Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 26th May, 2024

Icon and idol

God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
In the 8th and 9th centuries, the Greek Orthodox world was shaken to its foundations by disputes over the use of icons. Great treasures of early Christianity were lost as angry mobs destroyed the images of saints that had been venerated for centuries. Something similar happened during the Reformation, and the traces can still be seen in many churches – statues of saints with their faces removed, and whitewashed walls where once there were beautiful frescoes.
The fear of the iconoclasts (the image-breakers) was that the icons had become objects of worship in themselves. The iconophiles, on the other hand, maintained that the image opened a window to the spiritual reality beyond, allowing for a deeper devotion.
What do these ancient disputes have to do with us? Our culture is dominated by images based on ancient archetypes: the maiden, the warrior, the wise woman. Their use in advertising and entertainment is calculated to touch people in their deepest souls, as the icons once did. And it is easy to see how some aspects of celebrity culture approach idolatry.
One counterpart to the near-idolatrous world of celebrity images is the sacrament. Sacraments embody spiritual realities. Far more than mere symbols pointing to something beyond, they affect us in the totality of our humanity, bringing the spiritual closer to us in a way that no mere explanation could.

– Tom Ravetz

We are delighted to be welcoming Peter Selg for his talk on Christ and the Disciples – The Spiritual Community.

Peter’s talk is at the rather unusual time of 7pm on Friday, 24th May. Please help us to spread the word about this talk, which will be of interest to people beyond the congregation.

There will be a Members’ Meeting on Sunday, 26th May at 11.30am.

Nataliia and Tom will both be attending the International Priests’ Synod in Berlin from 27th-31st May and there will be no Act of Consecration of Man on 30th and 31st May. The evening service for those who have died will be held on 1st June as usual. Please note as well the concert by Intesa on Friday, 31st May.

Tom will be attending the International Lenkers’ Conference from 2nd-7th June.

The Act of Consecration of Man will not be held on 7th June. On 8th June at 10am, there will be an Act of Consecration of Man in Memory of Aud and Michael Dixon.

The Bible Study group will recommence at 10am on 13th June, Isaiah 53

The yellow key-fob with the key for the large shed – sometimes called the Lodge – has gone missing. Please check, if you have used it recently.

There are still places available on the Hierarchies Retreat weekend with Katherine Beaven and Tom Ravetz. Please sign up at https://tinyurl.com/CCHs0624

Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna


If you find a fire in your heart, 

close the valves! Let it flame!

Warm the cockles, your muscles 

with licks of warmth, bright with 

interest in life — 


Forego the aim to age in place.

Better to move, shift the stagnant day, 

or even the moonless night.

Turn the time to full!

Switch on the light.

Allow the flames to burn away, 

cleanse painful thoughts, memory images; 

Best not to dwell on upsetting scenarios


Not when each morning brings blessings 

of the heart, if not the body. For the body

one day will be consumed by flames;

But the many delights, imprints of life, of love, 

all those will remain.

Go forth and pray.

Brenda Hammond

Please put this rather unique concert with the Alexandra Ensemble in your diary. It will feature BBC singer Emma Tring performing the works of Nicholas Korth and Simon Austin as well as renowned composer Michael Finnesey alongside Schubert and Schumann. Co-principal Horn player of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Forest Row born, Nicholas Korth will also be performing on some fantastic Gongs in his own unique work which explores rarely used and heard tonalities and sounds. Keyboardist Clive Williamson and violinist Robin Martin of the BBC Concert Orchestra complete this vibrant ensemble who are deidicated to performing new music.

SImon Austin is another local composer whose works have been performed extensively by The Sussex Cantorum in particular over many years. Emma will perform his song Summoned. 

I am happy to have a short slow piece for Horn and Piano performed as well.

For those who are interested, there will be a chance to delve deeper into the world of natural tuning and the extraordinary sound possibilities of Gongs after the concert.

– Gregers Brinch

More information is available in the leaflet below.


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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