The decisions that home owners make about decorating their homes are very personal. A framed card of buttons, for example, may just look like the kind of buttons that anyone can find in the junk drawer of most homes. On closer inspection, however, two initials and a date are scribbled in the bottom right corner. The initials are those of your father-in-law, and the date represents the time when he was 12 and had a broken his leg. Banned from outside activities, he spent many days in bed sewing an ever increasing button collection onto cards.
Another thoughtful decoration is what looks like a unique seating option in one family’s music room. The one-armed church pew fits perfectly between the two built in book shelves and has a perfect view of the in home piano practices and impromptu recitals. A closer examination, however, shows that the this is not just any pew. A small plague on the back of the pew indicates that it came from the church where the home owner’s grandparents were married.
Church Steeples and Used Church Pews See New Life in a Variety of Locations
In spite of the fact that America is a consumer driven society, many people still find value in some very classic items. One of the recently popular trends is the reuse and repurposing of church furniture and architecture. Museums, restaurants, and even individual home owners often scour auctions and online sites for the perfect antique church pews, church steeples, and other ornate pieces of furniture that are found in churches throughout the country.
As older churches with dwindling congregations close their doors, many understand the value of nearly every piece of furniture and accessory. Many churches that are built in similar times actually have similar looking sanctuaries and even steeples. Luckily, restoration experts have lung understood the value of saving important architectural pieces like church steeples and pews. This reclaimed pieces allow churches that are expanding or in the process of renovation to install pieces that maintain the history of a space.
Interestingly enough, many church steeples, for example, are actually very similar. As a result a steeple that is no longer needed in one location can become the perfect replacement for a sanctuary that has a church steeple that has suffered damage from weather or age.
Church Restoration Projects Aim for Authenticity and Value
Within any parish, the local church building is often the oldest structure in the area. In addition to being the oldest, it is also often the largest. In fact, in most pre-19th century areas the only structure larger than a church might be a barn. Because of its size, age, and importance, it is not surprising that many congregations would make substantial investments in their churches. The fact that restoration companies understand the value of reclaiming and refurbishing individual pieces from these churches means that they will continue to be a part of local history and worship.
The authenticity and value of a piece of church architecture or furniture can be jeopardized by the treatment and transportation of the items. For that reason, some companies actually specialize in not only the restoration and repurposing of church pieces, but also the transportation of the items. For example, since antique church pews are popular in private homes, as either bench seating in a dining area or decoration in an entryway, delivery trucks are specially outfitted for holding pews, kneelers, and even steeples.
Although Churches were not commonly furnished with permanent pews before the Protestant Reformation, these furnishings have since become staples of many places of worship. In fact, families with long ties to particular churches may have always thought of a certain spot in a sanctuary as “their pew.” It only makes sense then that these pews may become permanent fixtures in homes around America. Perhaps even accompanied by a particularly meaningful card of hand sewn buttons.