The extensive use of the pews is found only after the Reformation and gradually became a prevalent fashion during the period 1600 to 1800.
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The Evolution Of Church Pews With Social Changes
The beautiful church pews that we find in the churches today could hardly be found in any church prior to the
fifteenth century. The extensive use of the pews is found only after the Reformation and gradually became a
prevalent fashion during the period 1600 to 1800. The social changes and the changes in the ideology had a
profound effect on the evolution of church pew.
The Church Pews And Social Strata
In that period social stature used to be a dominant factor and pew benches were used to satiate that aspect too. For
example the pews closest to the pulpit used to be reserved for the higher classes of people.
As in the social frame, the pews were also divided into various groups. One group of pew bench was earmarked for
the people of special social strata while the others were for the general public. The pews for the general public again
had different seating orders for different social strata as for example poor men, adolescents, people with hearing
impairment, widows and even for blacks. The pews for the blacks used to be called as Negro Pews. In this way the
social and racial discriminations, prevalent in the society, found their expressions in the church furniture too.
Period Of Rebellion
The next period known as the period of rebellion found many churches for the slaves buying pews for the servants
and the slaves. Subsequent social happenings started paradigm shifts in the arrangements as well as aesthetics of
the church pews. During the period 1800 to 1930 one significant development took place wherein the private pew
seating arrangements in the churches were banished. In this way the existence of free churches with open seating
facilities for all and free pews came into practice. The renaissance slogan of equality found its way into the churches
and the people including the bishops started feeling the obviousness of equality in front of God especially inside the
church which is the abode of Him. In line with this the discrimination against the blacks also ceased to exist.
Effect Of Aesthetics And Serene Environment On Spirituality
The importance of aesthetics and serene environment was recognized in the pursuit of spirituality. Special emphasis
was given to the beauty and freshness of the church pews. Many churches started offering used church pews for sale
so that the church can get a fresh ambience with new pews to the delight of the prayers. Many good suppliers have
also come up such as Born Again Pews etc. to satisfy the new requirements of the churches.
Another recent introduction to the seating comfort in the churches is the church chairs. The choice of chair has come
up mainly because of three reasons namely flexibility, easy finance and modern feel. Compared to the highly
polished oak wood church pews the modern metallic chairs are quite cheaper. Some estimates predict a cutting
down to half the expenses by shifting over to the chairs. Secondly the chairs need no expenditure towards
installation and are profoundly flexible. Space being a hurdle for the crowded churches, the flexibility of the chairs
comes as a boon for the church administration.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Wright is an expert on church furniture and interiors, who also likes to write many interesting articles and
blogs, helping people to get access to the right decor choices for these places of worship. He recommends
BornAgainPews.com as the best place to buy new and used church furniture at the very best prices.