Design Notes: Social Distanced Worship Seating

The COVID-19 Pandemic has drastically changed worship services this year. Physical dimensions and seating capacity of church facilities will have a greater impact on how to safely come together as restrictions are lifted. One of the first considerations for maintaining proper social distance is determining the flow of people entering and exiting.

  • First in/Last out is a simple method to help maintain a minimum 6 ft. distance between families.
  • Modify worship times if necessary due to increased time required for entering and leaving church.
  • Alternate entry and egress aisles.
  • Church seating rows are typically spaced 3 ft. apart. Space family groups every other row for the recommended 6 ft. social distance minimum.
  • Maintain two vacant rows if possible to make people feel more comfortable.

If your church has longer pews, seating small groups at opposite ends may be acceptable.

Unique seating layouts may present challenges to creating orderly aisles for safe passage. Keep it simple, but safe!

Construction has been deemed essential in Illinois during the pandemic, which allowed Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL to move forward with their narthex expansion and sanctuary renovation. The new improvements will assist in making their church safer during future virus outbreaks.

Rendering of new church entrance.

Rendering of renovated narthex gathering space.

Rendering of new multiple entry doors for entry and exit from the sanctuary.

Rendering of renovated sanctuary that will be rotated 45 degrees for better flow from the narthex.