1

And, as the singing began, all the people who were in the pews within the wall came out of them and streamed through the archway into the nave. They took what places they could find up and down the church, and the rest of the congregation looked at them in amazement.

This is from "The Great Return" by Arthur Macken.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35611/35611-h/35611-h.htm

I don't undestand the meaning of the sentence below.
They took what places they could find up and down the church,

I am glad if someone would kindly teach me.

2

"places they could find" means the seats that were available, implying that most of the seats were taken so that people needed to search a bit to find an available one.

"up and down the church" means in all parts of the church, not just in the front or just in the back.

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