Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

N0.30. Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6D LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY - April, 1963.

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.

Choir Leader: Mr. ALFRED CHAPMAN, Meikledale Lodge, Ewes

Motto tex for April— "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" Lamentations 1.122

Letter from the Minister

Dear fellow-Member

On Thursday, 11th April, noted in the diary as Maundy Thursday, the Christian Church throughout the world remembers how Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed, met in the Upper Room with His Twelve disciples and instituted the Lord's Supper. He broke the unleavened bread and passed it to them, saying, "take, eat, this is My body, broken for you". After the Supper Judas departed to bargain with the priests for his Lord's betrayal, while Jesus went with the rest of the disciples into the Garden of Gethsemane, where He was to sweat drops of blood in His agony about drinking the cup of sorrow and suffering awaiting Him. After the betrayal He was taken to the Judgement Hall where He was falsely accused, scourged and in mockery crowned with a crown of thorns. On the next day, Good Friday, they hounded Him to Calvary where He was nailed to a Roman Cross like a common criminal. During the hours of His torture on the Cross many stood by watching, including His own mother and the disciples. Also many passed by, taking a swift glance and turning away lest they should become contaminated in any way before the Passover. Many passed by wagging their heads and uttering cynical gibes. But Stainer, in his great work, "The Crucifixion" brings that far off scene right home to every one of us, as though we were actually standing there or passing by while the whole scene is being re-enacted.

"From the throne of His Cross, the King of Grief

Cries out to a world of unbelief;

Oh, men and women, afar and nigh,

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?"

When l think of the Crucifixion 1900 years ago, it leads me on to think about the cause of Christ in the world today, of His Church and of the multitudes in every community including our own, passing by in utter indifference and ingratitude, just as if Jesus had never lived, as if He had never died. The spirit of apathy and of "I couldn't care less" in our own community, without going any further afield, suggests that the Negro Spiritual has it right when it asks, "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" It is told of one of the ancient English kings that after hearing the story of the Crucifixion for the first time, he drew his sword and declared "If I had been there with my Franks I would not have let them do it". But the chances are that he would have acted much the same as the majority of people in this land are acting today, that he would have been unmoved and too filled with the spirit of self-concern to linger any longer than he needed to around the Calvary scene.

"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" Why is it that multitudes of people are still passing by the cause of Christ's Church and in many ways are "crucifying Him afresh" even in our own day?

Many passed by out of ignorance of who Jesus was, and why He was being crucified.

And this is true today. Somehow we have failed to teach the rising generation the significance of the great events of the Christian year, so that events like Christmas, Good Friday and Easter only suggest holidays to the vast majority. A lad took his girl friend out to buy her a birthday present. They were looking into a jeweller's window and the girl pointed to what she wanted. It was a silver crucifix. "What", asked the lad, "you mean that little thing with a little man on it?" That was all he knew about the Cross because somehow he had never been taught about Jesus hanging on the Cross of Calvary out of love for all mankind including himself. In an office the other day a man remarked, "I know Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, but has Easter any Christian meaning?" And so one reason why multitudes are passing by today is ignorance of who Jesus was and why He died.

Many others pass by out of fear of commitment

Many who passed by Calvary did so because they were afraid that if they stopped and looked their sympathies with the suffering one might be awakened. And this is true why many pass by worship today, lest it should win them to some involvement with the cause of Christ in the world which might make increasing demands upon their leisure and means. In the story of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite both looked as they passed by the wounded traveller, but they quickly passed by lest they should become involved in helping in his rescue and care. It was only the foreigner, the man who made no religious profession, who was prepared to give of his time and means to respond to the cry of human need. Let people who don't want to get involved in helping the cause of struggling humanity keep away from the Church, because there the appeal is forever being brought home to them. And here may I say a word of praise to the people of our Old Parish congregation. Two weeks ago we sounded forth the appeal of the hungering millions in our modern world, and the response to the Freedom from Hunger appeal was magnificent. The appeal meant something to you and you did not pass by without doing something not very different to what the Samaritan did in our Lord's parable.

