Cost of Church Seating: How Much Should You Really Budget?

Whether you’re building a new church or looking to redesign your current church, seating must be part of your plan since it’s so important. It determines how many people can attend services comfortably in your sanctuary and how much space you have for other events and proceedings. Not to mention it directly impacts how your members experience attending church.  

You must account for the weekly crowd as well as visitors, and plan for special events and holidays where you’ll have more people than usual. Calculating the cost of church seating and determining a budget that covers all your needs may be tricky, but it will certainly pay off in the end. 

You should start by considering the size of your sanctuary as well as the needs of your congregation as far as space and comfort go. On average, a church sanctuary can comfortably hold a few hundred individuals. The actual number depends on things such as whether church has pews or chairs. Small sanctuaries can seat an average of 50-100 people while larger sanctuaries may be able to seat upwards of 500 individuals.  

If you’re going with pews… 

To calculate the number of pews you’ll need, use the standard measurement of 22–24 inches per seat. You can expect the price to fall between $100 to $150 per pew seat.  

If you elect to use church chairs… 

A quality church chair will cost anywhere from $53-$60 per chair. If your sanctuary can hold about 250 chairs, give or take, you should budget anywhere between $8,000-$15,000 for this option. 

Overall, church chairs allow for more seating options for a smaller price. 

Or, perhaps theatre-style seating…   

Overall, theatre seating costs between $130 to $250 per seat when they are distributed by a reputable company known for its quality seating. If you come across a lower price, chances are the seating will be of low quality. 

Theatre style seating is possibly the most comfortable and most attractive church seating option because it allows for personal space while also offering comfort and an aesthetically pleasing set up. This option provides the most seating for a sanctuary space, which is why it is often used in larger sanctuaries and auditoriums. Of course, the cost for theatrestyle seating is much more expensive, and you’ll need to take extra precautions (i.e. no food or drinks, etc.) to ensure longevity. 

When it comes to budgeting, keep these factors in mind and stick to a range of $10,000-$30,000 for seats. Of course, you can do further research and find alternative options, but its important to remember that quality chairs will cost a little more and it’s usually worth it.