Categories: Wednesday ripples 1 Comment

What’s happened to our pews?

It’s a good question. The pews that we and generations before us have sat in are being recycled. As you may know, the sanctuary was constructed (1929 – 1933) in the throes of the depression. Corners needed to be cut to save money. A less expensive (less durable) floor was put in, for example, and fir pews, rather than the more expensive, more durable oak, graced the sanctuary. The fir pews were a stop-gap measure; they were expected to last 40 years or so.

Now, 86 years later, those good pews more than served their purpose. For the last two years they’ve been complaining. Three have broken, rather dramatically — one during Jazz Vespers, one after a morning service, and one at the start of the 9:00 Christmas Eve service.  Bang! Fortunately, on each occasion, no one was hurt and the 1 or 2 people sitting on the pews were of good humour.

But the pews have come to the end of their life as a pew and now, thanks to the good investigative work of Andrew Mitchell, look forward to new life (more like reincarnation than resurrection).

Some of the pews went to our own members who were eager to haul the wood and will use it to panel a room in a cottage or serve as a seat on a deck.

Some of the pews went to an Indigenous fellow named Latash Nahanee, who will make the wood available for artisan carvers and, again, as seats in schools.

Some of the pews went to the Woodshop Co-Op, a Vancouver business with the motto “Furniture that looks good and does good.”

From their website:

Good for People & The Planet
At the heart of Wood Shop you will find People.
People who want to make a difference.
For the community in which we live and for the planet.

At Wood Shop we choose to do things differently.  With a focus on using reclaimed and locally sourced materials and products that help not hurt the planet…

When you choose Wood Shop you are choosing to support local community
partnerships which create meaningful and inclusive employment and training
opportunities for folks living with barriers to stability. What’s not to love?

Oh, and Wood Shop is ALWAYS handcrafted in Vancouver, B.C. Canada

That’s where our pews went.
Thanks for asking.

Dan

One Comment

  1. It is heartwarming news to hear the pews are going to be repurposed and are supporting local community partnerships. I didn’t realize the pews were made of Fir and this was a cost saving choice. But how fitting…The Douglas Fir Tree is the traditional tree used for West Coast Christmas Trees. Wow! When I connect the fact that the pews were made from Christmas Tree wood…I come to the realization that all these years the pews have provided a place for us to sit and let our bodies take in the message of hope, peace, joy and love of Christmas silently and reverently adorned with stain and varnish. This realization is turn gives me more appreciation for the people who like the pew provide a place for us …Thank you Dan for answering and posting the question “What’s happened to our pews? “

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