High Church Anglicanism
“Are you high and hazy or low and lazy?” “They are low church, so they have, like, guitars and a praise band.” “I’m pretty high church. I love all the smells and bells.” “I like the low church stuff, cause I’m just more of a casual person.” “I’m glad we’re going back to a more Anglican way of doing things here and emphasizing traditional worship more.” High Church and Low Church. This distinction is one that Anglicans will be all too familiar with. Unfortunately, the history behind this distinction has largely been lost so that today when people talk about “High Church” and “Low Church” they do so referring mainly to taste. The problem with this trend is that it ignores the significant theological differences that underpin High Churchmenship, Reformation Anglicanism, and Anglican Evangelicalism.
Today we consider the “High Church” movement. English seperatists (those who wanted the Church to be disestablished from the government in England) originally gave this name to those who advocated strongly for an Established Church of England, but more and more it came to be identified with those who would have been known as ‘Conservatives’ during the English Reformation because of their desire to hold on to more of the traditional elements of the churches teaching and practice. High Church Anglicans are sometimes identified historically with Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud. This movement dominated the Church of England from the reign of Charles I until the Glorious Revolution. Read the rest of this entry »