News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Wooden pews removed after C of E court ruling

The Church of England has ruled that wooden pews can be replaced with padded chairs to accommodate elderly parishioners. 

Churchgoers and residents in Gaulby, Leicestershire, came up against some staunch opposition as they campaigned to have the pews removed from St Peter's Church and exchange them for a more comfortable alternative. Local doctors backed the campaigners, insisting that padded seats would be better for the health of the elderly congregants, some of whom are in their 90s.

The Church Building Council, the Victorian Society, the Georgian Society Historic England and the Ancient Monument Society all objected to the plan and insisted that the seats should remain wooden and unpadded. They argued that padded seating would not be appropriate for the interior of a 16th century Grade II-listed church building. 

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Leicester, Lyndsey de Mestre QC, disagreed. Her ruling, which was handed down at the Church of England's consistory court, suggested that hard-backed pews had restricted elderly people from attending church services. 

She said: "The choice of chair has been arrived at following consultation with churchgoers and villagers, some of whom are medical practitioners working regularly with the age group whom this project will initially serve." 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email