Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

N0. 20. APRIL, 1962.

Minister: Revd. TOM CALVERT, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Clerk's Office, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. R. A. BLACK, 35 Eskdaill Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. MALLINSON, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Motto Text for April—"What then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?" Matthew 27. 22.

Letter from the Minister

Dear Fellow-Member,

During this month Christian people all over the world will be giving some time in meditation upon the sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus. And for this reason I have chosen some words for our April Motto Text that come from the lips of Pilate as he concluded the trial of our Lord Jesus. At the time of the Passover it was customary for the Roman Governor in Jerusalem to release a prisoner at the choice of the Jews. On this occasion, and partly with the hope that it would enable him to release Jesus, Pilate asked the Jews to choose between two notable prisoners, Jesus Barabbas who had been committed to prison for sedition and murder, and Jesus Christ who was being falsely accused by the Jews, out of envy. The people chose Jesus Barabbas to be released unto them, and this prompted this question of our Motto Text. "What then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ?"

What Pilate and the Jews did with Jesus

We know what Pilate did with Jesus in order to please the Jews, that he had Him hounded to Calvary and put to a cruel death. But this did not harm the cause of Christ's kingdom. Rather it marked the real beginning of Christ's rule over the hearts of men of all nations and tongues. Jesus was not afraid of going to the Cross. He knew that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, and concerning his own cross he had already said, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

We cannot get rid of Jesus by crucifying him. The Jews discovered that Jesus couldn't be got rid of by condemning him to death. They didn't want Jesus to be followed and so they put him to death, but within three days they discovered that he was far more alive than he had been before the cross. Dr. Fosdick has an essay in one of his books on "what Christians have done to Christ", and his point is that we are more successful in getting rid of Jesus by worshipping him than by crucifying him. I quote the following passage which of course was written some thirty years ago. "Statisticians reckon that there are about 682,000,000 Christians on the planet. A secular journalist remarked the other day that he wondered where they lived. I wonder not only where they live but how they manage to get rid of the real Jesus, and to escape his ethical demands on life. Not by crucifying him. They would not do that. Not by denying him. They would not do that. Strange anomaly. They get rid of him by adoring him, by making him God, by pushing him off to some distant heaven, by thinking of him mainly over the high altar of the church, safely distant from their daily lives, by putting him into magnificent creeds of the words of which Jesus himself would not know the meaning, anything except face up to his demand, "Follow Me". And I believe that here lies the greatest weakness of our divided church in the world today. lf we would go back to the New Testament and read what he asked of men and women long before creeds were drawn up around him, he said to men, "Follow Me" but never on any occasion did he say "Worship Me".

Pilate couldn't be indifferent, as the masses are today.

Pilate had to do something about the prisoner standing before him, release him or condemn him. And in order to keep the favour of the Jews he condemned one whom he knew to be guiltless. But the question of what are we going to do about Jesus is much easier handled by men and women today, they can just ignore the whole question and act as though Jesus had never lived, as if he had never died. And I believe that people are hurting the Lord Jesus and the cause of his kingdom far more by indifference than Pilate and the Jews did by open opposition and the cross. This is a point Studdert Kennedy makes in some lines in which he sought to interpret the mind of the soldier in the first world war:

"When Jesus came to Golgotha. they hanged him on a tree:

They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;

They crowned him with a crown of thorns, red were his wounds and deep.

For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed him by;

They never hurt a hair of him, they only let him die:

For men had grown more tender, and they would not give him pain:

They only just passed down the street, and left him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, Forgive them, for they know not what they do,

And still it rained the winter rain that drenched him through and through;

The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,

And Jesus crouched against the wall and cried for Calvary."

It is told of Clovis, king of the Franks, that when he first heard the story of the crucifixion, he was so moved that he cried, "If I had been there with my Franks I would have avenged this wrong." We can understand how Clovis felt, but truly the crucifixion didn't harm the cause of Christ's kingdom in the world. But there is one thing that is harming the Lord Jesus and that is hindering the forwarding of his plans to win this world back to the heart of God, and it is not people like Pilate or the Jews who are openly seeking to destroy Christ but the masses of men and women who ignore Jesus—who spend their days in utter indifference to whether Jesus ever lived or died or rose victorious on the third day.

