Church furniture does not come cheap – just having rows upon rows of pews made from the finest timbre is enough to set back any establishment and dry up all donations and savings. And this is just one side of the story, there is the pulpit and chairs and spaces for storing books in the pews and furniture for church staff to contend with. Taken together, it can definitely be an expensive proposition which might be beyond the means of a small parish. Hence the next important thing is to buy used church furniture at a substantially lower investment than an altogether new set.
There are two sides to buying used furniture for churches. The first is for replacing furniture that is beyond any form of repair or repairs. The second is a complete set for a new church. The process of buying used furniture will greatly differ between the two.
For cases of replacement, the best way is to check the online platforms like eBay or browse through local listings. Larger churches often dispose furniture that has seen better days but still has years of service in them and these are often snapped up quickly by other smaller ones at throwaway prices. This is especially true for pews that cost a lot and can be a drag on the resources of a small church if bought new. For single pieces of furniture, online sources are the best as they sell used individual items at highly discounted rates. Compare this with the rates of a new set of furniture sourced from a store selling timber outdoor furniture in Melbourne or wherever the church is located and the difference will be quite obvious.
While buying used furniture for a church, it is very crucial to assess exact needs first and match it with the budget. Take the case of church seating which constitute the bulk of church furniture.
Opting for used pews is more expensive than used chairs. A solid oak pew for four in good condition can cost upwards $500 while chairs are much less. However, it is not the costs that matter only. Many new churches are now opting for chairs over pews simply because of the flexibility that they offer. Chairs can be removed from the sanctuary to make space for gatherings of parishioners for youth programmes or children’s carnivals or the required number can be laid out for specific events. Chairs are sturdy and stackable and can be stored in a corner.
Items that have to be compulsorily put in any church furniture list include apart from seating, bookcases, bulletin boards, tables both for indoor use and the foldable types that can be carried to outings and picnics and free standing signs. All these can be had in used but very good condition from second-hand furniture dealers, or online sellers. However, it is necessary to ensure that they match reasonably well and adds to the aesthetic harmony of the premises. It should not be obvious that they have been got from different sources.
It will be wrong to assume that buying used church furniture is to save costs only, some exceptional items of great beauty and craftsmanship can be had in excellent condition from antique auctions or online stores. These do not come cheap of course. A solid oak intricately carved altar dating back to the 19th century can cost upwards of $8,000. These can be had from online sites or brick and mortar stores that specialise in old church furniture and can add a touch of old world charm to any church.
Choose used church furniture wisely for its many benefits both from the aspect of beauty and reasonable costs.