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.

Layer Parishes Rogation Walk 2014
The 'Layer' Parishes on their May 2014 Rogation Walk.   Photo © Geoff Russell Grant.

TWTMlogoThe Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree and its Team Ministry

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 ministry in the benefice.


Following the departure of The Revd Celia Cook at the beginning of January (2015), we await the appointment of a new Team Vicar who is expected to have day to day responsibility for ministry in the 'Layer' parishes and the parishes of Copford and Easthorpe.

The Revd Julia Russell Grant is an Associate Minister in the benefice Ministry Team. The Revd Peter Streete is an Assistant Curate. Both are unpaid. In addition to Sunday duties, Julia and Peter are each committed to two 'duty' days per week. Peter is mainly involved with the Copford and Easthorpe parishes.

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.

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

Until a new Team Vicar is appointed, the first point of contact for baptisms and funerals in the Layer parishes is the Revd Julia Russell Grant.

For baptisms and funerals in the Copford and Easthorpe Parishes, and for weddings in all five parishes, please contact the Team Rector, the Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw.

News (see also our Forthcoming Events page)

Team Vicar Vacancy - an update: The vacancy has been advertised nationally for a new Team Vicar to come and join our Ministry Team and to take a lead in developing rural ministry in a wider area than just our parishes. The hope is, that by giving the role a wider scope, we will attract a wider range of experienced candidates. The Team Vicar will have a role in training other clergy and ordinands, some of whom will be working in our parishes. We hope to be able to interview in March.

Confirmation - 2016: Bishop Roger will be visiting our benefice on Sunday, 26th June 2016 for a Confirmation Service.
Preparation for those who wish to be confirmed will start early in the New Year. Confirmation is for adults and young people aged 11 upwards who wish to make a public commitment to the Christian Faith. The preparation is open to anyone who would like to think more deeply about their faith. You can attend the course without committing yourself to being confirmed. Times and dates will be arranged to suit those who wish to come.
If you would like to find out more, please contact one of the clergy team.

Commemorating World War One: With the commemoration last year 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.

Site Map

Further Afield - Our Parishes in Context

Our parishes are in the Witham Deanery. Information about the Deanery can be found on the Witham Deanery Website.

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
Archdeacon Annette Cooper
The Ven Annette Cooper
Archdeacon of Colchester
Area Dean
Revd Sally Lodge
Revd Sally Lodge
Area Dean of Witham

Page updated: 13 JAN 2016