The Interesting History of Church Furniture

Second hand church pews

On Sundays, many people go to church and sit upon church furniture throughout the service. But have you ever thought about the church steeple history, or that the pews you are sitting upon might be antique church pews? Chances are, you have not, and it’s quite the shame considering the incredible pew and church steeple history that most churches have. If you’re interesting in learning more, read on to find out!

Pews Weren’t Always a Thing
Pews were not always what they are today. In fact, before the reformation, pews were referred to as closed seats that were reserved for particularly individuals or groups. At that point, free seating did not exist in churches, as they adhered to clearly defined seating assignments instead.
Eventually, churchgoers starting demanding for the right to sit in church furniture. Officials granted these rights with strict limitations.

Pew Disputes Were Common
As silly as it sounds, disputes among churchgoers were common due to limited seating space in churches. These fights escalated to the point where canon law experts in ecclasiastical courts were called upon to settle the disputes. By the 20th century, the United States had a pretty clear free-for-everyone rule with church seating. And as church seating demand increased, more pews for sale became available. Now, it’s not entirely uncommon to find church pews as seating decoration in homes, restaurants, and other non-religious spaces.

Pews are Unique as They Come
Now that church seating isn’t scarce, it has become an artform in many circles. Like snowflakes, church pews are unique and come in many different shapes and sizes. Some still uphold and revere the traditional pew, which is essential a wooden bench. However, some pews have unique designed specifically designated for prayer, such as benchlike cushioned seating, hassocks or footrests. Some are even adorned with ornate carvings and designs!

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