5 Interesting Facts About the Evolution of Church Furniture
Churches are some of the most revered and important buildings in existence today, and these buildings are incredibly important to maintain! Here are some cool facts about churches that you probably never knew:
- Believe it or not, church pews actually weren’t always a natural part of churches. For about 1,000 years, in fact, churches typically didn’t have any pews at all. During the mid-1800s, the Church of England had “rental pews” for congregants to purchase as a way to raise money. No money, no sitting!
- Some of the reason for this is because Christianity, during its early days, was prohibited in certain societies. Christians were forced to worship in secret in their homes, rather than having a public gathering place. Pews (and other church furniture) were never really important for the functioning of the church because it would have been too obvious.
- The first pews were introduced into the Christian church around the 13th century, when stone benches were installed in walls. It’s almost surprising that it took so long for church pews to become a part of the common church layout, considering how long the masses and services can be!
- Once the sermon was introduced into the common Christian mass (especially in the Presbyterian religion), church furniture became a necessary part of the building’s structure. Church pews became very convenient for long sermons when it’s considered rude to move around or make noise.
- A lot of people actually like to buy church pews used or antique church pews for decorations in their homes, too. This is often a way of showing some religious devotion or connection to a certain church while still displaying furniture that is both practical and easy to incorporate in any room.
Even if you aren’t part of the large religious population in the U.S. today, you have to admit that the evolution of the modern church — including the furniture — is pretty interesting!