meetings or for choir practice. Stacking church chairs stack easily to make room for large events, and can be moved easily using a wide variety of standard chair dollies.
If you still need folding chairs for your Church, don’t forget you have several options here as well. If quick setup and storage space is a concern, plastic stacking chairs are an excellent choice. They are light weight, and stack very compactly. Plastic stacking chairs are also more comfortable than a steel folding chair in colder climates. Steel stacking chairs are extremely durable, and are much quieter when the congregation rises and sits for songs. Steel chairs can be purchased with integrated padding as well.
Worthington Direct www.worthingtondirect.com, a supplier of school, church and early learning furniture and equipment for over 10 years is introducing a new chair for churches looking to modernize their seating. KFI, a producer of quality seating and wood products, has begun supplying Worthington Direct customers with the IM1030 Wing Back Chair.
The IM1030 Wing Back Chair features a 3″ upholstered seat available in an attractive burgundy or blue fabric color. The frame is a textured black, 1″ square tubing, 18-gauge steel with 12 twelve-point welds. Backed by a lifetime guarantee, the frame is further supported by front and back stretcher bars. These chairs are currently as low as $47.95 a chair which is an excellent value for the wing back style which normally go for $60 and upwards.
Church members will be comfortable in the IM1030 as it features built-in lumbar support and is padded with hi-density foam. Permanent ganging is standard on this chair and is designed to create a “pew” look while providing the church with convenient flexibility. The IM1030 stacks up to 8 high and has stack bumpers to prevent wear on the frame finish.
A recent article found on Christianity Today addresses some important issues and growing trends in regards to finding the perfect seating for each church.
“Seating experts and architects alike agree on a necessary first step in the seating selection process: determine a church’s philosophy of ministry. From that, you can choose the type of seating that best expresses that philosophy. To emphasize traditional ministry, historical aesthetics, and increased community, pews will often be the choice. To take a deliberate step away from tradition, appeal to the individuality of people, and create an atmosphere that is more like a movie theater or concert hall, theater seats or stackable chairs are a more likely choice A more traditional church will go to pews regardless of what the costs are because pews represent a certain spirit or feel that is important to that church.
On the other end of that spectrum would be theater seating, which represents an auditorium feel of performance and excellence. Stacked chairs are in between—they suggest flexibility. Individual chairs, which would provide a more contemporary look and a flexible worship space that could be configured for any occasion. Seating capacity is a key factor in determining the number of parking spaces and restrooms needed, so keep this in mind when deciding between pews and individual chairs.
You should also allow space for seating of disabled and other special-needs people. Be sure to learn about any special requirements in your local building codes. Fire codes require a certain space for egress, or space between rows of seats. This in turn affects the lengths of rows. With a wider egress, you can design a seating plan with fewer aisles and more seats. It’s best to work with your architect and a seating expert to examine all the options.
The type of seating you choose for your sanctuary or worship space really does matter. Consider these often-overlooked factors before making a final decision.
Whether the pastor alone decides on sanctuary seating or a committee makes the choice, chair manufacturers and architects have noticed areas in which the decision can go off the tracks. These include:
Failure to address the seating issue early. Seating plays a key role in the comfort and aesthetics of the worship experience, and should not be an after- thought. On a practical note, early selection of the seating fabric color pays off, especially when matching the look of seating to floor color. There are fewer color options available for chair fabrics than floor color.
Buying from a company with poor sales, service, or warranties. Representatives should be available to help churches make right decisions, either in person or by telephone. Avoid this by calling 800-599-6636 or visit www.worthingtondirect.com today for great customer service that will help you make the appropriate decision for what is best for each church.
Thinking heavier chairs are better chairs. Heavier chairs often mean more moving parts and less durable material, such as particleboard. The IM1030 has a practical weight of 23 pounds each.
Not purchasing dollies to move chairs. With dollies, you’ll save wear and tear on the chairs, on the floor, and on the backs of your moving crew. The KFI Universal Chair Dolly is an affordable way to store and move chairs. Stack up to 10 chairs on the sturdy steel dolly and roll to storage or adjoining space.
Other church seating options:
Browse through the entire church furniture products offered by Worthington Direct.
About Worthington Direct: After spending over 10 years in the school supply, church and equipment industry, Worthington Direct www.worthingtondirect.com knows what is important – selection, service, price and timing. Our goal is to make your purchasing job easier. With competitive pricing, knowledgeable sales associates, and “In Stock” products for quick, efficient shipping, Worthington Direct is committed to be your furniture resource. Schools and churches look to Worthington Direct for competitive pricing for school furniture, church furniture, preschool furniture, early childhood furniture, library furniture, desks, wholesale furniture, computer furniture, classroom furniture, chalkboards, office furniture, room dividers, storage cabinets, easels, display cases, cafeteria tables, activity tables, classroom desks, computer tables, desk chairs, lecterns, literature racks, office desks and risers among its large stock. Continue reading