Thurstable and Winstree Team Ministry

serving the parishes of Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Copford, Easthorpe, Messing, Inworth,
Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch, and Layer Marney

The 'Layer' Parishes
Layer de la Haye • Layer Breton with Birch • Layer Marney


C of E logoOur 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.

St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye, Harvest Festival 2018
St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye - Harvest Festival 2018.   Photo © Jon Smith.

TWTMlogoThe Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree and its Ministry Team

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 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 Anne-Marie Renshaw, based at Tiptree, is Team Rector and has overall responsibility for leading ministry in the benefice.

Sunday Services

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.

What's On - Our Diary

For information about future events planned for our Layer churches we recommend that you regularly check the Forthcoming Events page of this site.

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

Safeguarding Statement

The PCCs of the Thurstable and Winstree Team Ministry are committed to the safeguarding and protection of all children, young people and adults and have adopted the suite of Policy and Practice Guidance provided by the National Safeguarding Team for the Church of England.

News (see also our Forthcoming Events page)

Wedding Dress Exhibition at Easthorpe - June 14th-19th

From Friday 14th to Sunday 16th June there is to be an exhibition of wedding dresses at St Mary the Virgin, Easthorpe. People will be asked to display their wedding dresses for the weekend. Please let the organisers know if you would like to display your wedding dress. They will also need manikins for the displays; if you can help by lending one or more, they would be very grateful. Please contact Sue Collins (01206-211294) or email her email her or call Julie Worsam on 07887-690062.

The exhibition will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10:00am until 5:00pm. It will be open on Sunday from 10:00am until 4:00pm when there will be a short closing service to celebrate marriage, followed by afternoon tea. Refreshments will be available all weekend.  (Post updated 03/05/19)

Payments to Layer de la Haye Church's Bank Account

The church of St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye, has recently changed its banking arrangementa. If you make payments to this church by cheque, standing order or direct debit could you please note that the name of the church's bank account has changed. The name of the account is now St John the Baptist Church, Layer.  (Posted 28/05/19)

2019 August Sunday Services in the Layer, Copford & Easthorpe Parishes

To allow for clergy and other holidays, on Sundays in August there will be only one morning and one evening for our five parishes. As on 5th Sundays, the morning service will be 9:30am and the evening service at 6:00pm.
For details of the services and venues see the Services and the Forthcoming Events pages.  (Posted 16/05/19)

Layer de la Haye Church - Design Award

The design for the church's new South Porch, WC, and Internal Re-ordering was submitted for a Diocesan Advisory Committee Design Award. Judging took place on Wednesday 27th March and our scheme was awarded 'Highly Commended'. Congratulations to all who were involved in this project and in particular to David Jones who did so much to drive it from start to finish. (Posted 07/04/19)

Site Map

Further Afield - Our Parishes in Context

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.

Diocesan Bishop
Bishop Stephen
The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
Bishop of Chelmsford
Area Bishop
Bishop Roger
The Rt Revd Roger Morris
Bishop of Colchester
Ruth Patten
The Ven Ruth Patten
Archdeacon of Colchester
Area Dean
Revd Sally Lodge
Revd Canon Sally Lodge
Area Dean of Witham

Page updated: 02 Jun 2019 at 18:07