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Permanent, Flexible, or Transitional Seating?

Having had the opportunity to work with hundreds of churches across the country over the years, we've seen that every setting is unique and each ministry facility has different applications and needs for its main worship seating area. Each worship community develops its own style of corporate worship and that each style of worship may require different features in the seating that it selects.

Even with tens of thousands of churches in this nation, there are really three primary categories of worship seating. Let's take a quick look at these three.

Permanent Seating
This style of seating has become very popular over past two decades and is often referred to as "pew-style" seating.  The chairs are wide and comfortable, they fit seamlessly next to each other, and they are more on the "formal" side of the spectrum. While they are technically "portable," their weight and size (along with the space needed for their storage) better fit the definition of permanent.

The primary focus for this style of corporate worship is to provide seamless seating within the sanctuary. While the function of portability is appreciated, it is not the determining factor when used in this style of worship.

The high ceilings and spacious walls of the sanctuary enhance each guest's sense of "personal space" and comfort. As the design of these chairs allows seats and backs of a joining chairs to touch, even guests seated across the seam of two chairs will experienced unsurpassed comfort.

Guests of all sizes can be graciously accommodated as the frames are available in both a 20" and a 22" width.  These chairs can also adapted to accommodate the needs of seniors or elderly who often experience difficulty getting in and out of worship chairs.

Flexible Seating
With the growing popularity of multi-purpose areas for worship, the need for flexible seating has increased as well.  The best "flexible" seating provides close to the comfort of permanent seating. 

These chairs are a bit narrower, a little lighter, and store more easily than permanent seating.  They also cost a bit less because overall there are less raw materials needed in its construction.

The primary focus for this style of corporate worship is to provide chairs that can be used equally well in row seating applications and in conjunction with tables.

Chairs will frequently be set up in multiple configurations, from row seating to full-fledged banquet arrangements, used as overflow seating or in smaller meeting rooms or classrooms.

Comfort is certainly a major component of this chair; however, as the chair frame has a slightly narrower profile, its most prominent feature is that the chair is readily movable and stacks quickly.

These chairs have a more individual feel to them as the frame has a slightly narrower profile (in contrast to the pew-like appearance of permanent seating), making this chair ideal for smaller rooms (rooms with lower ceilings) and fellowship halls. Guests will also appreciate the comfort of the chair provided by the plush cushioned seat features a full 3" base and radius back.

Transitional Seating
With many settings today, the room may need to be configured several times during the week.  When this is the case, seating that is easy to handle, easy to store, and very stackable becomes desirable. 

Some transitional seating can be stored in one-fourth of the space it would take to store a comparable amount of permanent seating.

Some models are also amazingly strong and yet weigh half of what permanent and flexible seating chairs may weigh. These will often cost more at purchase time, but can be a great investment when all factors are considered in the purchase.

The primary focus for this style of corporate worship is the ability for chairs to be stacked, stored, and handled with ease.  In this style of community worship, the available space is used as often as a gymnasium as it is for general corporate (row seating) worship.

Thus, the need for a lightweight chair featuring ease of handling, stacking and minimal storage are prominent desired features.

These chairs are designed for applications where the worship area is frequently re-configured (up to several times per week).  These chairs weigh less than 15 pounds, making it ideal for handling even by seniors. 

Up to 20 to 25 chairs stack onto a single dolly, can be moved easily through any standard door opening, and require a minimal floor space for storage.

Note: More 500 chairs can be stored in an area less than 120 sq ft (10' x 12'). In as little as 15 minutes, 10 volunteers can down-stack and arrange upwards of 500 chairs.

This article is courtesy of Save Your Church Money, www.saveyourchurchmoney.com.

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Religious Product News