mother church

noun

Definition of mother church

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