Church on the Corner began in 1994 when a group of nine young people were sent out from All Saints Church Caledonian Road to plant a new church. Six months later they moved into the derelict King Edward VII pub at 64 Barnsbury Road, and Church on the Corner was born.
Islington was changing fast, and despite the challenges the inner city was an exciting place to live. From the beginning COTC has been a place where the young professionals who were gravitating towards Angel and Upper Street could find a home. A church full of young people in an old pub challenged preconceptions as they lived out and proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ creatively and faithfully.
In 2004 the Church of England published its ‘Mission Shaped Church’ report, and the Fresh Expressions movement gave a framework for thinking about what COTC among others had already been already doing, encouraging new patterns of church life which were;
Missional – we are aimed at those on the margins of church or outside it.
Contextual – we work at engaging with the fast paced culture of central London
Educational – we take teaching seriously and discipleship is a priority
Authentically Church – we are not just a community, we are building church, informed but not constrained by our tradition.
Church on the Corner is a church for people who perhaps wouldn’t usually do church. Services are simple, thoughtful, and welcoming. Our worship is a blend of traditional and contemporary, and perhaps our greatest resource is the people who make up the community.
And we have learned a lot a long the way.
We don’t exist for ourselves. Our relationships within the churches in our parish are vitally important. Authentic church requires the richness and diversity that a socially, economically and ethnically diverse community brings.
We don’t hold on to what we have. There needs to be a flow as people grow and learn, and then move on to serve in different congregations. We exist to give members away.
We aren’t in competition with other churches. We exist for what we can do that others can’t but don’t duplicate what other churches in the parish are doing well.
We are called to serve. The way of Christ is the way of servanthood, and life is found in seeking others before ourselves.
So we are deeply rooted in our local area, committed to serving the parish that we live in and resource numerous community activities from a cold weather shelter to children’s summer clubs. We are not a big church, and have no desire to be one, we want to be an authentic local church and a small part of the kingdom of God.
Come and see what we are up to, we would love to have you be a part of it.
How did you get involved in COTC? Tell your story below…