City forced Church to be rid of pews when Church renovated santuary…how to approach city about this?

Question by Kim Y: City forced Church to be rid of pews when Church renovated santuary…how to approach city about this?
[Please go to my Profile and read up on my prior question to get some background to this ..if you could….]

When my Church re-did their santuary (put in a balcony, new carpet up & down) the City forced them to replace the wooden pews that were old and falling apart with modern lightweight chairs. The Church was DENIED the ability to purchase NEW, SIMILAR PEWS to replace the old ones.

**** Separation of Church and State???****

The result of this is that my disabled hubby has lost his ability to help himself up & down by bracing his weight and balance against the pew ahead of him. This has been PERFECT for the 3 yrs we attended this Church. He can raise himself (with my assist) to sing or pray and fit in like everyone else who is not disabled. We can sit together and not have the iron chair pinching between us….

So, our Church had to replace all of the pews w/lightweight chairs that can be moved quickly and stacked on each other. The city left them no choice.
Last Sunday, I was able to help my hubby balance (he has weak right side due to stroke) into a new chair. (I have to do that at 130#, and he is 250#). There was nothing to brace himself to stand up. So, for the entirety of the service, he could not stand. He could not stand to sing; he could not stand to pray. And, because he could not stand, we were blocked from the screen that had the words of the songs displayed. So, we sat there like two little kids surrounded in a jungle of 10 foot high adults, helpless, having to just sit and not participate.


What do you suggest as far as dealing with the City? Is this an option, to get them to understand that a possible ADA violation occurred when they deny what type of furniture a Church can use?

What of devices? Please don’t suggest that my hubby continue to sit in his chair – AGAIN – he does that 24/7. Sitting in the same spot with the same cushion creates sores and blood clots. Changes are good!
Changes help with circulation! We like to sit together like everyone else and not stick out like a sore thumb. I fold his chair and place it at the back of the Church during service.

Sitting at the FRONT of the Church does not solve. Hubby needs to reach forward to brace himself for balance for standing/rising/sitting.

I just thought of something….What of bars (like in bathrooms that surround toilets) fixed on a wall so that he can help himself? But he still needs something in FRONT of him ….

This is frustrating!
What to do? What to do?
070808 5:30
To Person With Disabilities, regarding your suggestion…all of the original pews were destroyed, as no one wanted to buy them(apparently they were in very poor shape). The Assistant Pastor & I talked today and I asked about a couple of pews set aside for PWD, and he’s to “consider” but I think it is mute because our fab “HOA”-minded city (of which I’ve lived in for 42 yrs…) is very Preppie-Healthy-NoCrimesHere mentality and is very powerful.
If they see closed up trash bags nicely tucked away in the corner of your yard that has a 6′ privacy wood fence around it, they will BRING YOU TO COURT and fine you $ 5k if you don’t comply and remove it by their deadline. They’ve been known to force folk to reverse back renovations on home if work permit wasn’t “clean” (garage conversion). L*O*N*G history of Nazi-type attitude of running community…like I say, one large HOA this city is, one large HOA…..

Best answer:

Answer by Person With Disabilities
Talk to your pastor to see if they are willing to put in a PWD section that consists of two wooden pews up front specifically for PWDs.

Do you think that the pastor could order a couple of new wooden pews???

Give your answer to this question below!

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