Pip and Jim’s: what a difference a chair makes

Dave HallByDave Hall

Pip and Jim’s: what a difference a chair makes

St. Philip and St. James’ church is located in the leafy, regency suburb of Cheltenham. Built in 1882 by renowned ecclesiastical architect, John Middleton, the church is Grade II* listed and a fine example of Gothic Revival in a Decorated style of architecture. Affectionately known as Pip and Jim’s, the church boasts the first columbarium space in the country. 

‘The church’s congregation is a young and vibrant one which is expanding,’ said Trinity Church Furniture sales agent Mike Seward. ‘For over 16 years the congregation dreamed of creating a more flexible space, in service of the local community. The vision was for a church that would be open and busy seven days a week with church services and events, as well as community groups, meetings and celebrations. ‘

To allow the building to cater for these increasing requirements, the church commenced a reordering project which has been dubbed the largest in the diocese since Gloucester Cathedral. To replace the pews, Trinity’s Theo Chair was specified. The chair’s linking design allows for both straight and curved row layouts. Coupled with the chairs lightness and ability to stack 30 high on trolleys put Theo in perfect alignment with the new demands of the space. When space is needed in the nave for activities, the chairs are quickly and easily stacked on their trolleys and wheeled over to be neatly stored in cupboards. 

‘We have been supplying furniture in the UK and internationally for over 40 years,’ said Mike Seward. ‘The relationships we have made over this time have helped many places of worship create wonderful spaces that enable a greater and more flexible use of the building and thus serve the wider community.’ Working in the furniture industry for nearly 20 years Mike has focused on the ecclesiastical sector for more than seven years. He lives in Surrey and is an active member of St John’s Church, Crawley.

• Trinity Church Furniture are on stand O4 at CRE National 2021

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About the author

Dave Hall

Dave Hall author