Update for Forest Row for Sunday, 18th February, 2024


God asks us to live [the] new life in the circumstances of everyday life, contradicted by turmoil, opposition, and anxieties of all kinds. These seem to persecute us because we feel drawn to be alone to relish that silence. But we need to be confronted by the vicissitudes of daily life. The alternation between contemplative prayer and external action gradually integrates the two and establishes us in the contemplative dimension of the Gospel, which is a new and transformed state of consciousness.

Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating

Temptation – in the language of the Gospels, this meant ‘being put to the test’. Far from being a snare designed to trap us, temptation is an opportunity for us to grow. When we temper steel we expose it to extremes of heat and cold, which makes the metal more flexible, more resilient. However much we might long for a quiet life, the point of our spiritual striving is not to achieve the balance of stasis, the end of all movement; it is to prepare us for the field of forces that seek to pull us out of the middle, so that we can find our way back to the middle ever and again.

What are these forces? There are forces that tell us that all that counts is matter and its laws. Whatever fine values we might dream of, we have to use common sense and make sure there’s the money to pay for it all! There are other forces that tell us to leave such concerns behind and to live only according to the spirit, trusting that the spirit will provide.

Which is right? We probably all know people who shut down every new idea with a worry about costs, or other practical aspects. We may also know people who seem to live in flights of fantasy, never noticing what is left for others to pick up after them. We may even have noticed that we ourselves habitually incline to one or the other extreme. And if we were organising a community or even just planning a day out, it would not be helpful if one of these voices ‘won’. We need their representatives in our community, just as we need them both within us. The art of life is not to ‘overcome temptation’, but to harness the gifts of the extremes and to find the living middle that weaves and works between them.

Tom Ravetz

A small group has been studying the Psalms on Friday afternoons. We turned first of all the Psalm 22, where we found in this text from 1,000 BC direct comfort and help for our struggles in life. We looked as well at how it could be that King David described situations that were so exactly mirrored in the Passion of Christ.

There is no meeting of the Psalms group on Friday, 16th February. On Friday, 23rd February, we will turn to probably the best-known and best-loved of the Psalms, The Lord is my Shepherd, Psalm 23. All are welcome!

We will have a guest preacher on Sunday, 18th, February: Revd Michael Merle from Johannesburg will be with us.

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.

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

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.


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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