For a century before the Restoration there had been fierce debates about the nature and priorities of the Church of England. As established under Elizabeth, it embraced a theology generally seen as Calvinist while largely retaining the pre-Reformation system of church government. The Book of Common Prayer followed the Catholic Church in adhering to set liturgies, while reducing (but not eliminating) the elements of ritual. The people were officially required to kneel to receive communion, while the clergy were expected to wear a distinguishing gown, the surplice, and to make the sign of the cross over the baby’s head during baptism. Committed Protestants urged that the English Church be brought into line with the ‘Reformed’ (Calvinist) churches on the continent and in Scotland. Their initial concerns were to eliminate ‘popish’ ceremonies and to remove the restrictions which Elizabeth imposed on preaching: only if the Gospel was preached freely could England be converted to Bible-based Protestantism. Later in the reign, as the bishops sought to impose fuller conformity, these ‘hotter’ Protestants extended their criticisms to episcopacy (government by bishops); the 1590s saw a significant attempt to build from below a presbyterian system akin to those established in the Scottish and French Reformed churches. Whereas in the Church of England power flowed down, from the monarch through the bishops, in a presbyterian system power flowed up from below, at least ostensibly, as parishes sent representatives to local synods (or classes), which in turn sent representatives to regional synods and ultimately a national assembly. The attempt to create such a system in England challenged the crown’s control over the church and the nation’s religious life; once discovered it was suppressed.