Church Pews vs. Chairs: Deciding Which Is Best for Your Worship Space

Church chair and pew seating

If we asked you to picture a church in your head, what would you envision? Would you think of a perfect white wooden building complete with a steeple, pews, and an organ? Or would you think of a contemporary worship space lined with fully upholstered and stackable wooden chairs?

Church design trends have shifted a bit in modern times, and many newer churches favor the flexibility that chair seating provides. Of course, many folks still prefer the traditional look and feel of pews.

If you’re unsure what seating option to choose for your sanctuary, today’s article on our New Holland Church Furniture blog is for you. We’ll take a look at church pews and church chairs and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each. We hope that you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which type of church seating is best for your congregation.


Pews have been the primary seating choice for churches, synagogues, and other worship spaces for centuries. There’s simply no denying the old-world charm and beauty of row after row of traditional, handcrafted wooden church pews.

From wooden church pews with straight pew benches to curved church pews that create a rich visual appeal in any worship space—we have church pews for sale to meet your needs. In fact, because the furniture design style is signature to us, New Holland Church Furniture is the ONLY manufacturer of true radius curved pews since 1962.


Worshippers appreciate pews for their timeless beauty and aesthetics. Pews tend to have more sentimental attachments amongst churchgoers, particularly in more liturgical churches. Pews are usually spacious but can seat a large number of people when necessary.

Many people feel more at ease in pews since they afford them the ability to stretch out and enjoy a bit of personal space. Compared to church chairs, pews have a longer lifespan and require only light touch cleaning on a regular basis.


There are some downsides to pews. For starters, pews are designed to be fixed in place, directly attached to the floor. When planning to remodel or renovate your church or worship space, pews can be expensive to repair and difficult to move.

Church pews also take up a lot of space. Additionally, they’re more expensive when compared to chair seating, and unless you choose to have them upholstered, far less comfortable too. Finally, some people do not like to be seated on a communal bench, so they prefer chairs.


From providing your main seating in the sanctuary to overflow seating or even choir seating, stackable, solid wood chairs can complement your church, synagogue, or other worship space in various ways while offering flexible versatility.

New Holland Church Furniture is all about options when you’re looking for stackable wood chairs for your worship space. Choose stackable church chairs with arms or without in many upholstered fabrics or wood species and in standard or custom sizes.


Unlike traditional pews, stackable church chairs’ convenience and flexibility make them an ideal option to quickly move and easily store chairs to create more space and rearrange a room. Additionally, chairs can be a less costly option when compared to pews, as the latter must be handcrafted to fit the worship space.


It’s often hard to buck tradition, and many churchgoers simply prefer the old-fashioned, handcrafted, and traditional look and feel of pews. Also, since chairs are meant to be moved, stacked, and stored, you may need to replace chairs more often.

Ready to Furnish Your Worship Space with Church Seating from New Holland Church Furniture?

Whether you’re looking to elevate your worship space’s church seating with stackable chairs or pews, New Holland Church Furniture sets the industry standard for quality and craft. For well over 70 years, we’ve been producing the finest worship furniture for all denominations. We also offer our services to you along each stage of your project, from the design to installation. Ready to begin your furnishing project? Locate a rep in your area, or give us a call today. We’re happy to help! And don’t forget to check out our furniture inspiration gallery for design ideas for your worship space.