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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