AINSDALE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (1878 - 1973)
Ainsdale Congregational church was founded in the mid 1800's. The original premises was above the old Bank (What is now Morrells bar). The current building was constructed in 1878.
The first minister of the new church was the Reverend Samuel France. It appears (from the archives), he was appointed Minister after the opening of the new church. It is unknown who, if anyone, led the church prior to 1878. Reverend Samuel France acted as minister of the church until 1885. On 24th February 1888, whilst holidaying in New Amsterdam (now New York), aged 35, the Reverend became ill and died following a short illness. A plaque was placed in the Sanctuary in his honour.
There is no information on the ministers following, however, Reverend J.S Drummond, whose tenure took the church through the first World War, lost his son Corporal Alan Drummond within his first year of service to the church.
Towards the end of his tenure, Reverend Drummond began to sharing his preaching role with, Ronald Hardy, a 17 year old Sunday scholar.
AINSDALE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH (1973 - 2014) (Worshiping with Cornerstone Baptist Church since 2008)
In 1973, the congregational and presbyterian churches joined together as one church. This was a national merger, therefore Ainsdale Congregational Church became Ainsdale United Reformed Church. Prior to the merger, Reverend Walter Lazenby led the congregation through the change and into the new era. Shortly after the merger's success and the settlement of the congregation, Reverend Lazenby retired from the ministry.
Following the departure of Reverend Brian Acty in 1995, the church found itself with a dwindling congregation, a small amount of church elders and no minister...all hope seemed lost. Fortunately, in early 1996, God provided the answer. Reverend Robert Shallcross arrived at the church, also the minister at Formby U.R.C, he was able to share his time between the two churches. Reverend Shallcross saw the church through some major changes. One of which was the redevelopment of the church garden into a wonderful space open to the community.
In 2007/2008 the church again faced possible closure but in 2008, they joined with the local baptist congregation, Cornerstone Baptist Church to form a Local Eccumenical Partnership.
The "official" merger took some time to finalise and during this time, Reverend Shallcross had been called to take care of three struggling churches in Liverpool and departed in 2009. He was succeeded by Reverend Peter Lyth who took on the role of interim minister before becoming the church's official minister when we joined the Southport and Formby Team Ministry.
AINSDALE VILLAGE CHURCH (2014 - Present)
After 8 years of worshipping together, Ainsdale United Reformed Church and Cornerstone Baptist Church were officially and legally merged, forming Ainsdale Village Church. In 2014, a special service was held in the church. It was led by U.R.C Moderator Reverend Jackie Embry, as well as Baptist Moderator, Reverend Phill Jump. Present were members of both churches, both past and present, with invitations extended to Reverend Robert Shallcross and Cornerstone leaders Ralph and Margaret Gower.
In 2015 we were lucky to take part in a ministerial exchange with Rev. Alan Missen along with his wife Sue, who joined us for 3 months from Rangiora (South Island, New Zealand).
In late 2022, Reverend Hillary Smith moved to the village after joining the Team Ministry following the departure of Reverend Janet Calderley.
Ministers 1878 - Present Day
1878 to 1885
1885 to 1891
1891 to 1894
1894 to 1913
1913 to 1915
1915 to 1920
1920 to 1928
1928 to 1933
1933 to 1944
1944 to 1949
1949 to 1953
1953 to 1962
1962 to 1973
1973 to 1982
1982 to 1990
1984 to 1989
1990 to 1995
1996 to 2009
Reverend Samuel France
Reverend Frederick Smith
Reverend J.W McEwan
Reverend Gibson Deauville
Reverend B. Hargreaves
Reverend James Siddall Drummond
Reverend Frederick William Nicholson
Reverend John Bather Herring
Reverend Frederick William Nicholson
Reverend Wiliam John Leslie Paxton
Reverend David Arthur Haries
Reverend Frederick William Richard Lines
Reverend Walter Cecil Lazenby
Reverend William Wright
Reverend Stuart Jackson
Reverend Wilson Morris
Reverend Brian Acty
Reverend Robert Shallcross
Reverend Peter Lyth
Reverend Hilary Smith
Inducted on Tuesday, April 13th 1954 (7:00pm)
Inducted on Wednesday, June 12th 1963 (7:30pm)