The etymology of this word is generally assumed to be from the Greek, Kuriou oikos (house of God); but this is most improbable, as the word existed in all the Celtic dialects long before the introduction of Greek. No doubt the word means “a circle.” The places of worship among the German and Celtic nations were always circular. (Welsh, cyrch, French, cirque; Scotch, kirk; Greek, kirk-os, etc.) Compare Anglo-Saxon circe, a church, with circol, a circle.
High, Low, and Broad Church. Dr. South says, “The High Church are those who think highly of the Church and lowly of themselves; the Low Church, those who think lowly of the Church and highly of themselves”
(this may be epigrammatic, but the latter half is not true). Broad Church are those who think the Church is broad enough for all religious parties, and their own views of religion are chiefly of a moral nature, their doctrinal views being so rounded and elastic that they can come into collision with no one.
By the “High Church” now are meant those who follow the “Oxford Movement”; the “Low Church” party call themselves the “Evangelical” Church party.
The Church of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons.
The Anglican Church. That branch of the Protestant Church which, at the Reformation, was adopted in England. It disavowed the authority of the Pope, and rejected certain dogmas and rules of the Roman Church. Since 1532 generally called the “Established Church,” because established by Act of Parliament.
The Catholic Church. The Western Church called itself so when it separated from the Eastern Church. It is also called the Roman Catholic Church, to distinguish it from the Anglican Church or Anglican Catholic Church, a branch of the Western Church.
The Established Church. The State Church, which, in England, is Episcopalian and in Scotland Presbyterian. Before the Reformation it was, in both countries, “Catholic;” before the introduction of Christianity it was Pagan, and before that Druidism. In Turkey it is Mohammedanism; in Russia the Greek Church; in China, India, etc., other systems of religion.
To go into the Church. To take holy orders, or become an “ordained” clergyman.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894