25 June 2012 a post by Matthew Arnold

East Midlands Forest Church

There have been times in all our lives when we have experienced something of the great beauty of nature and sensed that there must be more to life than the purely physical, something that transcends ourselves and the environment we are in. Whether we are lying back, gazing at the full moon as it slowly traverses the night-sky, or breathing deeply the scent found in pine woods, whether tasting fresh honey from a beehive, hearing birdsong or feeling the breeze across our face, life is a multisensory experience we can choose to either stifle or celebrate.

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”
George Washington Carver

autumn equinox celebration altar

Certain places have particular spiritual significance, something the ancient Celtic peoples referred to as “thin places” – where the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds was believed to be “thin” enough for mere mortals to more easily see spiritual activity. With our spiritual eyes wide open, we may more easily see the “thin spaces” around us in our everyday lives.

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone but in every leaf of springtime.”
Martin Luther

East Midlands Forest Church is a community of fellow spiritual travellers wishing to explore the Divine Creator, present in the Eternal Spirit within our creation. We meet to have our spiritual senses awakened further by participating together with nature in the worship of its Creator.

Meeting outdoors, we have no building, for the trees provide the pillars, the sky our roof and the grass is the floor of our “cathedral”. Drums, chants and the creatures around us provide the soundtrack and the sun, moon, stars and fire provide our lighting.

Those who have a faith, whatever path that may be, as well as those with no faith are very welcome to come along, as all our gatherings are open, and there is compulsion upon anyone to take part.

Our rhythm explores and celebrates the seasons, rhythms and cycles of nature, primarily via the Wheel of the Year, finding inspiration in them together with the Sacred Texts of Jesus in order to foster a closer walk with the Divine Creator, each other and the environment we inhabit.

Samhain Leaf Mandala

The emphasis of each gathering is to encounter the Divine personally and corporately, with times of ritual and contemplation, as well as to encourage the spiritual transformation of all involved, using tools from the spiritual toolkit of the ancient Christian path.  Some gatherings will have a ritual nature, with the creation of a consecrated area in which we gather, a time for personal exploration of the particular theme and a time of sharing our experiences and blessings. Other gatherings may involve walks with a looser structure, learning about parts of the natural world around us and allowing plenty of time for spiritual exploration and opportunities to listen to what the Eternal Spirit may say to us, as well as sharing our experiences should we wish.

There are no experts here, we all seek to learn from each other to the benefit of everyone.

“Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts: the sight of the deep-blue sky, and the clustering stars above seem to impart a quiet to the mind.”
Jonathan Edwards

We generally meet on the third Sunday of each month, beginning at 2:30pm and finishing at approximately 4:30pm, with the potential for a pre/post gathering social at a nearby cafe or pub.

We send out our venue details by email just in case of any last minute changes, so if you want to be kept up to date with things, you can check out the East Midlands Forest Church Facebook page, or send us an email using the link below.

Come with a sense of adventure, expectancy and longing, and in the colder months warm clothing!

If you want to know more information about EMFC gatherings, including their exact locations, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

To read about the rationale behind EMFC and the process leading up to its creation, please click here.

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Your comments:

Hello Matt and Jo. I have just discovered this beautiful site and have dicovered something which speaks to my heart.
I am really interested in coming to one of the meetings….and seeing what unfolds….it just requires a little diary organisation. However first of all…I would be interested to know the location. I think the next meeting is at Farndon.
With love and thanks
Lizzie

#1. By Lizzie Foster-Bollons on August 11, 2013

Hi Lizzie,

Thanks for your email.

I’ve responded to your email,  so let me know if it doesn’t arrive and I’ll resend it.

Bright Blessings,
Matt

#2. By Matt Arnold on August 11, 2013

I should like to join you for your Forset Church celebration on 20 October. I’d be grateful if you would provide further info about time and location.

Thanks

James

#3. By James Mercer on September 01, 2013

Hi, we are keen to come and experience forest church, you are closest to us, could someone please let us have some information re meet ups, cheers and God bless x

#4. By Eagle Spits and Rachel on September 18, 2013

Just to say I pointed James to St Albans Forest Church as it’s his closest one to London at this stage.

#5. By Matt Arnold on September 18, 2013

Eagle Spits and Rachel,
Good to hear from you and I have emailed you the details of our next meet up. We look forward to welcoming you in our midst.

#6. By Matt Arnold on September 19, 2013

I met Matt today - a really genuine, engaging and interesting guy.

#7. By Graham on October 12, 2013

Good to meet you too Graham! It was a very encouraging day and hope assume good things come from it.

#8. By Matt Arnold on October 12, 2013

Hello, I would like to come to your next meeting. Please will you send me more info
Many thanks

#9. By Julie on November 12, 2013

Hi Julie,

Sending you an email with all the details smile

#10. By Matt Arnold on November 13, 2013

Hi, my boyfriend lives in Lincolnshire and I am hoping to move up there soon. I am often around at weekends and we would be really interested in joining you for one of your gatherings sometime soon. We both love nature and being outdoors, he is a Tree Surgeon and we camp/hike regularly. Hope to hear from you soon!

Ami

#11. By Ami on March 25, 2014

Hi
I found out about forest church yesterday. I am visiting the UK and am in Tewkesbury. I was wondering if you are holding a ceremony tomorrow? (13/07: Just saw your facebook page and it says it is cancelled :-(

Is there someone I cold visit or speak with about what you do?

Martin Samson

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