Each church is as unique as its congregation. Aspects that make each church unique include location, building, regional characteristics, faith, staff and clergy, volunteers, and number of members. Some churches are large and well-staffed so that each part of the building can be dedicated to a specific event, meeting, or task. Other churches are small and require plenty of flexibility to accommodate all the various events that are held there.
When deciding what kinds of furniture to have on hand for your church, you will need to consider the personality of your church and your congregation’s needs. If you’ve worked with your church for a while, you probably know a lot about it. But it also might be wise to formally ask members about their needs so you can more objectively plan upgrades that your church community will love.
A very important part of church furniture is having the right kinds of chairs. If you tend to host only a few select kinds of events and meetings, you probably can get away with having a couple different kinds of chairs. But if your church also serves as a community center, you will likely need to have many kinds of chairs on hand. Read on for some ideas of the various chairs you could have ready for every occasion.
You might not immediately think of folding chairs when you contemplate what first to buy, but don’t forget to include them. Often, they aren’t for sitting for long periods, however, they are the most flexible and readily available when you require additional seating.
Metal: These chairs are quite durable and are made of solid construction. Most of the modern versions are relatively lighter weight, however, the metal provides some substantial weight for stability. These can come padded, which is a nice feature.
Plastic: These are quite lightweight, which might be great if you only need a few folding chairs and you don’t use them often. They wipe down easily and are easy to store.
Wooden: These chairs are not quite as durable as the metal versions, but they are attractive and dress up any occasion. They would be great for outdoor weddings or special church services. Since they fold, they’re easy to transport, as well.
Chair Caddies/Carts: If you invest in a lot of folding chairs, don’t forget to think about where you will store them. There are many options for this, but caddies and carts do a great job for most events. Simply place the chairs into the cart, and roll it to its storage place.
If you hold lots of meetings, dinners, weddings, or religious gatherings, you should definitely invest in banquet chairs. They are a great way to make a good impression, they are comfortable, and they are long-lasting. That said, there are a variety to choose from, depending upon your specific church’s needs.
Metal and Padded: Metal chairs tend to be the most durable, but they also look the most neutral. They can look really professional and make a good impression if you’re hosting a conference or community fundraiser. Since they are padded, they also are quite comfortable.
Chiavari or Cross-Back: If you want to create events that are pure elegance then Chiavari or cross-back chairs are a must. While they might not be as durable as metal chairs are, they are well-made and create an ambiance fit for a wedding or other celebration. These chairs would be great to have on hand for extra special events.
Of course, the main staple of any church is the religious meetings that occur in the sanctuary. Since these meetings can last quite a while, it’s important to choose sanctuary chairs that are comfortable. As a number of individuals will be sitting on these chairs regularly for many years, you should choose chairs that are very well built and will be a good investment. If your space is multi-use, then you might consider choosing chairs that are stackable so they can be cleared off the floor in a moment’s notice.
While all churches have their own specific needs, all churches are likely going to need chairs. What you’ll need to determine is precisely which kinds of chairs will fit best with your community and space needs. Most churches will probably require a combination of chair types to have on hand for every kind of event. Perhaps you might choose to have a few carts full of folding chairs, a closet of banquet chairs and Chiavari chairs, and a sanctuary full of comfortable, flexible seating.
Involve your congregation in the process of choosing chairs, as they probably have some great insights about how the spaces could be used better. And focus on building up a spiritual community that comes together to celebrate all of life’s transitions and to foster a deeper devotion to their beloved church.