The Christian Community
in Forest Row

The Act of Consecration of Man 

The Act of Consecration of Man is celebrated on Thursdays at 9am and Sundays at 10am

Study Groups and Discussion Groups

4pm Poetry cafe via Zoom (fortnightly)
The Discussion Groups on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and the Gospel Study Group on Thursday evenings, will resume in September



Other Events

22nd August, 11.30am 
Congregational meeting
With updates on matters of concern and open discussion
Monika Knight will be joining us for this meeting to give an update on her health and current situation

28th August, 9am
Die Menschenweihehandlung (Act of Consecration of Man in German)
2-5pm Open Gardens

29th August
The Lord’s Prayer III: Living with the Lord’s Prayer. Discussion (Tom Ravetz)
7pm Social Artistic Evening

5th September
Induction of Nataliia Shatna
afterwards Welcome for Nataliia Shatna
3pm Family Event with Nataliia 


The church is now open in the mornings Tuesday-Saturday 10am-12pm. We have a wonderful art exhibition featuring work from two painters and a sculptor at the moment for you to come and see in the community room and foyer. 

Please wait to return to church if you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 10 days or have new symptoms. 

In the congregational meeting on 25th July, we agreed that we will not wear face-coverings in the church or when sitting in meetings. We need to maintain the flow in our public spaces, particular the foyer and entrance lobby, which are not large enough to allow for circulation with a lot of space. 

There will be coffee after the services on Sundays, and we will open the french windows in order to maintain ventilation in the Community Room. 

We are now sharing out communion in every service. Please leave space between each other when you stand at the front, and let the row before you sit down before you stand up to come forward. 

With best wishes,
Selina and Tom

Suitcases of the Soul

“Take nothing with you on your journey…” (Luke 9) 
How hard it is to travel lightly! Going on holiday means deciding what to take, preparing it, packing it into suitcases and carrying it to the destination. Upon return we unpack, wash and put away all we took with us.  There are other suitcases which have been packed, of which we are far less aware. Suitcases that are heavy and rarely get opened and even more rarely, are emptied.

Suitcases of the soul
Could these summer weeks be a good time to open them and start to unpack? What will we find inside? Old hurts and pain, trauma, guilt, perhaps hate and unforgiveness. There can be many heavy soul burdens  which we constantly carry around, sapping us of our energy, changing the way we think, numbing our emotional life. 

What to do? 
Firstly, this kind of unpacking should not be undertaken alone. Share the task with Him, He who beholds us, knows us, loves us, and wishes to share in what is inside and to lighten the burden. Share it too, perhaps, with a trusted friend or companion. Share it with the sea, next time you sit by the shore and let the waves take one of the burdens away. 

Next time we come to a church, whether in a service, or in a quiet visit, we could imagine laying some of those burdens at the altar. Sometimes the services at church have their own way of opening up places we have firmly kept shut. Sometimes it is someone’s genuine heartfelt question of “how are you?” which can open suddenly an old wound. Sometimes an experience in on holiday, or visiting a new place, can suddenly make us aware of the unseen baggage.

There is a sacrament that we offer for such unpacking;  the Sacramental Consultation. This too is a possible place, to unpack in the presence of Christ, and with the help and support of a priest and then we could leave those things at the altar. In the service that follows the next day, the priest accompanies the spiritual process of letting go and the burdens being lightened and transformed.  

When space is made in the soul from our stored up burdens, there is space for the abundance of the spirit. Like the disciples who were sent out with instructions to take nothing with them, they learned to rely on what the Spirit gave them to heal people. And yet when they returned and worried about how to feed 5,000 people, they had a further lesson to learn. Christ showed them the secret of spiritual abundance; free yourself of the burdens of the past through a relationship with Christ and let space for the Holy Spirit to work in you and allow the Father God to bestow. 

The Heavens wish to fill our pockets, our hearts, with love, peace, power. 
 The disciples learned that after Christ had blessed the small amount of food they could provide, it became enough for five thousand. In the church on a Sunday, we may only be fifty or so people, but we offer up what we are, and make soul space in ourselves and the peace and power that flows from our services are enough for five thousand. 

Let us courageously turn to the endeavour of unpacking our burdens and receiving the spirit of peace, which fills what was previously dark, with a refreshing lightness. 

