John E. Vigar MA, FSA Scot., FRSA

Superior Seats

Nothing demonstrates the social history of England as well as the changes that have taken place in our parish churches over the last 1500 years. Alterations that did not purely represent gear changes in religious belief or ritual; they ably demonstrate the class structures to be found in the secular world.

This lecture looks at the story of church seating through the centuries from the solid stone benches that made the `weak go to the wall` to the monumental private pews that still dominate some church interiors.

Seating in churches is a much more varied subject then one might suspect. The medieval clergy originally had stalls and sedilia in the chancels of our churches, whilst the laity only occasionally had elaborate benches – the type of seat we associate with churches today – the bench or pew – only really dates from the nineteenth century. In this fascinating and ground breaking lecture we discover the periods when you couldn’t attend church without paying for your seat; when box pews went with your house; and how the clues are there to help us understand the most private aspect of  public worship.

Suggested Reading

Temples worthy of His presence by Christopher Webster (2003)

A Church as it should be by Christopher Webster (2000)

The Victorian Church by Chris Brooks (1995)

Pews, Benches and Chairs by Trevor Cooper (2011)

Arts

Latest Blogs from John

  I am pleased to announce that I will be giving these online lectures in October   Tuesday 6th October  Churches of the Romney Marshes Tuesday 20th October   For Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals   In November I am giving...
  I am delighted to announce that I will be teaching a short course this autumn at KNUSTON HALL, Northamptonshire on an "Introduction to English Cathedrals". For those of you who do not know Knuston Hall, it is a residential adult college, and I...
I am pleased to annouce my programme of ZOOM lectures for the rest of the year. They cost £5 each. Please do tell your friends!   Wednesday August 19th at 7.30pm   Little Known treasures in Norfolk churches Monday September 14th at 8.0...
  For the forseeable future all my work will be online. This means that I will be opening my work up to a whole new audience who will be able to attend my lectures from the comfort of their own homes - but existing clients are more than welcome,...

Don't
hesitate to
contact
me

Copyright © John E Vigar 2019Gingerweb Ltd site design and SEO In North Devon

Arts