Some pass by for want of courage

It took a lot of courage to be in any way identified with Jesus at the time He was being crucified. Remember how Peter, one of the bravest, when taunted by a maid that he was one of Christ's followers, denied with oaths that he even knew Jesus. And it still needs courage not to pass by the cause of Christ today. Not that we will suffer by being thrown into a concentration camp as many Christians did in Hitler's day, but because of the cynical looks and remarks we may earn from some of our unbelieving friends. At any rate those who do stand by Jesus on His Cross do in the end win the admiration even of unbelievers. Hugh Redwood, a famous London Journalist, joined the Salvation Army when he became a Christian, as the best way he could see to serve his Lord When one Sunday evening he turned up at the News Office in uniform he expected to be laughed at. But he wasn't. The Editor came over to his desk, and laying his hand on his shoulder said, "God bless you, lad, I admire your courage".

Many pass by out of sheer ingratitude and indifference

Think of the multitudes who must have passed by Calvary whom Jesus had helped and healed. Yes, but people have amazingly short memories and soon forget blessings received. Recall the incident of Mary coming to Jesus with her box of precious, costly ointment and breaking it over Him as an act of love. Many immediately complained about the waste. None could see that Mary wanted to show her gratitude for what her Lord had done for her. Oh the ingratitude and indifference of multitudes to Jesus in our land when we remember all the blessings that have come to us through His name and living spirit. Nothing hurts Him more. I sometimes think it would please Him better if we were among his enemies who were driving the nails into His hands and feet. At any rate this is how Studdert Kennedy, the famous padre of the first world war sees it all.

"When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,

They drave 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 wintry rain that drenched Him

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

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

On the other hand there are a growing number of people who are not passing by the Cross, and as they stand looking their hearts are being captured for the self-same cause for which Jesus died

Those who stood around the Cross 1900 years ago were deeply moved at the amazing spectacle of suffering love, and they all left the scene changed men and women. Lloyd Douglas in "The Robe", suggests that even the Commander of the Roman Guard was most moved of all, and that he said to Mary as she sobbed over her Son's death, something like this—"Your Son is not dead, we cannot kill Him, the future ages belong to Him and all who believe in Him".

Yes, and as we behold Jesus hanging on the Cross, and come to realise that He hangs there for us —"suffering the just for the unjust" — we find ourselves being led to find some way of showing our gratitude for what He has done for us. As is expressed in Miss Havergal's hymn, "Thy life was given for me; What have I given for Thee?" and then leading on to the decision, "Thou gav'st Thyself for me; I give myself to Thee".

It is recorded that a lad stood one day in a London Picture Gallery looking at a picture of Jesus hanging on the Cross, He stood for a long time looking, captivated and deeply moved. Then as he turned to leave he was heard to say, "Lord Jesus, if ever there is anything I can help you to do to build your kingdom in the world, you can count on me". And that is what beholding Jesus upon His Cross does for those who do not pass by, it moves them to commitment and involvement in the cause for which He died, and leads us to renew our vows that in anything we can do to forward the cause of His Kingdom, He can count on us.

Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Congregational Meeting held on Thursday, 28th March, was well attended, and after presentation of the financial statement by the Church Treasurer, reports were received from representatives of the various organisations. These reports are summarised in this issue of the Parish Magazine. Special thanks were accorded to the Church Treasurer, Mr. Robert Black, for his good services to our Church, and also to the Session Clerk, Mr, John Tyman, the Clerk to the Board, Mr. E. C. Armstrong, and to the leaders of the Sunday School and staff, the Guild Committee, and the office bearers of other organisations. The only matter raised under "any other business" was put forward not as a criticism, but as an important point to keep in mind in encouraging attendance of children at the Sunday School from outlying homes. This was that it would help parents who bring their children from a distance if the Sunday School closed its meeting at the same time as the Church Service ended. In this I explained that the reason for delayed closing of the Sunday School on occasions was due to the length of time the children were kept in Church. Often it is near half past the hour before they leave for classes, and this is due to the minister taking up too much time. I am considering so adjusting the form of Service so that the children will leave for classes not later than ten minutes after 11a.m. At the Congregational Meeting the Guild served refreshments and for this are accorded our warmest thanks, Also our thanks to the Choir, Organist and Choir Leader for rendering special singing at the meeting.

