Cornerstone is an evangelical, Bible-based church, which belongs to the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Yorkshire Baptist Association. Its vision statement is ‘To Build Community in Christ’
The present formal membership stands at around 350 and covers a wide age-range. There is a total estimated church community of between 600-700 people. The wide variety of people in the church is reflected in the worship styles and ways of meeting. Overall we seek to reflect both the heritage of the church and the need to be contemporary and open to the Holy Spirit today.
Cornerstone is made up of three Gatherings or congregations each with its own ethos and particular mission opportunities. Its attendance is mostly drawn from the communities in which the Gatherings are based. Cragg Hill meets in a Victorian chapel in Horsforth on the western edge. Headingley morning and evening meet in the Headingley suite of buildings. Connect meet at the Copper Beech Hub in Bramley. The church has a holistic view of mission and is committed to evangelism and social action in North and West Leeds and beyond.
The buildings are used extensively by many community and church groups. Many members are involved in mission projects across West Yorkshire, and the church has a strong history of mission partnerships across the world,
Most people initially find a place of belonging by turning up at our main Gatherings. Details of venues and times are on our Gatherings
page. All of these meetings are attended by a wide range of people, and the morning services at Cragg Hill, Connect and Headingley include a full children’s programme. Meetings last about 90 minutes and refreshments are usually served at the end.
The majority of people find it helpful to belong to smaller Home or Cell Groups
which meet midweek across the city and many also develop strong friendship links through becoming involved in one of our mission projects.
Pastoral support for each other mainly comes through the Home Groups. The church is led by a Ministry Team and Eldership and is devolved into five congregations known as Gatherings, each with its own leadership team and particular mission strategy.
Deacons look after the fabric and finances of the church. Like all Baptist churches, ultimate responsibility for the life of the church lies with the church members who meet together formally at regular intervals to discern the mind of Christ. Financial support for our work comes from within through church members and regular attendees. If you want to know more about regular giving please contact us
via the link on this website and one of us will get back to you with details of how you can contribute.
The church’s history goes back to 1779 when sixteen ‘hardy souls’ were baptised in the River Aire and formed the first Baptist Church in Leeds. From this beginning, the church grew and in 1825 a new building in South Parade near the centre of the city was built. Over the years it planted other churches with the parent church moving to its present site in Headingley in 1909.
In 1993 a Gathering was formed in Adel. Cragg Hill Baptist Church was received as a Gathering of the whole church a couple of years later. A fourth Gathering, now called “Connect” and meeting in Bramley, was started in September 2002. In 2019, Rooted, our Tuesday evening alternative gathering was recognised as a Gathering in its own right. The evening service at Headingley brings people from all Gatherings together.
In 2020, South Parade Baptist Church became Cornerstone Baptist Church to better reflect the inclusive nature of its mission and ministry in North West Leeds.