Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are some denominations who arrange their pews so they are on opposite sides of the pulpit (or equivalent for their denomination), or otherwise have pews facing each other. Is there somebody familiar with different church layouts who can perhaps point out a couple major denominations?

What came to mind for me was the church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, but I heard that some denominations do this as regular practice. "Friendship House" came to mind, but we didn't come up with much of an overview when searching the internet.

share|improve this question
    
Is this the Wright church you had in mind? This is a normal "forward facing" church with pews on the sides facing in. The "Front" is the pulpit at the right side of the church layout. (I presume it wasn't this one or this one.) –  Richard Dec 5 '11 at 22:15
    
@Richard, I think you have it right, but I saw photos instead of overview diagrams. But yes, that is how the pews were arranged which is the important part. –  musicwithoutpaper Dec 6 '11 at 13:45
1  
Aah. Yeah, that's just a circular pattern, which is pretty common. It's just a way for everyone to face the pulpit. It's not a denominational thing, as DJC points out, just a logistics thing. There are also similar setups (which are far more common) where the side pews are angled instead of straight inwards facing. –  Richard Dec 6 '11 at 14:25
add comment

2 Answers

Arrangement of church pews is really not a function of denomination. The denomination I am most familiar with uses both forward-facing pews and inward facing pews .

share|improve this answer
    
Aah, +1 for the King's College Chapel pic. Yeah, I wasn't familiar with the Anglican setup. With this setup, are all the pews inward facing (or are there some that face "the front")? Is there a central priest when they're used? –  Richard Dec 5 '11 at 22:46
    
There are some that face the front. The service is run from two places, from the centre between the pews and from the front altar, depending on what is happening. –  DJClayworth Dec 6 '11 at 0:19
    
Also I have to admit that this configuration is rare, even in Anglican churches. –  DJClayworth Dec 8 '11 at 14:24
add comment

With the clarification to the question, I realize that this is a multi-answer question. So, here are two answers for you:

1

Many churches have their church/chapel/meeting area arranged in a circular formation, such that two sides face each other and one side faces the front (example).

This is a pretty common setup. It's just a way for everyone to face the pulpit. It's not a denominational thing, just a logistics thing. There are also similar setups (which are far more common) where the side pews are angled instead of straight inwards facing.

Again, though, that's just a logistics issue.

2

The Religious Society of Friends (aka Quakers) have their pews set up a bit differently. Their Meeting Houses are generally arranged where the pews or chairs face each other and there is no pulpit. Furthermore, since it's just a meeting of friends, there is no "front" or "back" but more of a "center" and "outside".

This arrangement is primarily used by groups of Quakers that practice "Unprogrammed" meetings (also known as "Silent" meetings). While this is the most common meeting, there are some Programmed Meetings that are more of a traditional speaker/preacher type.

If you're interested in the Quaker Unprogrammed meeting, FGCQuaker.org has a page about silent worship.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.