1) As a verb it meant ‘to take to church’, where purifying rites would be performed.
A list of dues at Meltham church in 1764 had Churching 6d
Funeral 1s. Typically, ‘churching’ took place after a child had been born, and the mother attended a service in which thanks were offered for the safe delivery: 1520-1 he does not know whether she was churched by Sir William Sowyby ... or by John Barowe, North Muskham
1567 The xxvj day of October ... Rycherd Crosland hath payd for churching of hys wyffe, Kirkburton.