I don’t actually have strong feelings about pews in churches, but I admit that they are a “new” invention in the history of Christianity. Certainly, the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe contain magnificent spaces devoid of pews. I must say that I do deplore the pews of colonial church enclosed in little cages.
Contemporary churches benefit in an obvious way from eschewing pews—flexibility is gained, whether for worship, meetings, or other events. I’m hardly ready to recommend that St. Paul’s remove its pews, but I do want to recommend an essay I encountered that makes theological and practical arguments for doing away with pews.
The essay is “The Problem with Pews.” It is aimed at a Roman Catholic audience, but it seems as relevant to non-Catholics. You can read “The Problem with Pews” here.
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