Peruse pews at church

TAKE a pew – that's the request at one church in Ipswich.And it isn't the typical bid to get bums on seats because the pews at Hatfield Road Congregational Church are not for filling, they are for selling.

TAKE a pew – that's the request at one church in Ipswich.

And it isn't the typical bid to get bums on seats because the pews at Hatfield Road Congregational Church are not for filling, they are for selling.

The 10ft long oak pews are being replaced with some more comfortable chairs, so church secretary John Stiff has stepped in to advertise the pious pews.

Mr Stiff, 59, said: "We would appreciate any offers for these pews, to offset the cost of our new chairs.

"I'm not sure of the market but there could be a publican out there desperate for them."

Pews are often used by landlords as a gothic alternative to stalls and Mr Stiff hopes a publican might purchase the lot.

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The pews at Hatfield Road Congregational Church are available to anyone however – in fact somebody has already bought one for their conservatory.

Historically, pews were bought by land and property owners in parishes and could be sold on to other members of the community.

Today there is less competition for seats although the softer seats at Hatfield Road could have the masses flocking back.

The church has a largely elderly congregation and the pews have been replaced to make services a little more comfortable for them.

Like most pews they are quite hard, a measure often thought to prevent sleeping in church but there is no dozing off at Hatfield.

Mr Stiff added: "I don't go to sleep in church myself, this is just an attempt to make life more comfortable for elderly people, we want to modernise the church and the pews are surplus to requirement."

It is hoped that the money raised will help to offset the cost of the new upholstered chairs but the church will be delighted with whatever they are offered for the seats.

Anyone interested in purchasing the pews should contact John Stiff on 01473 822123.

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