5 things you probably don’t know about church pews

1. Churches haven’t always had pews

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Prior to the protestant reformation, church pews were not a very common feature in churches. Only when the sermon became the central act of worship during the 14th century did the church pew become a standard item in most churches.

2. Church Pews used to be personal property

As the church pew became more common, they were sometimes installed at the expense of church members and they became personal property. In fact, pew deeds were used to record conveyance of a pew from one party to another. Some pews were even enclosed in pew boxes which could be locked to prevent others from gaining access.

3. Church pews had windows?

Box pews, pews that are encased in paneling, were popular in many protestant countries from the 16th to early 19th centuries. Box pews could contain windows, curtains, tables, and fireplaces.

4. Some churches rented out their pews

Until the mid-twentieth century it was not uncommon for churches to rent pews to families or individuals. In congregations such as these pew rents were a primary means to raise church revenue.

5. The earliest recorded instance of sitting in church.

Sitting during a service is first mentioned in the Bible. Unfortunately it did not end well.

References:

Box Pews: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_pews
Pews: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pew
Long Pew Read: http://anglicanhistory.org/misc/freechurch/fowler_pews1844.html

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