When you purchase lightweight, stackable chairs for your church you can experiment and try different layouts to find what will best serve the needs of your membership. You’ll find different layouts change the degree of accessibility, the way the congregation views the stage, and the general experience of those attending. You may be surprised how much the seating can affect the way the worshippers engage with the service.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few examples of church layouts that will maximize space while improving the experience of your congregation:
1. The “classic” one-path layout
This layout creates a wide, accessible path that is open to everyone. This layout can be even more effective if you are working with vertical space because the long, linear path can create a dramatic effect on the viewer. However, having one path may also lead to mild disruption due to latecomers. And, it would mean there are no seats directly in front of the altar.
2. The angled layout
This layout utilizes angled chairs to create a line of focus directly to the altar, allowing people to more easily look at the pulpit without distraction. Like the first single-aisle layout, it utilizes one big path, which may suffice nicely for a small space. People can easily access the seating before the service starts but may have little trouble coming or going after the service has started.
3. The multi-lane layout
If you are working with a space that is a little more wide than vertical, you should consider adding multiple lanes, with two long rows of chairs flanking the middle lane and two thinner paths separating them from the smaller rows at either end. Depending on how wide your space is and how many chairs you may want to put down, you may be able to fit in two very small paths at either end as well. However, this layout may be problematic if there are columns in the worship area.
4. The circular layout
This is an innovative design that is all but unheard of in older churches, however, it’s slowly growing in popularity. The idea is inspired by the set-up of Quaker worship meetings, which typically take place in a rectangular space where the person speaking stands at the center.
This layout tends to change the atmosphere of the service. Some feel it’s collaborative and welcoming and can inspire a greater feeling of community. Plus, everyone has a direct view of the person officiating the service.
5. The semi-circular layout
You can also have a semi-circular design that does not go all the way around. This layout can feel a bit more traditional while still providing a feeling of togetherness and community.