Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 5th May, 2024

‘No-one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6)

At first sight, these words in John 14 can be off-putting, embodying a kind of Christian exclusivism.

There is another way of looking at them, which leads to a different conclusion. This takes as its starting point a question: which human beings’ lives show evidence that they might be in alignment with God, the ultimate reality of the world?

If we ask this question, we quickly realise that it cannot be answered by any outer sign – belonging to a particular religion, or even denomination. Rather, we would look in the spirit of Matthew 25:35-40, when those whom Christ describes as his true followers are surprised that they belong there.

Then, the meaning of Christ’s words might be: all those who come to the Father do so through me, whether they know my name or not. Christ is greater than the church; he is greater even than the religion called Christianity: everyone who lives a life in love is – conscious or not – bringing themselves into relationship with the loving heart of the universe.

What then is the task of those who know him as Christians, who gather in a church? Clearly, it is not to feel as if Christ is our property, our sole possession. Rather, we can feel the challenge of the words in the Easter prayer, which instruct us to proclaim Christ as the meaning of the earth. In a world which has grown weary of old religious words and attitudes, this probably won’t take the form of telling people things, but of living life and engaging in dialogue in such a way that others feel that we recognise them in their strivings. With the trust that such recognition inspires, we might find that we are asked for help; that others see in us something that gives them the reassurance: there is meaning.

Tom Ravetz

We are delighted to be adding an event to our programme: Songs of Joan of Arc by Jen Zimberg on Friday, 3rd May at 7.30pm. More details on the poster below.

On Ascension Day, 9th May following the service at 10am there will be a short presentation on The Clouds in the New Testament followed by a walk to Tablehurst Farm.

There will be a House and Garden morning on Saturday 11th May 10am-noon.

Tom will be in Loch Arthur (Dumfries) and Edinburgh taking the Confirmations 2nd-6th May.

Nataliia will be in Canterbury 11th-12th May.

We would be grateful for any offers of accommodation for the weekend retreat on the Spiritual Hierarchies, which will be held from 21st-23rd June. Please let Tom know if you would be able to help with this.

Tom Ravetz and Nataliia Shatna

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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