Forest Church / Forest Church Press Briefing

Below is a press briefing to provide some of the background thinking behind Forest Church. If you'd like to speak to someone in person, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (also for articles and hi-res images) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

“Forest Church” is the name taken by loosely gathered groups of like-minded people who are not formally connected to any denomination (although the core team of each group will normally have members of one of the recognised Christian denominations). They are people who wish to engage with the way in which God reveals God’s self in the natural world. The meetings use poetic and open language to provide a safe and welcoming place for those of any faith or none who appreciate the spirituality of ‘The Green’.

Each group has its own flavour and range of gatherings. Examples vary from meditative walks, workshops on naturalist subjects to more formalised rituals. For some groups the latter tend to draw on the shape of Pagan rituals which have evolved to inhabit the outdoor space although the language often expresses the presence of Christ within the context of the Trinity, whilst also allowing for the fullness of gender expressed within God. Story and the historical myths of the land are celebrated and valued alongside scripture, thus allowing each Forest Church to be centred in its own location.

Many of those who attend do so because worshipping within the stone walls of a church provides them with little or no connection with God. Forest Church recognises this and therefore meets outside to celebrate the possibilities of our understanding of panentheistic (God-in-all-things and All-things-in-God) engagement and relationship.

We recognise that many of those who have left the church departed because of poor treatment by Christians or because of a severe lack of space for spiritual exploration, not because of the person of Jesus. One aspect of Forest Church is therefore to provide a space for re-engagement with the person of Christ amongst other spiritual seekers, trusting God that a relationship mediated through the Holy Spirit, by whatever name the Spirit is known to the individual, may be holy and transformative.

Our part in Missio Dei (‘The Mission of God’) is relationship and respect: friendship with no ulterior motive, and an openness and willingness to journey together as valued friends who learn from each other and honour the different paths we may tread. We count ourselves as spiritual explorers in the Christian tradition making creative use of liturgy that expresses this belief.

All are welcomed.

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