~ Selina

The Lord’s Prayer

In three sessions with presentation and discussion, we will turn to this great prayer of humanity. 
In the background is a practical question, namely that we are close to making the change in the rituals from Thee and Thy to You and Your. In many cases, it is relatively straightforward to make the change. 
In the case of the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, there are a number of possibilities. At our last synod, the priests agreed to open this discussion out to the congregations. In order to avoid possible misunderstandings, we need to make it clear that the priests’ circle it carries the responsibility for this decision and we are not asking for a vote. However, it would help us in our decision-making to hear the spectrum of opinion in the congregations. 
The second session was held by Nigel Lumsden, and in the third session, we will leave time to hear reflections on the translation question. 

1st August    Addressing the Heavenly Father (Tom Ravetz)
15th August  Heavens above and Heavens below (Nigel Lumsden)
29th August  Living with the Lord’s Prayer. Discussion (Tom Ravetz)

Seeking accommodation for our new priest

We are searching for a 2 bedroom house to rent for Rev. Nataliia Shatna. So far we have not had any luck because of the huge demand for houses to rent in Forest Row and the scarcity of them becoming available. 

In case we can’t find something before her arrival on the 1st of September, does any of you know of an annexe or self-catering possibility which we could rent for perhaps 1-2 months? By this time we hope to have secured a house and tenancy for Nataliia.

Please contact Selina:
We've decided to repeat the Open Gardens as the weather (and possibly Wimbledon!) deterred many from coming .
Those who did venture out said they had such a lovely afternoon and suggested we could have it again in better weather.

Come along to church on Saturday afternoon the

28th of August 2-5pm

for a ticket and map.
Poetry Cafe - meeting at the church ! Tuesday 31st August 4pm
Next Theme - open contributions on the theme of late summer

This week we explored again the long poem "Michael" by Wordsworth and a poem written by a participant that was partly inspired by Wordsworth.

Next time we will actually be meeting in the community room and are very much looking forward to it! All are invited to come and listen and to come and share any poems written by yourself, or by poets you love. 

The poetry cafe will then  in a new format with meetings twice a month, once online and once meeting at church. 


Gospel readings

Sunday, August 22    …    Luke 18:35-43
Sunday, August 29    …    Mark 7:31-37
Sunday, September 5    …    Luke 10:1-20
Sunday, September 12    …    Luke 17:5-24
Sunday, September 19    …    Matthew 6:19-34
Sunday, September 26        Luke 7:11-17
Free Thursday Art History talks at 12 noon

Each session will be new content and will not be a direct follow-on from the week before but we will hold to our ongoing theme of the evolving of consciousness as it can be found in art over the ages of time.

Please note our new programme is as follows:
26th - Michelangelo, Raphael Santi, plus various other Artists
2nd - Leonardo da Vinci — lecture by Andrew Wolpert
9th - Landscape and Sky-scape : Constable, Casper David Friedrich, Turner
16th - Impressionists and Expressionists - Deborah Ravetz will join us.
23rd - Modern Art - Deborah Ravetz
30th - Ninette Sombart - a Christ inspired artist in colour, form and depth.

I look forward to welcoming you to our journey through the ages in art and the unfolding of human consciousness.
Greetings and good wishes,

Peter van Breda

Join Zoom Meeting at 11.50am ready for 12 begin via this link.
Meeting ID: 883 2856 7566
Passcode: 797461

Listen to Previous Art Talks:

Click here to listen to the talk on Pre-Renaissance Art 

Click here to listen to the talk on Chartres Cathedral 

Social Artistic Evening
Sunday 29th August at 7pm

Join us for an informal evening where the community room 'stage' is open for anyone to share a song an instrumental piece, a poem or a sketch, or anything you like!

Come to be the much-needed and appreciative audience or start practising a contribution that you may like to give on the night!
Make a donation

Some useful resources

  Landline Mobile Email
Church 01342 825 436 n/a
Selina Horn 01825 790452 07742 280147
Tom Ravetz 01342 458132 07749 662717
  • You can download a shortened, printable version of this email here.
  • Reply to this email direct or by clicking this link
  • Gospel readings for the Act of Consecration of Man are listed here
  • Our Facebook page.
  • Perspectives, quarterly journal of The Christian Community. 
  • The website of The Christian Community in Great Britain and Ireland has a blog where we are posting some of the material that priests have been sending their congregations in the last weeks and months. There is a facility to subscribe to that directly. 
  • Header picture by Deborah Ravetz
Facebook for The Christian Community Forest Row
Website of The Christian Community Forest Row
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