The Christian Community
in Forest Row


The Act of Consecration of Man is celebrated 
on Thursdays and Fridays at 9am and Sundays at 10am
There is an evening service for those who have died on the first Saturday of the month
The Sunday Service for Children is held fortnightly at 11.15am, followed by a story. 12th, 26th September, 10th 24th October

Other regular events

10am Discussion Group
Thursdays 8pm
Gospel Study Group


Please note that events can be changed and updated as the public health situation changes. Please refer to the latest Update

19th September, 11.30am
Religious Renewal Today
Talk to mark the beginning of the 100th year since the founding of The Christian Community - Tom Ravetz

26th September, 11.30am
The Weaving Essence of the Light
Performance by graduating students of The Speech and Drama Studio

1st-3rd October
Michaelmas Conference
further details to be announced

15th October, 7.30pm-16th October, 1pm
The Centre Holds
Conference with Michaela Glöckler – via Zoom and in person
You can register your interest via this link

31st October, 11.30am
The Members’ Meeting planned for 24th October has been moved to 31st October


We were grateful and deeply moved by the warm welcome that was afforded to Nataliia on Sunday. 

We are delighted that we can resume the Sunday Service for Children, which will be held fortnightly starting this Sunday. 

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. 

It seems possible to plan a little further ahead now, so you will see the list of forthcoming events is gradually lengthening. We will keep sending our weekly updates by email and print, which allows us to update events from week to week. For the moment, we use this as our rolling programme of events. Please do make sure to consult the latest Update for full details of any changes that may be necessary, or visit this link, where you will see a diary that is constantly updated and contains all the regular events as well. 

Confirmation Classes (for children aged 13-14) are starting on 1st October. Please contact Nataliia if you would like more information.

We now have a card reader, which means that you can make a donation or pay for books or coffee using a credit or debit card. Please ask one of the priests. 

Nataliia will be in Canterbury to take services this weekend. 

With best wishes,
Nataliia and Tom

Where is God? 

Is God above us in the heavens, in the sky? Is he far away, belonging to a different order of being? Or is God bound up with things on the earth, inside them even? 
If God were far away, how could he affect our world? 
If he were here on the earth, what difference would it make to pray to him, or think of him? Surely when we pray, we are calling on something that comes from outside the world? 

The picture of God far away and God nearby have existed alongside each other since the beginning of the church. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the word for God’s distance from the world has passed over into our vocabulary: Transcendence. This Latin word means that God surmounts or rises above the world. He can act upon the world from outside, first and foremost in Creation. Because he exists outside the world, he can give us a moral standard that transcends the natural order of things. The idea of a transcendent God is shared by the great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 

The word for God’s closeness is not so well known: immanence. This means that God indwells the world. The primal religions celebrate the presence of the gods in the phenomena of the natural world, praying to the spirit of deer before they set out to hunt, or to the sea before they entrust themselves to the waves. The ancient gnostics cultivated knowledge of how the world had emanated from its origin in God, condensing gradually as rank after rank of spiritual beings was born from the one divine substance. 

The story of Christian theology is the story of the struggle to account for the experience that the Incarnation of Christ brings the eternal, transcendent God into our world. How could Jesus, who lived in a particular age and spoke a human language, embody the Divine Word, who contains all the thoughts of God? There was a danger that Christians would worship Jesus as a man; another extreme denied the reality of the Incarnation, and said that Jesus only seemed to be human. 

The struggle of the first centuries resulted in a dogma, which tried to capture the living truth in a simple statement, the Creed of Nicaea (325). This emphasised the transcendent Godhead to such a degree that the world threatened to become empty of all divinity. God was far away, only accessible through the sacraments of the church.  

The Christian Community was born out of an awareness that this picture of the world, emptied of God, needs to be filled out again with knowledge of spiritual beings. Its founders were inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, who built a bridge in thought from experiences in the sense-perceptible world to the spiritual beings who create and sustain this world. What Steiner had achieved in knowledge, the founding priests set out to do – with his guidance – in deeds. Through the Act of Consecration of Man, we enter into a renewed relationship with spiritual beings. The threefold experience of God may start to grow: 
above us as the source and direction of our world. 
in and between us, as the indwelling Christ and the Spirit that unites us
beneath us as the ultimate ground on which the world rests.
- Tom Ravetz
The Speech and Drama Studio, in association with Agnes Zehnter “am wort” Dornach, Switzerland will be presenting a preview performance of two of its graduating students, Tamar Gat from Israel and Carolyn Rich from Canada. This will take place after the morning service on Sunday the 26th September.  Their full graduation programmes will be presented at Peredur Centre for the Arts on the 1st of October at 7.00 pm.
The students have been working towards attaining Goetheanum recognised Diplomas in Steiner Creative Speech with Geoff Norris of the studio, supported by Agnes Zehnter and previous teachers in America and Israel.
The programme includes texts by Rudolf  Steiner, Christopher Fry, DH Lawrence, William Wordsworth, W B Yeats, Kathleen Raine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, the Israeli Poet Rachel and more.
You are warmly invited to support the fruits of their artistic labours. 

Seeking accommodation for our new priest

We are still searching for a 2 bedroom house to rent for Rev. Nataliia Shatna, preferably in the Forest Row area. 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. 

She will be staying in a room at Emerson College until we find a suitable house.

Please contact Nataliia or Tom if you know of anything. 

Below is a link to a Podcast for August as part of the 100th year of The Christian Community events.

Three young people give us an insight into what they experience in The Act of Consecration of Man and tell us why are inspired by the Christian Community and why they are committed to the preparation of our Michaelmas Conference.

Follow the link below, (unfortunately it is only in German at the moment)

Skylarks will rebegin on Thursday the 9th of September at 4pm. Please contact Selina if you'd like your child to join:
The Children's Service recommences on Sunday the 12th of September at 11.15am

Gospel readings

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:
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 Piero della Francesca

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

Click here to listen to the talk on Chartres Cathedral 

Click here to listen to the talk on Leonardo (given by Andrew Wolpert)

Make a donation

Some useful resources

  Landline Mobile Email
Church 01342 825 436 n/a
Tom Ravetz 01342 458132 07749 662717
Nataliia Shatna n/a 07763746175
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  • See previous issues of our Updates here
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  • Gospel readings for the Act of Consecration of Man are listed here
  • Our Facebook page.
  • Perspectives, quarterly journal of The Christian Community. 
  • Header picture by Deborah Ravetz
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