With the increasing popularity of church chairs for worship environments, at Church Furniture Partner we have also seen fresh options for churches who utilize church kneelers surface. This level of options essentially did not exist when pews were the common form of seats for churches. Generally a long kneeler just folded down when needed, and was raised when it was not in use. But with individual worship chairs have come three main options for churches today. Let’s take a look at each:
- Fold-Down Kneelers: Some manufacturers have engineered a fold-down kneeler. Basically the kneeler hinges upward against the chair in front of the worshiper when not in use. When it comes time for the congregation to kneel, the worshiper reaches out and folds down the kneeler until it is resting on the floor. This style of kneeler has one main advantage. They are out of the way when not in use which helps both with leg room and also when the worship area is cleaned. But on the con side it can be quite noisy in the room when everyone folds down their kneelers at the same time. Also this effort requires more movement by the worshiper (bending over and down, reaching out, etc.)
- Stand-Alone Kneelers: Another common form of kneeler is a stand-alone kneeler. With this style of kneeler, when it is time in the service to kneel, the worshiper reaches down under the seat in front of him or her and pulls out the stand-alone kneeler, positions it to their liking, and then kneels. This style of kneeler has the advantage of being loose if the chairs are taken up and down at times and stacked. Chairs that have kneelers attached lose their ability to be stacked. But if your chairs are not going to be stacked, stand-alone kneelers take up leg room when not being used, and also require significant effort to position, especially if the kneeler has been shoved very far under the seat in front of the worshiper.
- Slide-Out Rail Kneelers or Retractable Kneelers: Another option that churches and worshipers have today is a slide-out kneeler that is connected to the legs of the chairs in front of them. With this style of kneeler, the worshiper simply reaches out a bit with their foot, lifts ever so gently on part of the kneeler, and then slides it out very easily with just some movement of their foot and lower leg. The kneeler is now positioned for use. The disadvantage of this style of kneeler only comes into play if the church desires to stack their chairs as stacking cannot be done with slide-out kneelers attached. The advantages though are this form of church kneeler is very easy to operate, requires very little effort on the part of the worshiper, and is very quiet to place into use.
At Church Furniture Partner, we find that for most worship environments where chairs do not need to be stacked, we recommend the slide-out kneeler. While we have worked with all three styles and continue to do so, if your particular setting will work well with a slide-out rail kneeler, that will undoubtedly be our first recommendation. We’d love to speak with you though about the unique worship environment of your church. We invite you to contact us to help that conversation get started.