CIMS Annual Branch Meeting & Triennial General Meeting  
  "An Irish Ecclesiastical By-way   
  - The rise and fall of a minority Christian Tradition"  
  Bishop McDowell with CIMS Officers  

In October the Men's Society was joined by members of other CIMS branches.

The evening commenced with the Triennial General Meeting chaired by CIMS Chairman, the Rt Revd Alan Abernethy. Officers and Executive Committee members were elected for the three years commencing 1 Sept 2013 and a Report and Financial Accounts for the previous three years were received.

This was followed by a talk by the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell entitled "An Irish Ecclesiastical By-way - The rise and fall of a minority Christian Tradition", a title which gave little clue to the subject for the evening. 

He began his story in France in 1789 at the start of the French Revolution which led to undermining of the authority of the Church and execution of clergy. In Britain and Ireland within the Church it caused discussion. The curate of Delgany parish, Glendalough called for the separation of true believers from the world and corrupt churches leading to the founding of the Christian Brethren, known today as Plymouth Brethren. In the C of E the Oxford Movement sought to distance Church and State.

Between 1826 and 1830 the Albury Conferences reported a spread of Pentecostalism. Following prayer meetings Apostles were appointed and each of the 12 were allocated parts of the world. This apparently Pentecostal sect however had liturgy based on the BCP and Eastern Orthodoxy and became known as the Catholic Apostolic Church. One of these was in Cromwell Road in Belfast. The last wedding before the church closed was Bishop McDowell’s parents, and the last Baptisms his older brother and sister – hence the interest.


Bishop Alan Abernethy (CIMS Chairman), Bishop John McDowell (Speaker), the Very Revd Gregory Dunstan (CIMS General Secretary), Canon Robert Jones (Malone Branch President), Charles Jury (Malone Branch Chairman), Arthur Macartney (CIMS Hon Lay Sec)

  Members listen to Bishop McDowell