Churches often hold great historical value, which means when it comes to refurbishing the interior space it can feel like a battle between old and new as to how it should be styled.
But keeping the old, and adding something new, can, in fact, create a space that brings with it a new lease of life.
At Grosvenor Fabrications, we’ve worked alongside churches for many years to help them embrace their space and create church stacking chairs in an interior that moves flexibly with the demands of their attendees.
To inspire your church space, we’ve revealed how old can meet new so that you don’t have to feel torn between traditional and modern touches to transform your church space.
Ancient Stone + Glass
Many traditional churches are still built in ancient stone that is in keeping with the local area and its history.
After time, the stone may become weathered, but remain structurally sound, leaving many church renovations torn on how to enhance the structure without losing the integrity of the original building.
Glass is an ideal material that can bring light and life to these older spaces, enhancing the current building and adding a new dimension to the look and feel of the space.
A few great examples include London’s British Museum, who renovated the traditional Great Court with a glass and steel roof that now provides a moody backdrop to the area depending on the weather.
A more relatable example is the Sant Francesc convent renovation in Santpedor, Spain.
While the old building was structurally sound, it was badly in need of repair and updating. Therefore, architect David Closes chose to preserve the historical building but added elements of glass fixtures around the building to add more light and brightness to the inside space.
Wooden Pews + Modern Seats
While traditional Victorian pews have been the symbolism of church life for centuries, they can often provide an uncomfortable experience for church attendees.
This doesn’t mean that they should be banished to the cellar, but instead, used alongside more comfortable seating options that can provide worshippers with a more relaxed moment for prayer.
Pews are a piece of church heritage that could be used in other spaces where sitting for hours is not required. For example, using them in dining spaces or areas for quiet reflection.
Many modern churches have embraced their traditional interiors while adopting more stylised seating. This includes the recent renovation Bristol Cathedral, who have chosen individual, cushioned chairs with a book pouch located at the back. These types of chairs like the Embrace Church Chair offer more comfort than a standard stacking chair.
Symbolism + Minimalism
The altar in any religious space has often been decadent in its symbolism; with figures, artwork and sacred artefacts.
However, many worshippers have begun to feel that these areas are cluttered and intimidating to those who are looking to step into a faith.
While symbolism has been found to still be significant to all worshippers, the style in which this is now executed is about creating a worship space that is open to all.
Minimising the altar without removing the iconography is something which can enable historical artefacts to take centre stage within the church, and portray the faith in a far bolder sense than when competing with other elements.
Examples of combining minimalism and historic symbols can be seen in many of the recent church renovations across the UK. For example, the Priory Chapel in Dublin has created a stunning wood-lined prayer room which only contains a crucifix which hangs boldly overhead.
The burden of updating any church space needn’t be a challenge when both new and old can merge to create peaceful spaces which respect both past and future.