Pre-Easter Meditations

In many of our Churches, especially in the cities and large areas of population, special Services are held throughout the week leading to Easter Sunday. I had hoped we might have organised a Service on what is called Maundy Thursday in our diaries, as this is the night in which our Lord instituted the sacrament of the Last Supper. On the same night he was betrayed after the scene of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. I had also hoped we might have had a Service on Good Friday, on the day when Jesus was crucified. This has been said to be the only day in the whole year when among Christian people we avoid driving a nail, and when the blacksmith has always been regarded as on holiday. Perhaps in another year and in co-operation with the other churches in the district it may be possible for us to observe the week in which our Lord suffered, and Easter in the way that is traditional in many lands, and which contributes much to the deepening of the spiritual life of Christian people. Meantime I am placing at the church door a number of leaflets prepared by the Church of Scotland Committee on Publications, entitled "Jesus Christ The Light of the World." I would be glad if any of you who care to follow our Lord's movements and feelings on the last week of his earthly life, would take a copy for your private use.

Appointment of the Congregational Board.

As many of you witnessed, the congregation of Langholm Old Parish Church duly met on Wednesday, 2lst March, and appointed the following members to serve along with the Elders on the Board in administering the financial and material affairs of the Old Parish Church. Messrs. A. Cowing, D. Murray, J. Hyslop, E. C. Armstrong. A. Mothersole, A. S. Armstrong, Arthur Bell, David Calvert and A, D. McMillan. Ladies, Mrs. Armitage, Mrs. Little, Mrs. Herbertson, Mrs. J. Telford with Misses Mary Graham, Barbara Paterson, Mary Dalgliesh, M. D. Osler and Ella Glendinning. The first meeting of the Board was held on Thursday, 29th March, when Mr. Edward C. Armstrong was appointed Clerk to the Board, and Mr. Robert Black, Treasurer. Miss Ella Glendinning asked to be relieved of membership of the Board for the present year, and Mrs. Bell, Bigholms, was appointed to till the vacancy by the Board. There were three items of important business discussed, the carrying through of the hall improvements and heating—the work of re-slating the church roof at a probable cost of round about £l,000—and electing members to attend a conference on Christian Stewardship in Hawick on 11th April. It was agreed that the Board will hold regular monthly meetings on the last Thursday of each month at 7.30 p.m.

Special Services in April and May

We greatly enjoyed the visit to the Old Parish Church of the Langholm Town Band on Sunday, 1st April. We express best thanks to Bandmaster Chapman and members of the Band for their wonderful lead to the singing that evening, and to George Hope for singing the solo "Low in the grave He lay", and the chorus with J. Little, Ian Rodger, T. Irving and D. Scott. We hope to have frequent return visits of the Band to lead the praise of the Evening Services.

On Palm Sunday, 15th April, the Boys' Brigade will parade to the Morning Service, when Boys' Brigade Colours will be presented to the Company and dedicated by the Minister, as Chaplain to the 1st Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade.

The Evening Service on Palm Sunday will be led by the Sunday School children, when appropriate hymns will be sung, and lessons read. We also hope on this occasion to get the Sunday School Superintendent, Mr. William Stuart to sing an appropriate piece of Passion music.

Easter Day Services on Sunday, 22nd April, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. There will be a baptism at the Morning Service.

Then on Sunday, 29th April, we will be observing the celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at11 a.m. and 3 p.m., with a Communion Thanksgiving Service at 6 p.m. First Communicants will confirm their baptismal vows at the commencement of the Morning Service. During the month, cards will be distributed to all members by the Elders, and we would be glad to give cards to visitors of any branch of the Christian Church who would like to join us in remembering our Crucified and Risen Lord around His Table. I know that this is a difficult time for the farmers and shepherds to attend Communion, but I trust we will have a full attendance of all who are unhindered by urgent duties. Again I will be pleased to bring the Communion to the homes of sick or aged, and l hope you will not hesitate to let me know if you would like this done.

During May, as will be more fully reported in the next issue of the magazine, we have United Services with Erskine in Old Parish on Sunday. 13th May, at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Again on the following Sunday, Erskine Church joins with us at the Evening Service, when Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie, as Moderator of Hawick Presbytery, will set aside Mr. John Tyman as a Lay Reader of the Church of Scotland. This Service will also be attended by members of Hawick Presbytery.

Remembrance of members of the Church who are travelling abroad.

