Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fetch The Comfy Chair!

Somehow it's a news story that churches are getting rid of uncomfortable seating for a more user-friendly option. It's notable that pews are never 'removed' or 'replaced', they are 'ripped out'. Have you ever tried ripping out a pew? It's an act only possible with a JCB, I can nudge some of our lighter ones sideways by a couple of inches, but ripping, I save that for garlic bread and junk mail.

Pews might 'look right' if you've been used to the sight of them, but it's hard to appreciate the 'beauty of holiness' when you're struggling for comfort on a wooden bench. Prince Philip is right, the mind cannot absorb what the backside cannot tolerate.  Cathedrals have had flexible seating for ages, and they're seeing growing numbers of both visitors and worshippers.

There are, apparently, greater health benefits to standing than sitting, but I've yet to attend a CofE church with pews in where people could just stand or wander around when they felt like it.

Fetch the comfy chair!


  1. How about a compromise, say, cushions? An ancient church just looks wrong without pews.

  2. only because we've got used to them that way. I bet they looked wrong with pews when the Victorians originally started sticking them in.

  3. Pews (and chairs) are creeping into Orthodox Churches too, more's the pity.