02:31AM | 05/10/03
Member Since: 05/09/03
2 lifetime posts
I am a pastor of a small, rural church whose congregation dates back to the 1800's. We have the original hand made, church pews from back then. And they are collecting mold, mildew, and 200 years worth of "grunge". The members are arguing over what to do with them.

Group one wants to leave them alone.
Group two is concerned about the splinters and "grunge" that comes off onto people's clothes.

Group one wants to preserve history.
Group two wants them clean and safe.

Is there a middle ground out there? How can we clean these pews and yet restore them to satisfy the history folks? And once that process is done, what is an acceptable finish to put on them to keep the mold, mildew, and "grunge" from getting into the wood again?

Many thanks!

Jason P. Foster

09:05PM | 05/10/03
Member Since: 05/04/03
4 lifetime posts
I can't offer you much advice on how to treat the pews but as a fellow pastor of a small country church I wanted to say "Hello" and to offer a solution. When you find the best way to treat your pews only treat the pews on one side of the church that way those who want thier history rubbing off on their clothes a free to have it thier way and the others get their way as well. God Bless.


10:36AM | 05/11/03
Member Since: 05/09/03
2 lifetime posts
Thanks Jason! That's what it will probably come down to (hehehehe). I see you really have an appreciation for small churches. We also have a second delima. Someone has donated funds for flooring to be put in the fellowship hall (concrete floor right now). The historians want wood slat flooring (noisy, slippery when wet, difficult to keep clean). The non-historians want carpet (not very historic). As long as it is all done in love!


Mark Hammond

05:32PM | 05/11/03
Member Since: 05/09/01
246 lifetime posts
Hello messenger,
The historic society in your area should be able to help with ideas on cleaning and whether or not to touch them at all. If there is truly any historic value they should be your first stop for questions. Good luck.....MJH


05:28PM | 05/18/03
Hello folks,

Just thought I'd drop in a line to let you know I recently finished a part restoration part renovation project on a 169 year old church in Raleigh NC. You can see some pictures of the project on my web site at: If I can be of service in any way feel free to drop me a line. We had the same situation with the pews there.


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