Based on one from about 1830, The seat is a little higher than typical to allow storage of large stoneweare crocks. I have no idea what a deacon might need to store in large crocks. Maybe he really liked pickled eggs.
Nice work Dave. I notice you are a woodworker as well. I dabble with it myself. In fact that is want got me hooked on SketchUp. I use AutoCAD at work but couldn’t justify it for “home use”. Plus I’m also designing a home and using SketchUp.
These days I don’t have a lot of time for my own woodworking because I do so much drawing for various clients but I still get out to the shop once in awhile.
I would guess that the name of this item comes from its resemblance to a church pew.
You could be right, Anssi.