Following the retirements of the Revd Martin Clarke and the Revd Dr Chris Garland in November 2012, the Diocese of Chelmsford decided to incorporate the parishes for which they were formerly responsible, together with two other parishes, into a new benefice covering nine parishes. The Pastoral Scheme providing for the creation of this new benefice, the Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree, came into operation on Tuesday, 1st October 2013.
Practical Implications of the Reorganisation:
Our three parishes of Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch and Layer Marney are now part of the Benefice of Thurstable and Winstree.
Each of the nine parishes retains its distinct identity and each of the nine churches retains its status as a parish church.
The benefice will normally have two full-time stipendiary priests, a Team Rector and a Team Vicar, leading a Ministry Team.
The current Team Rector is the Revd Anne-Marie Renshaw. Anne-Marie has overall responsibility for leading the Ministry Team and day to day responsibility for the parishes of Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree, Great Braxted, Messing and Inworth. She lives in the Rectory at Tiptree.
The current Team Vicar is the Revd Lydia Smith. Lydia has day to day responsibility for the parishes of Copford, Easthorpe, Layer de la Haye, Layer Breton with Birch and Layer Marney.
The Ministry Team includes other licensed and authorised ministers (clerical and lay), including the Revd Julia Russell Grant who is an Associate Priest.
The Parishes and Churches of the Benefice
Tolleshunt Knights with Tiptree - St Luke, Tiptree