church


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darken a church door

To attend church or a service therein. I was raised Catholic, but I haven't darkened a church door since I was 15 years old.
See also: church, darken, door

broad church

1. A label referring to a group of 17th-century English theologians who adhered to some practices of the Church of England but disregarded other elements of the Church, such as doctrine and liturgical practice. Primarily heard in UK. The broad church movement in 17th-century England may have helped shape the more liberal views and practices of modern-day Christianity.
2. A group or organization composed of various types of people with differing views, opinions, or philosophies. Primarily heard in UK. The Independent Party is a broad church as its members hold wildly differing opinions on how to best solve the problems facing society today.
See also: broad, church

be as poor as church mice

To have little or no money. Now that we're paying a mortgage, we're as poor as church mice.
See also: church, mice, poor

church ain't out till they quit singing

Something is not over yet. Yes, we've had some setbacks this season, but that's no excuse to give up. Church ain't out till they quit singing!
See also: church, out, quit, singe, till

church key

A tool used to remove caps from glass bottles and puncture lids on cans. The phrase can also be used simply as slang for a bottle opener. Be sure to bring a church key with you so we can open up the bottles! Here, use this church key to open that can of soup.
See also: church, key

(as) poor as a church mouse

Very poor; having little or no money. My father was as poor as a church mouse growing up, so his sole focus was to give his kids every opportunity in life that he missed out on. We've become poor as church mice ever since the bank raised the interest rates on our mortgage.
See also: church, mouse, poor

Church ain't out till they quit singing.

Rur. things have not yet reached the end. Charlie: No way our team can win now. Mary: Church ain't out till they quit singing. There's another inning to go.
See also: church, out, quit, singe, till

church key

a two-ended device used to remove bottle tops and to pierce a hole in can lids. I'm looking for the church key so I can open this beer. She opened the can of tomato juice with the church key.
See also: church, key

nearer the church, the farther from God

Prov. Church officials, or people who live near the church, are not truly pious. Jill: I think our pastor is an evil man. Jane: I didn't think evil men could be pastors. Jill: Of course they can! The nearer the church, the farther from God.
See also: farther, god, nearer

*poor as a church mouse

 and *poor as church mice
very poor. (*Also: as ~.) My aunt is as poor as a church mouse. The Browns are poor as church mice.
See also: church, mouse, poor

poor as a churchmouse

Having little or no wealth and few possessions, as in She's poor as a churchmouse, so you can't expect her to donate anything. The reason for this long-used simile is unclear, but most believe that, since churches are not known for storing food, a mouse inside one would fare poorly. It has survived such earlier phrases as poor as Job. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: churchmouse, poor

a broad church

BRITISH
You call an organization, group, or area of activity a broad church when it includes a wide range of opinions, beliefs, or styles. The movement is presently a very broad church, comprising, amongst others, trade unions, the church and the business community. Rock music in France is a very broad church indeed.
See also: broad, church

poor as a church mouse

OLD-FASHIONED
If someone is as poor as a church mouse, they have very little money. I was as poor as a church mouse, but I bought that wreck of a car. I suspect we'll continue to be poor as church mice. Note: Mice living in a church are unlikely to find much to eat as there is no kitchen or food cupboard.
See also: church, mouse, poor

poor as a church mouse (or as church mice)

extremely poor.
Church mice may be considered to be particularly poor or deprived in that they do not have the opportunity to find pickings from a kitchen or larder.
See also: church, mouse, poor

a broad ˈchurch

(British English) an organization that accepts a wide range of opinions
See also: broad, church

(as) poor as a church ˈmouse

very poor: She was as poor as a church mouse, living on a tiny pension. OPPOSITE: (as) rich as Croesus
See also: church, mouse, poor

church key

n. a beer can opener designed to puncture a can, leaving a triangular hole; a bottle opener. (Older. No longer widely known, but still in use. One type of bottle opener is formed from metal following the outline of a large keyhole. This may have contributed to the origin of this term.) Where is the church key when I need it?
See also: church, key

See you in church

and CUIC
sent. & comp. abb. See you around.; See you where I normally see you. (Has nothing to do with an actual church.) Bye. See you in church.
See also: church, see
References in classic literature ?
If the Church was not dumb, it will be found not dumb in the books.
I am afraid the Church was dumb," the Bishop confessed.
There was still only a sprinkling of people in the church when we went in and took our places in the old-fashioned, square King pew.
We might be excused for so doing, for seldom were the decorous aisles of Carlisle church invaded by such a figure.
Now all the people went out of church, and the old lady got into her carriage.
She danced round the church corner, she could not leave off; the coachman was obliged to run after and catch hold of her, and he lifted her in the carriage, but her feet continued to dance so that she trod on the old lady dreadfully.
As I moved away from the back of the church, and passed some of the dismantled cottages in search of a person who might direct me to the clerk, I saw two men saunter out after me from behind a wall.
Neither he nor his companion attempted to speak to me, and both kept themselves at a respectful distance, but the motive of their presence in the neighbourhood of the church was plainly apparent.
We shall e'en have one, since we are come into the church.
Nay, that shall not be," protested the Bishop; "the banns must be cried three times in the church.
But now, upo' Christmas-day, this blessed Christmas as is ever coming, if you was to take your dinner to the bakehus, and go to church, and see the holly and the yew, and hear the anthim, and then take the sacramen', you'd be a deal the better, and you'd know which end you stood on, and you could put your trust i' Them as knows better nor we do, seein' you'd ha' done what it lies on us all to do.
Never mind, Philip, you won't be a naughty boy next Sunday, will you, and then your uncle will take you to church with him in the evening.
The Presbyterian Church held itself somewhat aloof from the other churches of Winesburg.
The Methodists have a good choir; and you can't deny, Cornelia, that the singing in our church is awful since the split in the choir.
At church "sociables" he was always called upon to read poetry; and when he was through, the ladies would lift up their hands and let them fall helplessly in their laps, and "wall" their eyes, and shake their heads, as much as to say, "Words cannot express it; it is too beautiful, TOO beautiful for this mortal earth.