Many people can describe transcendent moments in nature where they feel deeply connected to something bigger than themselves and Forest Church is a way to explore that connection within community.
Forest Church is a fresh expression of church drawing on much older traditions when sacred places and practices were outside – but it is also drawing on contemporary research that highlights the benefits of spending time with nature in wild places.
Forest Church isn’t just normal church happening outside, instead it attempts to participate with creation. And it isn’t just a fellowship group doing an outside activity, we aim to learn, worship, meditate, pray and practice with the trees, at the spring, along the shore….
Forest Church Dyffryn Clwyd is about building on our connections with nature. We might think we are very connected to our surroundings, but think for a moment, when was the last time you stopped to touch a leaf or feel the bark on a tree or run your hands through grass?
The natural world, of which we are a part, is as alive as we are. As children of dust, it is in our nature to be connected to all that comes from it. Often these connections have been lost over time or with our nurture in an environment which sees the outdoors as foreign or dirty as if we could somehow become contaminated by it.
The first gathering here in North Wales took place in November 2013 though there have been many other gatherings over the past year or so. Momentum is gathering for this. You can see what has been going on at www.forestchurch.co.uk There is also a facebook group which you can follow.
Other Forest Church groups exist around the country so if this one is not accessible to you, others may be better located. There is a map on the Forest Church website of all the active groups.
Forest Church begins to explore what it might mean to break down the barriers that we have put up between ourselves and the rest of all that is natural. As we begin to listen, touch and work with the earth lightly with an open mind we may begin to connect to what lies beyond all that we can conceive. We may begin to read and understand what ancient peoples called the ‘Big Book of God’.