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.
Building Work at St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye
The building works associated with the new porch have now been completed and were blessed by the Bishop during Lydia's licensing service on October 6th.
We now have the benefit of running water, a kitchen area and a toilet at the church: much needed facilities which will open new possibilities for the use of the building. The stonemasons have very tastefully linked the new porch to the south aisle. The former wooden floor in the south aisle had to be removed as it was very poorly constructed and rot was everywhere. A new floor has been laid and tiled to match the flooring in the main aisle.
To enable the flooring work to take place the organ had to be dismantled and placed in storage until the building work was complete. The organ has now been rebuilt and it is a delight to hear it in use again at our services.
Our fundraising target was met thanks to the generosity of many parishioners and other friends of the church. We also benefitted from substantial grants from The Abberton Reservoir Community Fund, the Veolia Environmental Trust, The Friends of Essex Churches, The Beatrice Laing Trust and Allchurches Trust Limited.
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: 26 Dec 2016 at 10:29