free church

free church
1. (sometimes caps.) a church free from state control. Cf. established church.
2. (sometimes caps.) a dissenting or nonconforming church.
3. (caps.) Also, Free Kirk. (in Scotland) the church established by those who left the Church of Scotland in 1843.
[1825-35, Amer.]

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      generally, any Protestant religious body that exists in or originates in a land having a state church but that is itself free of governmental or external ecclesiastical control. Examples of such free churches are the Baptists in Scotland, where the established church is Presbyterian; the Presbyterians in England, where the Anglican Church is established; the Waldensian Church in Italy, where the Roman Catholic Church is established; and the Mission Covenant Church in Sweden, where the established church is Lutheran.

      In the narrower sense, the term free churches was first applied collectively to several nonepiscopal Protestant evangelical communions in England that convened the first Free Church Congress in 1892 and combined in 1896 to form the National Council of the Evangelical Free Churches. In 1940 this group merged with the Federal Council of the Evangelical Churches to form the Free Church Federal Council.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Free church — Free Free (fr[=e]), a. [Compar. {Freer} ( [ e]r); superl. {Freest} ( [e^]st).] [OE. fre, freo, AS. fre[ o], fr[=i]; akin to D. vrij, OS. & OHG. fr[=i], G. frei, Icel. fr[=i], Sw. & Dan. fri, Goth. freis, and also to Skr. prija beloved, dear, fr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Free Church — any of the Protestant religious groups in the UK that are not part of the Church of England. The Free Churches include the Baptists, the Methodists, the United Reformed Church and the Church of Scotland …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • free-church — free church; free church·ly; …   English syllables

  • Free Church — ► NOUN ▪ a Christian Church which has dissented or seceded from an established Church …   English terms dictionary

  • Free-Church — (spr. frĭ tschörtsch, »freie Kirche«), s. Schottische Kirche …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Free church — (engl., spr. frih tschörtsch), s. Freikirche …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Free church — The free church movement was one created to do away with the system of pew rents, wherein persons or families rented or bought the title to a particular church pew. At times they actually built the pews or modified them, at others, they rented… …   Wikipedia

  • Free Church — The proper noun Free Church may refer to:*Free Church of Scotland (1843 1900) *Free Church of Scotland (post 1900) *Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)ee also*Nonconformism *Free Presbyterian Church *Free church, for wider information on… …   Wikipedia

  • Free Church of Scotland — • Short introduction and history of the United Free Church. Briefly covers the secession, notes the events leading up to the disruption and deals with the events during the unification Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Free Church of… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Free Church Federation — is a voluntary association of British Nonconformist churches for cooperation in religious social work. It was the outcome of a unifying tendency displayed during the latter part of the 19th century. About 1890 the proposal that there should be a… …   Wikipedia

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