Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 17th March, 2024

‘Let him who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.’ (John 8).

One thing that stood out during our weekend conference on the Holy Land was Ilse Wellershof-Schuur’s ability to embrace multiple viewpoints. She helped us to see that this is the only way we can imagine a future in the troubled Holy Land.

I have discovered that questions that begin with the words ‘Why don’t they just…’ or ‘Why can’t they see…’ are masks for judgement. Ilse helped us to see that such attitudes come from a hidden ‘othering’ – if only ‘they’ were more enlightened, or insightful, or ultimately more like me, then the situation would be easily resolved!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes clear the responsibility that comes with becoming an independent self: it is no longer enough to conform to external norms; now, we must take responsibility for our inner states. If we get through the day without committing a violent act, we have fulfilled the external commandment. True accountability means that hold ourselves responsible for what we do to another human being, if we dismiss them as a fool!

Like the woman’s accusers in this week’s gospel reading, we easily forget our own inner state when we look at others: we see the speck of dust in their eyes, without noticing that our judgement is blocking our own view, as if we had a whole plank in our own (Matthew 7:3-5). Even spiritual insights that could enable us to be more open, more fascinated by the mystery of the other human being, can be used in the cause of ‘knowing better’.

As Ilse showed, to cultivate an empathic attitude is not the same as excusing bad behaviour, or saying that there is no truth or moral standard to which we will be held to account. But if we are to be constructive participants in each other’s lives, or in world events, our judgement and condemnation will only add to the sum of judgement and condemnation in the world.

Tom Ravetz

We are delighted to welcome Peredur Eurythmy on 22nd March at 5.30pm for a performance of their end of term show, which will be a fundraiser for their trip to Dornach later in the year. Please support them generously!

We are looking for accommodation for Peter Selg, who will be with us to hold talk on Christ and the Disciples – The Spiritual Community on Friday, 24th May. Peter is travelling with his young son and possibly his grown up daughter, so two rooms would be optimal! He will be arriving on the morning of the 24th May and leaving the next day. Please let us know if you can help.

It would be very useful for planning purposes if we had a rough idea how many people were coming to the supper on Maundy Thursday. Please fill in the form via this link, or contact Margaret on 07312 079 350.

The programme for March – June 2024 is available to pick up in the church.

Nataliia is on a study retreat in Auschwitz, 13th-16th March. Tom will be in Ringwood 15th-16th March.


Aud Sigfrid Dixon

Born 12th April, 1937
Died 9th March, 2024

Funeral to be held on 20th March, 2024 at 12.30pm at the church


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.

Nataliia will be away 13th-16th March on a further training trip to Auschwitz.

Tom will be in Ringwood 15th-16th March.

Finance Report

Thanks to all who were able to make it to our AGM on Sunday, 10th March.

Nataliia gave a review of the year, looking at some of the highlights of 2023. Inger reviewed the financial situation of the year. Legacy money that we held in reserve from previous years was used for the renewal of the front garden. We also had some major tree work done, as well as upgrading the church wiring, and a major drain survey. Towards the end of the year the old gate to the memorial garden was replaced by a new one, made by Nick Raeside. The old garden shed will soon be replaced by a new one, donated by members of the congregation.

The financial report prepared by the Finance Group can be viewed or downloaded below. You will notice that we had a healthy response to the appeal made in late autumn, but we will still be running a deficit this year. Your awareness of our need and your continued generosity are much appreciated.

It was suggested that the Finance Group inform the congregation when there are particular things that need to bought, or done, so that people can respond individually.

A meeting like this strengthens the consciousness in all present, that our endeavour as a community only works when we will it to be there and will it to continue. The meeting shone the light on much visible and invisible help that makes that possible.

We have changed our bookkeeping system to one that is managed online. This means that there is much less work to do than previously. However, it would be a great help if someone was able to take some of this on. If you are managing your own banking online, you would be able to administer our system. Please let us know if you have some spare time and would like to help with this.

If you have any questions about the figures please contact Inger Gordon on inger.gordon@btinternet.com or Tom Ravetz.

Many thanks for all who support our church financially as well as looking after it in different ways!

– Gerard van Dyk, Inger Gordon and Nataliia Shatna


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

Find us via Google Maps

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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