Churchgoers might be horrified to learn that pews are frequent features in heathen pubs and restaurants – they might even think the activities of designer Mark Groes are sacrilegious.
Groes runs Pew Corner, a Surrey concern offering “fine reclaimed church interiors”. “There are people who do think it’s a bit strange,” admits a spokeswoman. “But churches often approach us with their pews, they prefer chairs nowadays.”
Groes, who endearingly describes himself as “Mr Pew”, works with all types of church furniture. The toilets at The Swan pub in Surrey are tastefully concealed by a pew; a pine lectern – once the focal point for a sermon – now proffers a restaurant menu; and a reception area features a pew with a natty fitting for umbrellas.
Virtually the whole interior of the Abbeye restaurant in Bromley, Kent, has ecclesiastical origins. But pews don’t sell for a wing and a prayer – a four-foot pine pew is Ãº205 and the same size in oak is Ãº930.
Mr Pew would defend himself against accusations of blasphemy by saying “it’s Green to be seen at Pew Corner”. Naturally, all his products are born again.