Celebration of the Lord's Supper, and Communicants' Classes

The celebration of the Lord's Supper would normally have fallen on Sunday, 28th April, but in order that I might be away from Langholm that weekend attending a Weekend Chaplains' Conference at Andover, the Kirk Session has agreed to change the date to Sunday, 5th May. This means that the Lord`s Supper will be celebrated on Sunday, 5th May, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., followed by a Communion Thanksgiving Service at 6 p.m. Would our members please note this change of date.

Classes for first communicants will continue each Sunday after the Evening Service, and any who have not already come forward but who would like to take this opportunity, please do not hesitate to come and I will arrange to cover the ground already taken in the classes.

Cradle Roll

The children baptised in our Church have their names placed on the Cradle Roll which hangs in the Church vestibule. The Roll is carefully kept by Miss Jean McVittie, 5 Wauchope Place. Sometime in June or July we plan to hold a special Cradle Roll Service, possibly in the Hall, when parents will be invited to come, bringing their infants, and when after a short service, tea will be served.


I am sure many people in Langholm will be interested to hear of Dr. and Mrs. Tom Chalmers Borthwick celebrating their Golden Wedding on Monday, 18th March. As a thank-offering Dr. Borthwick sends a cheque to our Old Parish Church Roof Fund. He writes; "I was brought to the Old Parish Church as a child, and there received my early grounding in the things of the Faith" Since then Dr. and Mrs. Borthwick have given a life-time in service as medical missionaries in China. They now live in retirement in Lancashire but maintain a weekly interest in all that happens in Langholm. They are to be visiting the district at the end of April, and I am hoping it may be possible to get Dr. Borthwick to take at least one of the Services on the Sunday I have to be away.

Sympathy with the bereaved

We all join in deepest sympathy with the wife and children and the father and brother of James Grieve, who passed away during the past month. We extend our sympathy to the relatives of Miss Annie Lightbody and the relatives of Mrs. Jane Barr.


I regret that owing to a prolonged touch of influenza, I have not been able to keep to the programme of visitation as arranged. The work will be completed in April and early May.

With warmest greetings to all our people,

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Annual Envelopes 10/0

Donations to Congregational Funds £2 l0 0

Freedom from Hunger Appeal £25 0 11

Donations to Roof Repair Fund £125 l6 3

Total Donations to Roof Repair to Dale £433 0 9

Extracts from Reports given at Annual Congregational Meeting. From Mr. Black, Church Treasurer

Income from Collections in past year, including Deeds of Covenant, show an increase of £59; but omitting Deeds of Covenant, the amount from Free Will Offerings, Ordinary Collections, and Annual Envelopes are down by approximately £6l. This is very disappointing. I is clear that we could not have met our financial liabilities without the splendid assistance given by the Women's Guild, who last year donated £200 towards the Co-ordinated schemes of the Church of Scotland. With a membership of round about 800 we should be able without difficulty to meet our liabilities if all members did their part. We need an average weekly Sunday Offering of not less than £35 to meet our commitments. This would mean an average of not less than 1/- per member per week.

From Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Clerk to Board

During past year the Board has met ten times and on each occasion important matters have been discussed regarding repair of Church Roof, and the improvement of the Church Hall. On the Church Roof project, we have to raise the considerable sum of £l,200. Over £400 has now been donated by members and friends, and to reach the balance we are circulating collecting boxes, and are preparing for a special effort to take the form of a Garden Fete —which by the courtesy of the Town Council, will be held in the Buccleuch Park on 8th June. We hope this effort will be well supported and that it will enable us to reach our target.

