End of an era for Cornerstone House

After almost 50 years, Cornerstone House, situated on the corner of Ethel Street and New Street, Birmingham, will cease to be a home to Christian charities at the end of this month. From its time as the ‘Jesus Centre’ in the 1970s until today, Christians have used the city-centre building as a place of prayer, worship and mission. In the early 1980’s, the Cornerstone Christian Charity was asked if it would like to use the building as the base for its work. The annual rent of £400, fixed until 2026, was understandably viewed as a miraculous provision and the offer was accepted.

Over the following years, the building’s four floors were developed as a resource for Christian organisations to use as a base. Oasis, the Charity set up by Steve Chalke, established its base on the top floor for its ‘Christmas Cracker’ project. YWAM had its Birmingham base at Cornerstone House for a time. Under the leadership of Bob Dunnett, ‘Pray for Revival’ held weekly prayer meetings in the building. Birmingham City Mission has used the building as a base for its street evangelism for many years. The 1984 Billy Graham crusade in Villa Park was administered from the second floor. The ‘East & West’ Trust had offices in the building, as did ‘Arise Missions.’ ‘LIV,’ a South African mission to orphans, took over the top floor as the administrative base for its work in the UK. More recently, ‘Bringing Hope,’ ‘The Graham Tour’ and ‘Engage West Midlands’ have all occupied rooms at Cornerstone House.

Most notably, Cornerstone House has been the base for the World Prayer Centre since 1997. Under WPC’s auspices, hundreds of prayer gatherings have taken place in the building, and from there large prayer events at the NEC, NIA and the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, have been planned and administered. For World Prayer Centre leaders Ian and Pauline Cole, therefore, the forthcoming vacation of Cornerstone House provokes a mixture of gratitude and sadness. Ian has been based in the building for almost 40 years, and Ian and Pauline have worked there together for the last 23. An online gathering for thanksgiving for the Christian presence at Cornerstone House was held on Thursday (15 October). In the coming months, the World Prayer Centre’s staff will continue its national and international work from their homes.

Discover more about the ongoing work of the World Prayer Centre HERE.

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