Update for Forest Row, Sunday, 28th January, 2024

To pray for another person – not to wish for things for them, or to think that we know better than they do, what they need, but to pray for them with an open heart – that is one of the most selfless acts. We bear the tension that comes when we bring our own will to stillness while avoiding the fatalism that would tell us: God’s will will be done whatever I do. Bishop John Taylor expressed it beautifully:

When we realize that intercession is an exercise in awareness it brings a great change to our understanding of it. When praying for others we allow ourselves to be caught in the current of communication which the Spirit gives between us and another, and most all between us and God.
True intercession places another person more firmly in the arms of the divine love which will never infringe that person’s freedom, but which works through bestowals of awareness and recognition, through evocation and response, through the offer of choice and the glimpse of possibility.

John Taylor, The Go-Between God

All of this forms a background to this week’s gospel reading: while it will be some time before our word has the power to rescue someone from the brink of death, we can be close to each other with angelic forces, when we pray for each other.

Irina Ratushinskaya bore witness to what it can mean to be the recipient of such prayer:

And then, unsleeping, I would know
A-huddle by an icy wall:
Someone is thinking of me now,
Petitioning the Lord for me,
My dear ones, thank you all
Who did not falter, who believed
in us!

Believe Me, by Irina Ratushinskaya

There will be an Open Congregational Meeting on Sunday, 28th at 11.30am. We will take the opportunity to look back on the Holy Nights and look forward to the next programme. Please bring any questions and concerns.

The study group on the Psalms will commence next Friday, 2nd February. Tom Ravetz will be facilitating. We will start by looking at Psalm 22, which Rudolf Frieling called the Passion Psalm of the Redeemer.

Selina Horn, 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.

Tom will be in Ringwood 26-27 January


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.


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.

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Gospel readings for 2023-24

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