Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 4th February, 2024

After the fullness of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, this Sunday, we return to the Trinity prayer in the Act of Consecration of Man. Whatever festival we may be celebrating, the three crosses that we make seven times though the service, bring to our awareness the gifts of the Trinity. When the time comes when we do not hear the prayer for a particular festival, the ground-tone of the Trinity prayer sounds forth and we are invited once again to deepen our experience of these gifts. As always, whatever we do in preparation before the service can serve to create the space where its words can resound.

Starting with the Spirit, what a gift our consciousness is! Through consciousness, the flow of communication between self and world is opened and we can be enlightened – about our surroundings, about our fellow human beings, about the spiritual world. Without this stream of communication, the words of the service would be empty and no communion with God would be possible.

In meditating on the Son, we can turn our attention to aspects of our lives of which we are usually unaware: the beat of our heart and the rhythm of our breath or the fire that warms our whole metabolic system. Turning our awareness to these allows us to experience the creative work of the Word within us. Then there is the experience of our own creativity, the joy of having a good idea or make something useful, or something beautiful. We might think as well of the field of our social creativity, where we make worlds in which we and others can live and thrive.

It is harder for us to feel into the reality of Being itself. Often when we are asked ‘Who are you?’, we answer with our life-story, which is the story of our past becoming. There is an exercise in which we peel away the layers that have accreted through our memories so that we come to the simple fact of our being itself. This the deepest level of all: the ground of our existence. Can we experience the fact of our being, the being of the world, as gifts? Then we have reached the realm of the Father.

This Sunday, 4th February, we will introduce the new form for the beginning of the Offering.

Selina Horn is suffering from exhaustion and we have agreed that she will step back from her responsibilities in the congregation for the time being.

Because of this, the talk on the Life of the Essenes has been postponed. The Members’ Meeting, which was scheduled for 11th February, will now take place on 18th February.

The workshop on the Spiritual Hierarchies will take place from 21-23 June. More details will be announced soon.

There has been an encouraging response to the idea of a retreat in Milan focussed on Leonardo’s Last Supper. We need someone, or a small group, who would help organise this event. Accommodation in a monastery and visits to the Museum would need to be booked in advance.

We all benefit from refreshments after the service. There is a small group that carries this, and they are not able to cover all the Sundays. There is a rota hanging on the right side of the noticeboard in the foyer, and any of the current helpers would be willing to show newcomers exactly what they need to do. The drinks need to be prepared before the service, and the cups and saucers put out, so that coffee can be served seamlessly. Please do consider signing up on the rota, or approach one of the priests or a helper to learn more.

Another opportunity to help practically is our House and Garden Morning. The next one will take place on Saturday, 10th February, 10am-noon. There is always a wide range of jobs that need to be done, which help to keep our church the beautiful, welcoming place that it is.

Karin Gearing has requested that we inform the congregation that our storage capacity for second-hand books is at its limit. Please don’t leave any books for the book-table at the moment.

We are looking for accommodation for Rev Ilse Wellershof-Schuur, who will be joining us for the weekend on The Holy Land is our Teacher. Ilse needs accommodation from 29th February until 4th March. Please let one of us know if you could help with this.

Tom Ravetz, Nataliia Shatna


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.


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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