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.
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.
Layer de la Haye Church Tower Open to Visitors in August
The Church Tower at Layer de la Haye will again be open on Sunday afternoons in August. An opportunity to see the historic bells and enjoy the fine views over Abberton Reservoir from the tower roof. More details are available on the Forthcoming Events page.
On 22nd July BBC Essex broadcast interviews with our Team Vicar, the Revd Lydia Smith, and our Tower Captain, Martin Piper, about the church tower, the bells and the splendid views from the top of the tower. Click on this link to hear the interviews about 'My Church's USP (Unique Selling Point)' (This is a 3.3MB MP3 file and the clip runs for about 9 minutes.)
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: 23 Jul 2018 at 11:12