NY Church Removes Pews to Attract Believers

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) - An Episcopal church in the New York
suburbs is hoping that the removal of more than a dozen pews from
the sanctuary will make the church feel less empty and more inviting.

St. Bartholomew's Church in White Plains hatched the plan as part of an effort to create a more intimate space for worship that could appeal to visitors.

The rector says when people visited the church before, it seemed like an empty museum with each person able to have their own pew.

The church gets about 50 to 60 people during its morning services on Sundays. In its heyday in the 1950s, more than 1,000 people attended services.

The 18 removed pews now sit in a spare room. The church tried
unsuccessfully to sell some of them on Craigslist for $300 each.
Other pews were used to build a new altar, which now rests at the
front of the church.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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