Cornerstone Church Liverpool and Cornerstone Church Wirral have recently become members of Partnership and are excited to share a little about ourselves with you all.
The two churches are autonomous churches which are part of the umbrella organisation ‘Cornerstone Collective of Churches’. Cornerstone Collective was founded a few years ago after Cornerstone Church Liverpool had planted Cornerstone Church Wirral with the two churches intentionally remaining connected in relational and operational ways, with the vision that further churches could be planted from the churches if they worked together in this missional sense. The Cornerstone Collective of Churches was therefore founded as a communion of churches partnering together in the gospel to advance the mission of God across Merseyside.
The Collective allows churches within it to share the burden of many of the operational elements of running a church, in particular functioning as one charitable trust for all the churches (currently running four churches at different stages of church planting from well-established through to newly launched), as well as sharing more of the day-to-day operations such as finance/accounts processing and navigating charity commission and other legal requirements (including all of the ever-changing Covid-19 restrictions and guidance documents!) so that Pastors and Eldership teams are released to focus on the mission of sharing the Gospel in their local communities.
As advantageous as these areas are, the biggest strength of Cornerstone Collective is found in its relational communion between the Pastors, Church Planters and Elders of the different churches. The aim from the outset on this level was to create a platform where the leaders of the churches can meet to plan and support each other in any ways that are needed, enabling more experienced and/or established church leaders to share wisdom and expertise with those new into leadership, and for those looking to plant a church. Born out of this aspect of the vision for Cornerstone Collective was the Church Planter Residency. This is a training programme devised from the experiences of church planting of leaders within the Collective, alongside extensive external training materials to allow for new Church Planters to be as well prepared and supported for their journey as possible.
Cornerstone Church Liverpool
Cornerstone Collective finds its roots in the work that took place in a small Brethren Chapel on Ramilies Road, South Liverpool, starting in November 2009. The Elders and congregation of Ramilies Road Chapel had worked hard to sustain the church from its roots as a church in the 1930’s, but in 2009 they had come to the conclusion that they needed to invite a Pastor in to ‘replant’ and run the church if it was to reverse the decline in numbers it had seen for some time. Steve Robinson was identified as a good fit for this role, so he started working at Ramilies Road Chapel (with the name later changed to Cornerstone Church Liverpool) in November 2009, bringing with him his family and a small team of 13 people to support the replant. By God’s grace and abundant blessing, growth in numbers and conversions was seen in the coming years, so much so that in September 2013 Cornerstone Church Wirral was planted, Liberti Church Lark Lane was planted in February 2018 and Hope Church Kensington is publicly launching on 4th April 2021.
One of the key areas fundamental to the functioning and growth of Cornerstone Liverpool has been the establishment of Gospel Community groups; groups of people from the church who meet together in the week to share food, fellowship and Bible study, but also with an intentional missional focus – to reach our neighbours and friends with the Gospel, invite them into our homes and the church to hear the truths of the Bible.
The congregation of Cornerstone Liverpool has continued to grow (pre-Covid around 250 people gathering together each week across two services), having very quickly outgrown the original chapel building on Ramilies Road and after many years of prayer, we now own a former Baptist Church building half a mile away from our current home on Dovedale Road L18. This is a wonderfully exciting opportunity as we come out of the highest lockdown restrictions and start to meet here on Easter Sunday, as it offers so much more space for us to function as a church and as Cornerstone Collective, but still within our local community, with whom we have established great links. The building is in great need of renovation, but as a Grade II listed building we are incredibly blessed to be planning to restore such beauty into a building where God’s people can gather and more of our local community can be invited in to receive the Gospel message. We are so excited to see what God has in store for our church next!
Cornerstone Church Wirral
Cornerstone Church Wirral was a church plant led by Josh Walsh and started in September 2013. Josh had joined Cornerstone Liverpool with a desire to plant a church a few years prior to this and he worked tirelessly to get himself established with a team ready to launch in 2013. The location of Bebington was chosen as a community to be reached by the team with the Gospel, with the church plant meeting initially in hired rooms before being blessed immeasurably with a Brethren Church building (Bethesda Church, Bebington Road) as the congregation numbers at Bethesda Church had reduced to be too small to sustain the church. Built and established in 1927, the gifting of this building has been wonderful for the congregation of Cornerstone Wirral, but most importantly it has been fundamental in establishing the church spreading the Gospel across Wirral.
Since the planting of Cornerstone Wirral, the congregation has steadily grown, to now be welcoming around 150 people through its doors each week, with active Gospel Community groups across different parts of Wirral during the week. The church is now prayerfully planning for further growth and outreach across the region, with plans being made for the appointment of an Assistant Pastor, alongside ongoing work in the Church Plant Residency programme to enable further churches to be planted in the area as well. There is a huge need for the Gospel across the region of Wirral, and we are motivated and enthusiastic to live out the mission God has set us.