Porch. Ancient churches are often located to the north of the ancient hamlet, with the south door serving as the primary entrance. Many houses had porches as early as the 12th century. Some porch altars were used to sign marriage contracts and legal agreements. In time, the altar would be replaced by a table for dining on food brought in by the couple.
The word "porch" comes from Latin porticus meaning "gateway" or "entryway". This explains why we use the term "porch light" when referring to an entry way lamp.
In churches today, the porch is where people enter and leave. It is usually only found at the front of the building, but some churches have porches on more than one side. The word is used here in its general sense, not just for religious buildings.
Church porches are popular places for socializing and talking with friends. Because they are open to the air and the elements, they provide a natural shelter from wind and rain. This makes them ideal places for smokers who don't want to offend non-smokers.
People also use church porches for prayer. This is especially true if there is no other room large enough for worship services to accommodate all those who want to attend.
A church porch is a room-like structure located at the main entrance of a church. The chancel is the space around the altar at the liturgical east end of a classic Christian church structure, containing the choir and the sanctuary (sometimes known as the presbytery). It might end in an apse. The word "porch" comes from Latin porta meaning door. Thus, a church porch is a room with a door that leads into the church.
In the United States, church pews are usually located in a nave that extends beyond the sanctuary or chancel area. This allows for more room to seat people than would be possible if all seats were inside the sanctuary. People often sit outside the church on chairs or benches called pews. Inside the church, at the eastern end, there may be a raised platform called a pulpit where the preacher stands while speaking. A church clerk keeps track of who is coming in and going out through a door called the vestibule. People are seated according to how much money they have donated to the church. The poor sit in the first row while the rich sit farther back. In many cases, this distinction is not clearly marked; it is up to the congregation member to determine where he or she fits in terms of wealth or poverty.
Church pews originated in England where seating was limited at worship services.
A porch shields you from the elements to some extent. Rare porches feature an exterior door, while others have a simple gate, and in some situations, the outer aperture is not closed at all. Churches built before 1750 are likely to have a porch.
The word "porch" comes from Latin pōrus meaning shelter or protection. Thus, a church porch provides protection from the elements for people entering a church.
Outside a church, there are usually signs indicating how people can be admitted to services or other activities. In larger churches, there may be an area set aside with chairs and benches where people can wait before they are allowed into the church. This is often called the "lawn" or "nave" of the church.
Inside a church, the term "porch" refers to a section of floor space between the entry and the main body of the building. On some churches, this space is used as a place of prayer; on others, it is covered by a roof. The size of the porch varies but most contain seating for several dozen people.
People go out on the church's porch to escape the heat or cold of day. They also use the porch as a place to wait their turn inside the church.