Church Furnishings and Installations was founded in 1986 and is located in Harrison, Arkansas. Throughout the years we have been fortunate enough to be a part of many different projects. Our years of experience and service has given us the knowledge and expertise to make your next project go as smoothly as possible and create the look and feel you want for your church.
Here is an article featured in the Religious Product News magazine and written by Church Furnishings and Installation president, Gary A. Smith. This article features five steps to making an informed pew-buying decision, a guide to church lighting, and product options.
“Outfitting the Sanctuary”
When outfitting the sanctuary, it is important to remember its purpose. The sanctuary is the part of the church where we praise and worship the Lord. All the furnishings need to complement each other to provide a worshipful atmosphere.
Furnishings selected should fit the style of service desired as well as the denomination. Two churches within the same denomination might have two completely different styles of worship, depending on the character of the church and its socio-economic makeup.
What is the long-term plan concerning the location of the sanctuary? Will the sanctuary being furnished now be the permanent one or is it temporary? Does it serve as a dual meeting area for other church functions? If the permanent sanctuary will be built during a later building phase or the church plans to use the multipurpose area for a long time, then flexible seating, such as stackable chairs, is a good choice. When the congregation then moves into the permanent worship facilities and fixed worship seating is used, the chairs can be used in other areas of the church. If, on the other hand, the sanctuary to be outfitted now is a permanent one, fixed seating, such as pews or chairs, might be the best choice.
Seating capacity and seating comfort are two factors that need to be considered when choosing the seating layout. Too often, seating comfort is reduced because the main emphasis is on seating capacity. There should be plenty of room from back to back of the seats to allow people to get in and out and worship without a feeling of confinement. The average worship chair or theater seat is about 20 inches wide. Pews allow larger people to sit a little closer together. Rows of seats should not be too long. Continuous rows of seats more than about 24 feet should be avoided. Sacrifice a small amount of seating capacity for a mini aisle. People will be able to get into the seats much easier and thus are more likely to sit there. It is a difficult task for ushers to get people to sit in the middle of long rows and seats.
A good seating layout will have people as close to the front as possible. The closer worshippers are to the front, the more likely they are to feel like a part of the service and participate. I suggest having the architect or draftsman to draw up two or three layouts. Look them over closely. The one chosen should promote comfort and an easy flow of traffic.
Selection of audio-visual equipment is very important when it comes to furnishing the sanctuary. Does the church have many drama presentations? Are services broadcast on television? If so, then you will probably need special-effects equipment with plenty of camera stations. Qualified audio-visual technicians with experience in churches can be invaluable. Ask at least three companies to meet with the audio-visual personnel from the church and provide proposals based on the needs for the church. After installation of the equipment, have technicians meet with the church workers with operation and care of it. Also, have the professionals attend the first service so they can see first hand any problems that need to be worked out. Don’t schedule dedications or special events without giving adequate time for church workers to become familiar with the equipment. I recently attended the dedication of a new church. The sanctuary was beautiful. There were special speakers. Four times during the service, the sound system made unexpected high-pitched sounds. This was very distractive to the service. Unfortunately, many people will remember the problems with the sound rather than the beautiful sanctuary.
Proper lighting is an important component in providing a worshipful atmosphere. Plenty of light to the human eye promotes a positive worshipful mood, whereas a dark sanctuary causes a depressive mood. The amount and type of lighting affects color perception to the eye. When possible, colors should be selected with the same amount and type light that will be in the sanctuary.
One person should be in charge of the interior decorating decisions. This person should be a qualified interior designer with an ability to visualize how all the colors and styles will come together to acquire the desired look. The important decisions concerning individual furnishing must be made before they are ordered and placed in the sanctuary.
Each furnishing needs to be chosen with the rationalization that it is an important part of the sanctuary, remembering that the purpose of the sanctuary is to provide a worshipful atmosphere.
Check out the testimonials of the people we have had the pleasure to work with over the years and see what they had to say about our products and services.
We look forward to hearing from you to see how we can serve you on your next project.