In the past it helped to support the church (5)
I believe the answer is:
'support the church' is the definition.
The answer and definition can be both related to property as well as being singular nouns.
Perhaps there's a link between them I don't understand?
'in the past it helped' is the wordplay.
'in' says the answer is hidden in the clue.
'TITHE' can be found hidden inside 'past it helped'.
'to' acts as a link.
Can you help me to learn more?
(Other definitions for tithe that I've seen before include "Tenth part once paid as tax" , "Tenth part (as tribute)" , "Levy by church, e.g." , "property tax" , "Tax paid to church" .)