Complex engineering for purposeful church furniture design

Bespoke church furniture design - Church font

Church buildings all over the country are changing functionally in order to meet the modern needs of their communities and we have built something of a reputation for excelling at the kind of complex engineering that is often required to create the church furniture of the future.

We are very excited to have recently been invited to work on projects for three different church communities – an altar, a font and some choir stalls – and we are looking forward to putting our engineering skills to good use to make sure these pieces are beautiful, functional and built to last for many generations.

The modern role of the church

Whereas once a church might have remained largely unused between services, it is now likely to be a vibrant focus of the daily life of the church, whatever that might entail in terms of events and activities. View of altar and ambo for Wakefiled renovation project

It is precisely because church buildings are fulfilling an increasingly wider role that a more purposeful approach to church furniture design is needed. Altars, ambos, pews and even choir stalls often need to be mobile to allow for a rearranging of space for different functions.

Our design approach

Our approach recognises that the prime purpose of any ecclesiastical furniture is to support the religious community in its worship and prayer. We also look carefully at the building itself and any historic or architectural features that need to be taken into account in the aesthetics of the design.

From this starting point we begin to consider the space itself and how it is used now, along with how the needs of the community may change in the years ahead.

Complex engineering

One of our most intricate ecclesiastical design projects was for Wakefield Cathedral and involved designing an altar and ambo that were substantial enough to serve the church in its everyday life and work, whilst also being easy to move. Our creative director David has a PhD in engineering and he worked closely with a Yorkshire clockmaker to develop moving components and casters that would support the weight of the structures whilst allowing them to be rolled smoothly from one part of the cathedral to another when needed. dovetailors church furniture wakefiled cathedral altar

As well as engineering the functional components, we also spend a great deal of time using our CAD/CAM facilities to develop a design that works well and is also in keeping with its surroundings. The technology we have at our disposal in the workshop enables us to push boundaries when it comes to shapes and styles, calculating the exact measurements required to create something that everyone involved in the project is happy with.

New designs

We are very much looking forward to starting work on our three new church furniture design projects. Having thoroughly enjoyed designing and making a bespoke font for Christ the King in Mirfield we are delighted to be working with another church community to help them design their own font, which will be at the heart of their church life. It is always such a privilege to work with the groups leading these ecclesiastical projects and we enjoy bringing their ideas to life.

If you have an ecclesiastical furniture project to discuss with us please contact us on 0113 2567376 or email