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 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
St John the Baptist, Layer de la Haye - The Sanctuary

TWTMlogoThe Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree and its Ministry Team

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.

Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

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

Safeguarding Statement

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:

Details of our Parish Safeguarding Representatives are:
Layer de la Haye: Anne Hughes, Tel: 01206-734168; Email:
Layer Marney and Layer Breton with Birch: Judy Bancroft - Tel: 01206-330067; Email:

News(see also our Forthcoming Events page)

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.

Covid 19 Guidelines for Coming to Church - Updated: 9th December 2021

Following the Government’s announcement on 8th December 2021, the wearing of face coverings in church is now mandatory, unless exempt or under 11 years old.
We will also ask that social distancing is maintained where possible, especially for those who request it in order to attend church.
Please also remember to stay at home if you are not well, even if it is just a cold. Thank you for keeping everyone safe.

Weekly Newsletter for Week Commencing Sunday, 16th January 2022

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.

Sunday Services on Zoom

On and from 2nd January 2022:

9:30am Family Communion at St Luke, Tiptree

Zoom logon details are available from:
  Christine Hall, Team Administrator - Email: , or from
  The Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw, Team Rector - Email:

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.

Church Giving

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.

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 Guli
The Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani
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 Simon Garwood
The Revd Simon Garwood
Witham Area Dean

Page updated: 14 Jan 2022 at 11:17