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, 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 Revds Julia Russell Grant and Peter Streete are Assistant Curates (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

From the beginning of September (2014) there are some changes to the normal pattern of Sunday services we have previously followed in our five parishes, because of our new situation following the formation of the Thurstable and Winstree Team Ministry. Details of the revised pattern are to be found on the Services page of this website. The intention is that this pattern should operate for a sixth month trial period. The pattern of services will then be reviewed following an assessment of what appears to be practical and sustainable for the future.

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)

Lent Courses: Light Lent Lunches will be held at Heath House, Layer Breton on Wednesdays, February 25th, March 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th. During the lunches we will be looking at key moments in Jesus's life, led by members of the ministry team. For more details see the Forthcoming Events page.

Tiptree Churches Together is also running a Lent course, looking at five key events in our understanding of who Jesus is. Sessions will take place at 8-00pm on Tuesdays at Tiptree United Reformed Church and be repeated at 11-00am on Thursdays at St Luke's Church, Tiptree. Each session will be led by a minister of one of the Tiptree churches, as follows:

24th & 26th February - Jesus's Baptism, led by Jonathan Greenwood,
3rd & 5th March - Jesus in the Synagogue, led by Ken Thom,
10th & 12th March - Peter's declaration, led by Gordon Reid,
17th & 19th March - The Transfiguration, led by Liz Barnes,
24th & 26th March - The Entry into Jerusalem, led by Anne-Marie Renshaw.

Commemorating World War One: With the commemoration last year of the start of World War One, a new 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. The page is currently 'work-in-progress' as we hope to add more details of the fallen, in due course.

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
Rural Dean
Revd Geoff Bayliss
The Revd Geoff Bayliss
Rural Dean of Witham

Page updated: 08 FEB 2015