Mrs. M. Armstrong, who is in charge of the Communion Table Flower list, is shortly to leave for Australia to visit her sister in a time of health anxiety. We wish Mrs. Armstrong a very pleasant sail and that she will find her sister as well as she can be. Also, Mrs. Beverley, of Henry Street, is leaving to visit her son in Canada very shortly. We wish her a good voyage and safe travelling. Mrs. Beverley hopes to visit her son Jim in Texas, who in the course of the next six weeks will have graduated B.D., and soon after is due to be ordained and inducted to his first charge. Many of you will remember Jim Beverley who served his time with our Elder, Jim Maxwell as a plasterer. Well, Jim in the course of the next four weeks will be known as the Revd. James Beverley, B.A., BD., and a Minister of the American Presbyterian Church of U.S.A. Our very best wishes and congratulations.

This seems to be the total of my news, and I send very warm greetings to all our people. I hope in the fairly near future to find it possible to continue district visitation.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Treasurer's Report

At the General Meeting of Langholm Old Parish Church Members, I gave my report on the 1961 accounts of the Church. As I stated, it is a matter of grave concern, and I feel that if many members gave their share, along with the Regular Attenders, we would be able to meet our commitments from Givings, instead of having, as we are now, to depend on Donations from the various Church Organisations, and the Revenue from Chalmers Trust Fund, to meet these commitments, and the gradually increasing call on our resources. I am sure that members will agree, that the sum of approximately £1592, which is the Total amount of givings from Free Will Offerings, Plate Collections, and Annual Envelopes, during 1961, could be substantially increased, with a Communion Roll of over 840 Members. This is an average of only 9d. per member per week. May 1 therefore appeal to all members on the Communion Roll to give the matter their earnest consideration and give to the Church regularly. The upkeep of the Church and Manse is their responsibility.

Yours faithfully,

Robert A. Black, Treasurer.

Langholm Old Parish Church Woman's Guild

On March 13th a concert of "Gilbert and Sullivan" items was presented by Miss Violet Willis and party, and this was thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

In order to discuss some outstanding business, an extra meeting was held on March 27th. Mr. Robert Morrison, Commercial House, showed some of his coloured slides. Everyone appreciated the wide variety and high standard of the photographs taken in the surrounding district, America, Canada and Italy.

After a vote it was decided that the annual outing should take place on Saturday, June 9th to Ayr, and almost immediately. sufficient names were received to fill a bus. Particulars of the time of departure, route, fares etc., will appear in the May News Letter.

The Spring Meeting of the Hawick Presbyterial Council will be held on Tuesday, 8th May in Roberton Church at 3 p.m., when Dr. Lewis Cameron, Director of the Church's Social Service work, will be the speaker. Those wishing to go to this meeting should hand in their names to Miss Ella Glendinning, 56 Caroline Street, on or before Friday, l3th April. This may appear to be short notice, but the Council wish to gather the numbers earlier than usual. Nearer the time of the meeting, further particulars of the bus times etc., will be intimated from the Pulpit by Mr. Calvert.

Church Calendar


8th—Morning: D. Anderson, L. Ewart, W. Smith, J. Pattie, R. T. Robertson, J. MacIntosh. Evening: R. Black and J. Tyman.

15th—Morning: A. Smith, R. K. Neill, J. Maxwell, W. Hosie, R. N. B. Noble, D. Hendrie. Evening: J. W. Wood, and M. Armstrong.

22nd—Morning: M. Douglas, R. Douglas, M. Armstrong, J. W. Wood, R. Black, and J. Tyman. Evening: W. Hosie and A. Smith.

29th—Elders on duty at Communion Evening: M. Douglas and A. Smith.


6th—Morning: W. Smith, D. Anderson, L. Ewart, J. Pattie, R. T. Robertson and T. McKail. Evening: J. Maclntosh and R. Black.



25th—Trevor Edward, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Lake, l0 Rosevale Street

25th—Roger Jeffrey, son of Mr. and Mrs. lan Murray, 36 Henry Street.



10th—Gilbert William Irving, Riding Station, Longtown, to Catherine Irving Norden, 17 Holmwood Drive.

10th—Henry Cuthbertson Copeland, H.M. Forces, to Elizabeth Graham Gillanders, 1 Wauchope Place.

24th—John Bell Graham, Barngalies, Canonbie, to Francis Margaret Macartney, 27 Eskdaill Street.

31st—John Fawcett Irving, 52 Waverley Road. to Agnes Eileen Corrie, Townhead Tollbar.

31st—William James Callander, Ruthwell, to Dorothy Isobel Graham, Wauchope School House.

" Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offence. Love keeps no score of wrongs; does not gloat over other men's sins, but delights in the truth. There is nothing that love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance". l Corinthians 13, 4-7. The New English Bible.