Our church has had pews in the sanctuary for more than 50 yrs. No padding!
We can see several advantages to replacing them with good chairs: flexibility, a better fit in the sanctuary (our current pews leave a very small aisle next to the exposed arches) and as we can sell the pews for something (to be determined) the net cost is reasonable.
However, once we get rid of the pews there is no going back. Also, there is some obvious discomfort with changing pews out (they are in nice condition and our church looks like a church, we've always had pews, Jesus sat in a pew, etc). Most importantly, little kids will no longer be able to slide from one end to the other nor will they be able to crawl from back to front of the sanctuary without detection.
What should we be looking for in chairs? Have you noticed anything in your travels that are particularly disadvantageous to chairs? eg are most of them broken after a few years? One thing I noticed is that church chairs are fairly inexpensive (~50/chair or less). At previous times when I have checked they were over $100/chair.
Thanks for any help or suggestions...