mother church

noun

Definition of mother church

  1. 1 archaic :  a parish church the mother churches … and rural chapels in the late Saxon and early Norman periods — Bulletin of Institute of Historical Research

  2. 2 :  the principal church of a locality or land; specifically :  a cathedral or a metropolitan church the mother church … which no visitor to these parts should fail to see — T. I. Ellis

  3. 3 :  the original church from which others have sprung the mother church of Unitarianism in America — Leo Pfeffer

  4. 4 :  the original church or communion in which a person has been nurtured returning to his mother church, he died in obscurity — K. S. Latourette

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