Published on May 12th, 2015 | by Home and Family0
Freshening Up A Church Why It’s Important
The United States was founded out of a desire for religious freedom, and unsurprisingly, is home to people of all religions, predominantly Christianity. Seeing church steeples rising out of the smaller buildings in rural areas is for many a comforting sight. It’s likely if you practice a Christian faith, you’re likely to find a church that you can attend anywhere you go in the country. Within any district, it’s likely that a church is the oldest building in that town and bigger than any other building or structure built before the 19th century (the only exception might be a barn). With religion being an important fixture in many people’s lives, it’s important that both church furniture, like church pews, and the structure itself (like church steeples) are in excellent condition.
A Brief History of Church Architecture
Church pews and church steeples are common elements of almost any church. But where did they come from? How did they start?
Pews have existed since the 13th century and started in a very rudimentary fashion; not at all like what you see now, with cushioned seating or footrests. Instead, these early pews were stone benches set against church walls–with the benefit that they could be taken away or added, depending on the need. However, before this, for about 1,000 years, pews weren’t a common furniture piece to find in churches. Congregations tended to stand and treat it as more of a social gathering, talking to other members and moving around freely. The Protestant Reformation changed all of this, making pews a permanent fixture in churches. Until the early or mid-twentieth centuries, Anglican, Catholic, and Presbyterian churches would rent pews to their members (either families or individuals) as a way of generating more revenue.
The popularity of pews grew when the sermon became a central focus in Christian worship, especially among the Protestant denominations. Since the services were longer, it was more difficult for people to stand for as long. Pews can come in a variety of different comfort levels–from wooden seats to having cushions or padded kneelers.
Church steeples history (at least in America) dates back to the 18th century, with American architects drawing their inspiration from the Georgian style of architecture. In Europe, architects viewed the church as a temple for God, requiring high ceilings and arching domes. They wanted their churches to be as grand as God himself and designed accordingly. Steeples were a practical way to build an impressive church–the spire drew the worshippers’ eyes toward heaven, and thus toward God. If the building was taller, it was more graceful, more heavenly, and would inspire the devout to prayer and contemplation.
Why Is It Important To Keep Church Furniture Updated?
Church furniture can add to the overall aesthetic of the church–some churches have specific colors they use for their services. For steeples, checking them routinely can be a matter of safety. Since they’re generally taller and heavier, they can cause significant damage if they were to fall. Since a church can be a central location of importance for many people, it’s imperative that it reflect that importance. Keeping the church up to date and fresh is a sign of respect for the house of worship and may even encourage other people to come worship.