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 three 'Layer' parishes are part of the Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree which came into being on 1st October last year (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.
The Revd Celia Cook is our Team Vicar and is based at Layer de la Haye. Celia took up her appointment as Team Vicar on 8th April this year, when she was licensed by Bishop Stephen. She has day to day responsibility for ministry in the 'Layer' parishes and the parishes of Copford and Easthorpe.
The Revd Julia Russell Grant is Assistant Curate (unpaid), working with the Celia and other members of the Ministry Team. In addition to Sunday duties, Julia is committed to two 'duty' days per week.
If you have any queries or wish to discuss a personal matter, please contact Celia in the first instance. If she is unavailable, you are invited to contact Julia or Anne-Marie.
Sunday Services: Details of the usual pattern of Sunday services in each church are to be found on the Services page of this website. This is a pattern we have maintained during the interregnum, following the retirement of the Revd Martin Clarke, but is subject to review now that Celia has taken up her appointment as Team Vicar. 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.
Appointment of Team Vicar: We are delighted to welcome the Revd Celia Cook as our Team Vicar. She was licensed by Bishop Stephen on 8th April during a very well-attended service at Layer Marney church. Celia has day to day responsibility for ministry in the 'Layer' parishes and the parishes of Copford and Easthorpe.
Please remember Celia in your prayers as she starts her ministry among us. Also her husband Richard, and their three children George, Phoebe and Emily, as they face the many changes that the move to Layer de la Haye will bring for them.
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.
The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell
Bishop of Chelmsford.
To be appointed
Bishop of Colchester.
The Ven Annette Cooper
Archdeacon of Colchester
The Revd Geoff Bayliss
Rural Dean of Witham
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Page updated: 14 APR 2014