Our three parishes serve the Essex villages of Layer de la Haye, Birch, Layer Breton, and Layer Marney. We have a close working relationship with two of the other parishes in our benefice, Copford and Easthorpe. 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.
On this website you can find a range of information about our 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 - The Sanctuary
The three 'Layer' parishes are part of the Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree. The other six parishes in the benefice are Copford, Easthorpe, Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Messing and Inworth.
The Team Rector, with overall responsibility for leading ministry in the benefice, is The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw.
Team Vicar: This post is currently vacant (from 5th July 2021) following The Revd Lydia Smith's move to a post in the Diocese of Ely.
To discuss a baptism, wedding or funeral please contact the Team Rector, The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw.
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
We are committed to Safeguarding children and young people and vulnerable adults.
The PCCs have adopted the Church of England’s policies and best practice on safeguarding which may be found on the Church of England’s website: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/safeguarding
Details of our Parish Safeguarding Representatives are:
Layer de la Haye: Anne Hughes, Tel: 01206-734168; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Layer Marney and Layer Breton with Birch: Judy Bancroft - Tel: 01206-330067; Email: email@example.com
Public Worship and Private Prayer in our Churches
While the post of Team Vicar is vacant our normal pattern of Sunday services may be subject to more changes than usual. We recommend you check the Forthcoming Events page for any changes.
Four of our five churches are open for private prayer on the days and at the times shown below . These are subject to review as circumstances change.
Weekly Newsletter for Week Commencing Sunday, 17th October 2021
The newsletter (in PDF format) for the Layer, Copford and Easthorpe parishes for the above Sunday can be viewed and/or downloaded by using this link: Weekly Newsletter.
10:30am Service at Layer de la Haye on Sunday, 17th October 2021
PLEASE NOTE that the 10:30am service at Layer de la Haye on Sunday 17th October will now be Holy Communion, not Morning Praise.
On 24th October the 10:30am service at Layer de la Haye will be an All Age Family Service, not the usual 'fourth Sunday' Holy Communion.
Sunday Services on Zoom
PLEASE NOTE: There will be NO Zoom Service on Sunday 24th October, but that
this will return the following week, on Sunday 31st October.
9:30am Family Communion at St Luke, Tiptree
Zoom logon details are available from:
Christine Hall, Team Administrator - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , or from
The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw, Team Rector - Email: email@example.com
Team Vicar Vacancy and Appointment
The following announcement was made on Sunday 19th September by Anne-Marie, our Team Rector.
On Thursday evening members of our 9 PCCs met with Bishop Roger, Archdeacon Ruth and the Area Dean, Simon, to discuss the way forward for our vacancy process. There are significant financial constraints across the Diocese at present and stipendiary clergy roles are having to change to reflect this.
We will be advertising for a half-time Team Vicar to join our Team Ministry. This person will live in the Vicarage at Layer de la Haye and will be expected to work Sundays plus three other days per week. The Team Council will be meeting soon to start work on the parish profile and role description.
I am delighted to be able to tell you that Liz Barnes, who was Curate in our Team Ministry a few years ago, will be returning to work with us as a Self-supporting Minister. She and Mick will be living in their own house in Tiptree. We expect Liz to be licensed by the Bishop in November. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them back. Please pray for them and for the Team Council over the next few weeks.
Our Churches Open for Private Prayer
Our churches are open for individual private prayer (except during services) as follows:
St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye: Sundays and Wednesdays only, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
St Mary the Virgin, Layer Marney: Open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
If you would prefer to visit Layer Marney Church at a quiet time, please see the entries on our weekly news sheet under 'Coming Up This Week' to check when the church will be busy. In addition, other activities may also be taking place during the week when we are preparing for wedding ceremonies and other services.
St Michael & All Angels, Copford: Open daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
St Mary the Virgin, Easthorpe: Open daily from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
The above days and times are those effective as at 7th October 2021 but are subject to review. Please check our websites and Facebook pages for any changes.
If you are visiting any of our churches, please observe the government’s social distancing guidelines and use the hand sanitiser provided. To keep others safe, please do not enter if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Those who are shielding or self-isolating also should not visit.
Thank you to everyone who continues to give to our churches, by whatever means: it is much appreciated.
If you would like to help us with our costs by setting up a standing order or making payments direct (e.g. through internet banking) to one of our bank accounts, please contact your PCC Treasurer for the information you will need. (For Layer de la Haye parish this is Mrs Anne Hughes (01206-734168))
If you wish to make payments to the church of St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye, whether by cheque, standing order or direct debit, please note that the name of its bank account is now St John the Baptist Church, Layer de la Haye.
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 Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani
Bishop of Chelmsford
The Rt Revd Roger Morris
Bishop of Colchester
The Ven Ruth Patten
Archdeacon of Colchester
The Revd Simon Garwood
Witham Area Dean
Page updated: 14 Oct 2021 at 17:07