Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 25th February, 2024

Transfiguration: an imagination

.. and from the altar there flowed golden ribbons that wound round about us and connected us: the stranger in his dull overcoat; the old lady counting her money for the collection; my best friend with whom I was quarrelling. All were joined in a great web of gold. And gradually I realised that the skeins of gold went through the doors and out into the world, binding us to distant friends and strangers, people of whom we had never heard and whose lives we had never imagined.

… and then I knew who had woven the ribbons of gold. I knew that we were all entangled in his love. I knew that I was bound to every human being, and I longed to know their sufferings and their joys.


Transfiguration – in Greek metamorphe – that means our experience of the common and everyday is changed.

What would happen if for moments we saw things as they truly are?

How astonished would we be if we could see the great convection system that carries moisture from earth to the skies, moves it around the earth and lets it fall as rain.

Or if we could sense the deep communication in the mycelium, connecting the trees and allowing them to communicate.

And these are phenomena of the sense-perceptible world! What if our eyes were adjusted to perceive the spiritual beings that weave and work in our midst?

Turning to the altar, we might realise that there is no ‘near’ and ‘far’, no human destiny from which we are cut off. There is no dark dungeon to which we cannot find the connection.

Then the world would be transfigured.

And how would we feel if the source of all change, the great light that was revealed, inclined to us, stepped forward and touched us. ‘Rise,’ he says, in the story of the Transfiguration, ‘and have no fear.’ How will we walk with him, down from the mountain? How will we meet the world in its suffering? How will our hearts burn with the precious knowledge: the world is full of glory!

One thing that happens if we try to imagine the consciousness of the angels, archangels and the Spirit of the Age, is that our perspective shifts radically. We are used to looking at the world from our own perspective, which is centred on ourselves. Even when we think about world events, we see them from our own viewpoint. That is why newspapers are is organised the way they are: what happens in the UK is given the most prominence; events in Paris might get brief front-page billing; events in Mumbai or in the prison-camps of North Korea are mentioned on the inside pages, or not at all. Already when we feel into the mind of the angel, we gain a different perspective: we see ourselves whole, aware of how we act on the world, and how the world acts on us. All the more when we extend our consciousness to the higher members of the Third Hierarchy. If we imagined that the Spirit of the Age had a newspaper, it would consist only of a front page, and all the events of the day would be on it, with equal prominence. Impossible though it might feel for us to imagine it, the minds of the higher angels are capable of encompassing a world full of situations without becoming numbed, as might happen to us if our newspaper contained every single thing that happened in the world on a given day!

In the first prayer of the Offering, our awareness can grow together with the angels. Our awareness of our own strayings, denials and weaknesses is the gift of our own angel; when we think of all those present, we may feel connected to the angel of the congregation; the yet wider circles connect us to the consciousness of the Spirit of the Age.

As we hear these words, each one of us will have their particular areas of interest and attention, which will mean that they will be bringing a different perspective on behalf of the whole of humanity. It could even be that two people are sitting next to each other in the service, praying for a situation from two very different perspectives, which would lead to an argument, if they had to decide which one was ‘right’, or more important. We can imagine though that the angels take the content of our prayers, our concern and our love, and add it to the whole picture.

In this way, we hope that the whole of humanity and its concerns is present in every Act of Consecration of Man.

On Friday, 23rd February, we will turn to what is probably the best-known and best-loved of the Psalms, The Lord is my Shepherd, Psalm 23. All are welcome!

Thank you to those who have been making coffee for the last Sundays. We still need people to put their names down for the coming weeks. The rota is on the noticeboard in the foyer.

We are looking forward to welcoming Revd Ilse Wellershof-Schuur to our weekend conference on the Holy Land. Once again, we would ask that you let anyone know who you think might be interested in this event.

Nataliia will be away on a further training course in Stuttgart from 20th-28th February.

Tom Ravetz


We would like to remind you that the Forward Education initiative are hiring the community room, children’s room and foyer on Mondays, 8am-4pm. This means that they have exclusive use of those spaces and we would ask you please to respect that.


More information can be found in the leaflet at the church, or via this link.

We have set a date for the Annual Congregational Meeting, where there will be an update about the finances and a chance for discussion about the life of the congregation. This will take place on Sunday, 10th March, 11.30am-12.45pm.

Please note that the diary is updated until the end of the current programme period (17th March).
New events will be added when the new programme comes out.

Support The Christian Community

To make a one off donation or to set up a monthly standing order, please use the account details below

Account Name: The Christian Community in Forest Row
Sort Code 30-92-92
Account Number: 00012363
Lloyds TSB, 1/3 London Road, East Grinstead
West Sussex RH19 1AH

If you are a UK Taxpayer, we can claim tax back on your donation if you fill in a gift aid form. You will find one here, which you can download and return to us (signed and scanned is fine)

You can also donate using PayPal, using a credit or debit card.

Find us

School Lane / Hartfield Road
Forest Row
East Sussex
RH18 5DZ

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Priests of the community: Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna. Contact us on the church email or using the form below.

Gospel readings for 2023-24

Current programme


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