About Us

We have four rural, ancient and individual churches in our United Benefice - all supported by thriving village communities.

All Saints, High Laver
St. Mary Magdalen, Magdalen Laver
St. Mary the Virgin, Little Laver
St. Mary the Virgin, Matching

 

St. Mary the Virgin, Little Laver became the third parish church in the Benefice of The Lavers when it joined High and Magdalen Laver in 1978.  
This was further expanded when they linked to the parish of Matching in 1985.

 

Although less than 20 miles from London, this west Essex Benefice is still remarkably rural.

At the start of the century, the population was mostly employed on the land but changing farming methods have all but eliminated the agricultural labour force. However, the local farmers continue to support the church in many ways including use of the farm land and facilities for services and social events.  

 

 

The communities are made up of a good balance of families, local employees and commuters and retired people.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are two church schools, one in the Benefice at Matching (VC) and one in the neighbouring parish of Moreton, both of which are attended by local children and have strong links to the Benefice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We work together as one church whilst retaining the individual personalities and characters in our four places of worship.
The churches are led by active, hard-working churchwardens and supported by two elected PCCs.

 

Lay involvement is greatly encouraged within the Benefice with several members using their gifts and abilities to enrich the life of the church:

leading services
administration of the sacraments
acting as sidesperson
reading lessons
leading intercessions
leading junior worship



We also have a faithful team of people who care for the fabric of the church:

production of the well-supported monthly parish magazine - shared by The Lavers and Matching

cleaning and repair of altar linen
church cleaning and flower arranging

grass cutting and churchyard tidying
setting up for services
working parties for church maintenance

 

And within the community:
taking the reserved sacrament to the housebound
visiting the housebound
Foundation Governor, Governing Body of Matching School