Kerk, noun

Also Kirk, and with small initial.
Kerke /ˈkɛrkə/, or Kerks.
1. a. Church; a Dutch Reformed church. b. A church building. Also attributive.
1818 Blackwood’s Mag. (U.K.) III. 406It would..have done the readers good, To see the pair to kerk or kermis going.
1820 W. Shaw in C. Sadler Never a Young Man (1967) 31The Dutch farmers..always honour me with the appellation which they give their own minister, viz. ‘Predicant’..and many..have expressed to me their thankfullness that they shall now have an opportunity of attending Kerk.
1837 N. Polson Subaltern’s Sick Leave 105On Sundays they sometimes attend the Kerk, and on others pay visits to their neighbours.
1862 Lady Duff-Gordon Lett. from Cape (1925) 135The Dutch farmers were tearing home from Kerk in their carts — well-dressed, prosperous-looking folks, with capital horses.
1888 Cape Punch 25 Jan. 35Then let us to our Kerks adjourn And thank the God of Right (For damning men with swarthy skins And saving those with white).
1899 S. Erasmus Prinsloo 36She would have Piet bring the money back every Saturday, lest robbers should break in on Sunday, when the bank people were at Kerk.
1905 P. Gibbon Vrouw Grobelaar 123He had..a kerk on his land, where his nephew, the Predikant, used to preach.
1913 J.J. Doke Secret City 10A spacious stone sanctuary has replaced the dear old kerk, and other ministers preach there to other congregations.
1935 P. Smith Platkops Children 173It was Sunday, an’ the people goin’ past the house to the Dutch Kerk.
1948 Press Digest No.5, 36A number of Afrikaans bodies and institutions, foremost among them the Universities of Pretoria and Stellenbosch and the three Afrikaans Kerke, had taken the lead.
1948 Press Digest No.13, 79Apartheid has Blessing of Kerk.
1948 Press Digest No.14, 84The Kerk never expressed its views on political matters, ‘but when times of great emergency for the volk arrive,..the Kerk has never scrupled to make its voice heard when it is forced to do so.’
1967 J.G. Davis Hold my Hand 43Suzanna de Villiers did not go to kerk any more. She did not go to church because the Dominee had told her she was a wicked woman and she was doomed.
1979 Fair Lady 10 Oct. 57Xavier came out for the full kerk wedding in Potchefstroom.
1988 P. Lawrence in Weekly Mail 17 July 7The racially-stratified society of the Boer Republics and the dubious virtues of volk, kerk and family.
1992 Sunday Times 20 Sept. 18The government’s decision to outlaw gambling casinos..may satisfy the kerk lobbies, but surely there is no legal or moral ground for putting hundreds of small operators out of business, while leaving the homelands’ gaming centres intact.
2. combinations
kerkdorp /-dɔː(r)p/ [Afrikaans, dorp village], see quotations;
kerkhof /-hɔf/ [Afrikaans, hof court], churchyard, cemetery;
kerkhuis /-heɪs/, /-hœɪs/ (plural kerkhuise, kerkhuises), also partial translation of kerk-house [Afrikaans, huis house], Sunday house;
kerkstoel /-stʊl/ [Afrikaans, stoel chair], see quotation 1927;
Kerkeraad, Kerkraad /-rɑːt/, the parish council of a Dutch Reformed church;
Kerkwet /-vet/ [Afrikaans, wet law], church law.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 257Kerkdorp,..A small village, consisting of a church and a few small cottages, which are only used by those who have built them, at service time.
1953 B. Fuller Call Back Yesterday 133Bethlehem began as a ‘kerkdorp,’ or a township which arose gradually about a church.
1906 De V. Hugo In the Kerkhof (pamphlet) 5‘Ghost or not ghost’ he muttered impressively, ‘I shoot anything that comes,’ and set forth determinedly for the Kerkhof.
1935 P. Smith Platkops Children 95There was Ockert an’ Alida nearly cryin’’ Ou-ma waitin’ for him in the kerk-house, an’ what would the Predikant say when he heard about it.
1965 C. Van Heyningen Orange Days 29During ‘Nachtmaal’, when all the farmers who could came into town, the shops did a roaring trade. The wealthy farmers all had ‘kerkhuises’ (small houses in the dorp to live in while they were in the dorp — ‘Nachtmaal’ was every three months).
1974 Evening Post 2 Nov.A group of old ‘nagmaal huise’..the oldest buildings in Alexandria were built by the early live in when they came together for ‘nagmaal’..Her last purchase is the ‘kerk’ or ‘nagmaal huis’ of the Scheepers family.
1927 C.G. Botha Social Life in Cape Col. 53The ‘kerkstoel,’ or special chair for use in church on Sunday, made of ebony or stinkwood.
[1827 G. Thompson Trav. 60My host, a jolly consequential looking person, was, I found, a Mynheer Van Heerden, a heemraad and kerkraad of the district (i.e. a member of the district-court and a churchwarden).]
1856 E.R. Murray in J. Murray Young Mrs Murray (1954) 53The Kerkraad are going to board four of my floors.
1865 The Jrnl 24 Feb.One of the honourable members for the district of Bethulie was discovered by the Raad to have acted as the agent of the Kerkeraad of that place and to..‘do’ the government out of a farm.
1878 H.A. Roche On Trek in Tvl 143They submit with much humility to the recognized authority of their ‘Kirk Raad’ or Council, composed of men like themselves.
1899 M. Marquard Lett. from Boer Parsonage (1967) 49As the Kerkraad filed in there was the deacon Philip Meyer with his head all bandaged up yet — wounded at Modderspruit.
1906 E. Prov. Herald 4 MayAt yesterday’s meeting of the Dutch Reformed Church synod..a delegate asked what action should be taken in cases of members of the Kerkraad who participated in dances and races.
1914 L.H. Brinkman Breath of Karroo 54They constituted the much-dreaded Kerkraad of the Dutch Church.
1920 R.Y. Stormberg Mrs Pieter de Bruyn 62The Kerkeraad took the affair up and presumed to lecture her on the subject of her dangerous attractions.
1934 M.E. McKerron Hist. of Educ. 16 (Swart)These Kerkraden had the right of visiting and examing the schools in order to guard against the dissemination of false doctrines.
1950 H.C. Bosman in S. Gray Makapan’s Caves (1987) 159What I can’t understand is how the kerkraad allowed Jacques le Français to hire the church hall for a show like that.
1955 W. Illsley Wagon on Fire 60They were compelled to face a painful interview with the Dominie and Kerkraad, who reprimanded, reproved, and disciplined very severely.
1975 Sunday Times 7 Sept. 3I have nothing to say at this stage as the matter is sub judice until the Kerkraad had discussed it.
1993 Weekend Post 26 June (Leisure) 4The affairs of the church are run by a Kerkraad of 18.
1849 N.J. Merriman Cape Jrnls (1957) 66In the Kerkwet of the Dutch Reformed Church, 1846, the minister of a church is referred to both as a Leerar and predikant.
Church; a Dutch Reformed church.
A church building. Also attributive.
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