On the Church Hall the Board has carried out renewal of kitchen roof, installation of gas-fired central heating boiler, and are now in hand with lowered ceiling. The Guild has come to our aid in this latter project by offering approximately two thirds of cost and loan of balance required until other organisations using hall can meet their share. We also record with thanks the donation by the Guild of 50 new copies of Church Hymnary with Psalter. The re-forming of the Church Choir has been a matter of great interest to the Board, and we are glad to see Mr. Chapman present at this meeting, his first appearance at the meeting as Choirmaster. He and our friend Mr. Mallinson have the task to get a strong choir established and we look forward to good success in the work.

From Miss Mary Dalgliesh, Sunday School

The Sunday School has 14 teachers, with 7l in Senior and Junior department, and 58 in the Primary. The Sunday School now has a pianist in Irving Bell. Four male teachers are to attend the weekend Teachers' Training Course at Carberry Tower in May. The outing this year will be to Berwick-on-Tweed in the month of June. The children are to lead the Morning Service on Palm Sunday.

From Mrs. T. Calvert, Women's Guild

The Guild has enjoyed a varied programme of meetings in past year, including Exchange visits with Erskine Guild. From the Guild financial statement it will be seen that the main efforts of 1962 were the Annual Sale and later an Auction Sale. The former provided the £200 annually given to the Church, and the latter provided the £238/4/6 towards Hall Improvements. In the present year an extra effort in the Coffee Morning at the Manse raised £44 for Guild funds, and the Sale of Work approximately £200. The Guild has in mind making a donation to the Roof Fund.

Guild Report

The Women's Guild closes its session on Tuesday, 9th April, when arrangements for the Summer Outing will be made, and Guild business discussed. The Sale of Work 0n Saturday, 23rd March, together with the Jumble Sale held the previous evening, realised approximately £200. We are grateful to Mrs. Armitage, Bridge House, Langholm, for her very delightful manner in opening the Sale, and to all who supported the effort and contributed in any way. The Guild is glad to learn from the Clerk of the Board that the suspended ceiling in the Hall will be erected in good time before the commencement of our next session.

Fellowship of Youth

The Annual General Meeting held on Sunday, 3lst March, when the Secretary, Mr. Arthur Willis, and the Treasurer, Miss Grace Brown were re-appointed, together with a Committee of ten. The Minister thanked the older members for their support in conducting the Fellowship with a large membership of much younger members than in the previous year. There had been good regular attendances.

Church Calendar


7th—Given last month.

14th—11a.m. and 6 p.m. Easter Sunday Services. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. M. D. Armstrong, Marlsyde.

2lst—11a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. James Maxwell, Midbrae.

28th—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Preacher intimated later. Flowers: Mrs. R. Robertson, Gowanbrae.


5th—11 a.m. Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and Admission of First Communicants. 3 p.m. Second Table, 6 p.m. Communion Thanksgiving. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. T. McKail, British Linen Bank House.



l7th—John Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Ellwood, Kirkwynd.



23rd—John Millar Robertson, 22 Mosshead Road, Kilmarnock., to Annette Frances Sansome, 6l Eskdaill Street.

30th—James Middlemass, the Hollows, Canonbie, to Janet Ballantyne Grieve Hotson, l2 Holmwood Gardens.

In Memoriam

Funeral on 12th March of James Grieve, 53 Henry Street, age 36.

Funeral on 16th March of Miss Annie Lightbody, 52 William Street, age 79.

Funeral on 23rd March of Mrs. Jane Barr, from Dumfries, age 93.

"Neither death nor life . . . nor things present nor things to come ,... shall be. able to separate as from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Romans 8: 38/39.