Furnishing the Pulpit Area

Many contemporary churches are adopting a style of minimalism in the stage area, where the podium or pulpit is placed. Sometimes a water table or flower table or two can be seen in direct proximity to the podium, and possibly a communion table, but usually not much more. In less contemporary churches that follow a traditional look, the full pulpit furniture series is usually found, which might

include 5 or more pieces.

The pulpit that a church chooses for their sanctuary literally sets the stage for the entire room and will help determine the other pieces – if any – that are used in conjunction in the pulpit area. The pulpit is the focal point, and might be simple and elegant or bold and detailed. Pulpits come in a wide variety of styles and can usually be customized to your liking if manufactured on site.

Communion Table
The communion table is traditionally set directly in front of the pulpit and is used for placing communion ware for occasions in which the church partakes of communion. The frequency that a church takes communion might dictate whether or not a communion table is used at all in the pulpit area. Communion tables usually closely match the pulpit, mirroring the same style, details, and stain.

Offering Table
Offering plates are placed on the offering table until time to collect offering during the worship service. Some churches choose to set the offering table in front of the pulpit or sometimes even in front of the communion table, especially when the pulpit area is set on multi-height tiers. You might also find the offering table set to the side, but still generally within the pulpit area. Like the communion table, the offering table is usually made to match the design of the pulpit.

Minister’s Chairs
In more traditional churches, the Pastor and members of the clergy might sit in chairs that are set up behind the pulpit. Sometimes you will see a chair that is slightly taller than the others, which is often placed in between clergy chairs. This chair is reserved for the Pastor. If wood chairs are used, they are generally made to fit the style of the other pulpit furniture. Minister’s chairs and clergy chairs that are upholstered might use a fabric that coordinates with any seating used for the congregation.

Side Tables
Side tables can be used to hold all kinds of items - things that will be used during a worship service or decorative items. Flower tables and water tables might be placed directly beside the pulpit or communion table, beside minister’s chairs or might be placed at the far corners of the pulpit area.

There are no rules for how your church should place furniture in the sanctuary, but be sure that it is set up to complement the worship service and that all potential needs are met. Of course church members want to see an aesthetically pleasing sanctuary, but the main goal is to glorify God and to have a space to worship.


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