ACI began its life as far back as February 1994 when a number of Church of Ireland people met in the Landsdowne Court Hotel in Belfast to discuss the possibility of starting an organisation to uphold the integrity of Anglicanism within the Church of Ireland. The aims and objectives that were finally adopted are to “uphold the integrity of the Church of Ireland as a Catholic and Reformed Church, affirming Catholic faith and order within the Church of Ireland.”
ACI was launched formally on 5th November 1995 at Armagh beginning with a Eucharist in St Patrick’s Cathedral celebrated by the Dean, the Very Rev’d Herbert Cassidy, with Canon David Hutt of Westminster Abbey as the preacher.
In subsequent years, a programme of regular events has become well established, with each year including an open Seminar led by one or more distinguished speakers, a Quiet Day, and a Pilgrimage to one of Ireland’s holy sites. More recently, ACI has begun to complement such activities by a programme of publications.
It is worth emphasising that the aims and objectives of ACI are entirely consistent with the Preamble and Declaration which was drawn up by the Church of Ireland at the time of Disestablishment as the basis of the Church of Ireland and to which all clergy have to assent (see Book of Common Prayer 2004, p.776f). ACI is not committed to a narrow or extreme view of liturgical practice — on the contrary we support the fullest use of the liturgical resources in BCP (2004). Similarly, we advocate frank, thoughtful and generous discussion of the issues which are threatening to divide the Anglican Communion at the present time.
The organisation of ACI is in the hands of a Steering Committee which is elected at the Annual General Meeting of members. Membership of ACI is open to all who feel that they can support its objectives, and new members are always welcome. For a membership application form, please click here.