Our three parishes serve the Essex villages of Layer de la Haye, Birch, Layer Breton, and Layer Marney. We are part of the Church of England and our parishes are situated in attractive rural settings, just south of Colchester.
We welcome everyone who would like to join us for our services of worship, or our social events, regardless of the stage he or she has reached on their own spiritual journey. Meeting and worshipping together are essential parts of christian faith and life.
Thank you for visiting our website. Here we aim to provide a range of helpful and interesting information about our three parishes and their activities. Lower down this page are links to the main pages on the site, each with a brief explanation of content. If you would like to suggest additions to our pages, please contact the webmaster.
The 'Layer' Parishes on their May 2016 Rogation Walk. Photo © Geoff Russell Grant.
The three 'Layer' parishes are part of the Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree which came into being on 1st October 2013. The other six parishes in the benefice are Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Messing, Inworth, Copford and Easthorpe.
The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw, based at Tiptree, is Team Rector and has overall responsibility for leading ministry in the benefice.
The Revd Lydia Smith, based at Layer de la Haye, is Team Vicar and has day-to-day responsibility for leading ministry in the parishes of Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch, Layer Marney, Copford and Easthorpe.
The Revd Julia Russell Grant is an Associate Minister in the Ministry Team.
Details of our usual pattern of Sunday services are to be found on the Services page of this website. This pattern is subject to occasional changes, such as during special seasons in the church's year, so we do recommend that you regularly check for any changes by visiting the Forthcoming Events page of this website and looking in our monthly publications : the Parish Gazette, for services at Layer de la Haye, and Parish News for services at Layer Marney and Layer Breton.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
To discuss a baptism, wedding or funeral in the Layer, Copford and Easthorpe parishes please contact our Team Vicar, The Revd Lydia Smith.
Useful information for those considering a wedding in any of the churches in our benefice can be found on the page Wedding Information for Enquirers.
A Celebration of Julia's Ministry
As many will know, Julia Russell Grant retires as Associate Minister in July. We will mark the occasion and give thanks for Julia's ministry as a Priest and earlier as a Reader in our parishes, with a short Service at 4-00 pm on Sunday 15th July, at St Mary the Virgin, Layer Marney, followed by a 'posh tea'.
All are welcome, but to assist in planning catering it would be helpful to know who is coming. If you will be attending please email Judy Bancroft or text 07887 991 329 by the evening of Sunday 8th July.
We are grateful to Nick and Sheila Charrington who invite those attending to park at Layer Marney Tower, but please be aware that the Tower is open to paying visitors on that day.
Julia has applied for Permission to Officiate after her retirement, but will be taking a long break.
Data Privacy Notice
In compliance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force on 25th May, the benefice has prepared and issued a Data Privacy Notice. The Notice can be viewed, or downloaded as a PDF document, on the page Data Privacy Notice.
Commemorating World War One
Following the commemoration in 2014 of the start of World War One, a page has been added to this site with details of those from the parishes of Layer Marney, Birch, Layer Breton and Layer de la Haye who fell in two World Wars. Follow this link to view the page The Fallen of the Layer Parishes in Two World Wars.
Our parishes are in the Witham Deanery.
Witham Deanery is in the Diocese of Chelmsford. To learn more about our large Diocese which stretches from heavily populated East London to quiet rural Essex villages, visit the Chelmsford Diocesan Website.
The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
Bishop of Chelmsford
The Rt Revd Roger Morris
Bishop of Colchester
The Ven Annette Cooper
Archdeacon of Colchester
Revd Sally Lodge
Area Dean of Witham
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Page updated: 22 Jun 2018 at 15:10