Church pew spacing must be precise. Even the chair spacing between rows needs to allow enough space to allow for maximum leg room and ample space for people to walk by. The arrangement must also maximize interior seating space

Spacing Between Church Chairs

brown wooden chairs inside a cathedral

Distance between rows of chairs should be around 36 inches from each seat-back. You can increase this distance if you like, too. The idea is to allow for enough “side-step” access.

What does this mean?

When people need to walk around each other, they side-step in the aisle and let people by rather than leave the row of chairs. You want to allow the standard 36” of space, but there’s no harm in going up to 40” between chairs either.

Even minimum, additional space can make a huge difference in chair spacing in a church sanctuary.

For example:

  •       36” spacing between rows allows for comfort side-stepping
  •       40” allows for two people to walk by each other with ease

However, the one downside of expanding the spacing between chair rows is that you’ll reduce your maximum seating capacity. If your church has more than enough space, members will appreciate you offering more space between each row of seats.

Spacing Between Church Pews


What is standard pew spacing in church? Church pew spacing is the same as chair spacing: 36 inches. You can also increase the spacing between each row, and depending on your service, you may need more spacing.

For example, do you plan to have congregation members kneel down during your service?

If yes, you may need more spacing than 36” to allow people to comfortably kneel and get back up. You can also create special rows for kneeling if you want to accommodate guests of all physical abilities while also maximizing the interior space.

How Wide Should a Church Aisle Be?


You can make a church aisle as wide as you want, but most congregations will have about one foot of space between each pew to create an aisle. You can expand this space to 18” or 24” to make the space more comfortable and easier to traverse.

Depending on the city where the church is located, spacing may vary. For example:

  •       Some cities require you to meet different guidelines
  •       Room capacity will dictate the maximum number of seats
  •       Codes often require 18” of space for each church member

You’ll need to review your specific codes and occupancy requirements when purchasing pews or seating. Even if you think that there will never be a legal concern in your church, it’s always better to remain in code to avoid legal issues.

Different Sizes of Church Chairs for Any Worship Style by ComforTek

At ComforTek, we’re here to help you choose the right chairs for your space. We offer chairs of all sizes and can help you find the right choice of chairs for your congregation. There are also high-density stacking options, which will allow you to stack your chairs when they’re not in use or you need to open up the space more. 

We also recommend reading about all the church trends in 2024 that you need to know before starting this business.