Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.40                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       APRIL, 1964.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings. Tel. 223

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Hall, 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.

Church Officer: Mr. ARCHIE SMITH, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Motto Text for April:"Our Master needs it, and will send it back here without delay." Mark 11, 3. N.E.B.


Dear Fellow Member

In my letter for April I wish to pass on the message of my text for Palm Sunday Evening Service, which I was also the subject on which I addressed the Guild the following Thursday evening."The Master needs our help."

It is clear that the pageantry of the last week of our Lord's earthly life had been carefully prepared weeks before, and that Jesus had discussed with various people the vital part they were to play. The man who owned the ass for example, and the woman who owned the house in Jerusalem with the Upper Room. Jesus did not go to the Cross because wicked men betrayed Him and falsely accused Him, but because He chose to suffer and die for the redemption of the world. He might have turned aside from it all and found refuge among the hills of Galilee, but instead He chose the way of suffering and dying, so that He might fulfil the purpose for which He had come into the world. What careful planning and preparation had gone into that last week. He knew that His enemies would come and take Him, but He chose the time and day, and what events would preceed it all. Everything had to be carried through with absolute secrecy to prevent upsetting the timing of events, and so passwords had been arranged, and our Motto Text was the password for Palm Sunday. A colt, the foal of an ass, upon which never a man had sat, was to be left tied outside a house in the street of Bethphage, and when one of the disciples arrived to unloose him, if anyone asked, why are you doing this, he was to reply, "Our Master needs it, and will send it back here without delay."

Think of how much our Lord depended upon the help people could give to carry out His divine ministry.

Throughout our Lord's earthly ministry He was continually dependent upon the help that men and women were willing to give Him. When He first came into this world He needed the help a goodhearted innkeeper gave in providing Him with the lowly cradle of a manger in a cattle shed. It wouldn't have been the same if a grand suite of rooms had been offered in Herod's palace in Jerusalem. For one thing it would have meant the prophesy of Micah 5, 2, would have been unfulfilled. And of course it would have meant that our Lord's ministry would have had little chance of touching and helping the masses of the population of the world if He had been born into the world as a royal prince. The masses of the world's population were, and ever have been, the dispossessed and the struggling poor, and it was of divine design that Jesus should be born as the poorest so that He might come near to mankind. And this is - I believe - why "there was no room in the inn"; no room in the public house, so that God's good purposes might be fulfilled. And the innkeeper was willing to offer the best he had, a warm corner and some straw in a cattle shed, so that God might come and dwell among us. And our Lord's earthly ministry is full of incidents of His needing help from ordinary men and women, and because He found those who were willing to give Him this help, the ministry of divine redemption was begun and carried on. And it was through asking people for their help that many of the first contacts were made that led to the calling of His disciples. He asked a fisherman called Simon for the use of his boat so that He might use it as his pulpit when the crowds were pressing upon Him. Simon must have been moved by all he heard from the lips of Jesus that day, and agreed to a further request to carry Jesus across the Sea of Galilee so that He might minister to people on the other side. This was no doubt the first meeting with the man who was to become Peter, the leader of the Twelve.

And there is the well-known story of the boy with the loaves and fishes. Jesus wanted to feed a hungry multitude, and He needed someone to start the sharing of what some had with those who had nothing. This boy was willing to help Jesus, and in giving his five loaves and two fishes he helped Jesus to feed five thousand. What Jesus said to the boy we can only guess, but I am sure it was a word of thanks and blessing; and probably included words like these: "My boy, some day you may well be a great preacher and healer." We don't know, but early Church tradition has it that that boy was called John Mark, and that he never forgot what Jesus said to him that day, and later on became a valiant missionary, and the writer of the first life of Jesus ever to be written, the Gospel According to St. Mark.

Then to commence the last week of his earthly ministry He needed a beast of burden so that He might ride into Jerusalem in the traditional role of a conqueror, and someone was willing to help in lending an ass which no one had yet ridden. He needed to borrow a beast and a villager of Bethphage was more than willing to help in providing what He needed. And that was how that much celebrated procession of Palm Sunday was made possible.

On the Thursday night of that very same week He needed a room in a house in Jerusalem to hold a parting meal with His disciples, and a woman called Mary was willing to help in letting Him have an Upper Room in her house. Think what a loss it would have been to us if Mary had not been willing to help —if no one had been willing to help. It would have meant that we would not have had that telling story of Jesus taking the towel and basin and washing his dour sulking disciples' feet, and teaching them and us a lesson in humility without saying sommoly a word. And it would have meant that the Last Supper could not have taken place, and Christians would have been deprived of that wonderful Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which has meant so much down the ages in keeping men and women close to the Master and one another, and in nourishing our souls with the bread which endureth unto eternal life.

One last instance. Jesus needed to borrow a rich man's tomb so that His crucified body might be suitably buried before the dawn of the Jewish Sabbath; and a secret disciple called Joseph of Arimathea was willing to lend. Joseph held high rank and position among the Jews, and while his heart was given to Jesus, he feared coming out into the open lest he should earn scorn from his fellow Jews, and so he had for long maintained a secret discipleship. Now that Jesus was crucified he bitterly regretted that he had not come out openly on His side earlier. Joseph was like so many people who have sincere love for Jesus, but for various reasons keep delaying coming forward Jesus, but must have done it with stinging regrets in his heart that he had not helped earlier—when his help might have meant more to Jesus.

And so it was, and has been down the centuries that Jesus depends upon the help men and women can give to get His work done in the world. And it is no accident that Jesus doesn't have the things that we can give Him—a lowly place wherein to be born; a boat to ferry Him across the loch; a willingness to give up a part of a meal so that others might have something to eat; a room in your house so that a meeting may be held. It was no accident but God's plan and design so that we might have a share with Jesus in the ministry of human redemption. For everyone who lends help to Jesus is taking part with Him in the building of the New Jerusalem here upon earth.

Our Motto Text reminds us that Jesus not only wants our help but has a right to it.

The password to be used by those who went to bring the colt, according to the New English Bible translation, was, "Our Master needs it." And there is a footnote given by the translators that an alternative translation might read, "It's owner." This suggests that the man who owned the ass had given himself to Jesus, possibly out of gratitude for something Jesus had done for him or his family. And so he had come to regard his possessions as being equally the possessions of Jesus, and looked upon all he owned as belonging to the Giver of every good and perfect gift! Jesus had previously asked him for the loan of his colt, and his reply had been something like this: "Of course, Master, you can have anything I possess, for what is mine is yours. When you send for the colt tell whoever comes to collect it to say "It's owner needs it." We get the same idea expressed in one of our hymns:

"We give Thee but Thine own,

Whate'er the gift may be."

And our Motto Text also reminds us how every thing we give in response to our Lord's request, we get back again somehow.

The text reads: "Our Master needs it, and will send it back here without delay." Jesus always saw to it when he borrowed anything that it was sent back again, sent back enriched because He had used it. And it has ever been so of what we give and do in the Master's service. Some years ago I was travelling in an Army staff car in the Western desert of North Africa, along with Bishop Pike, the then Chaplain General. We were passing some Arabs riding or donkeys, and I remember Bishop Pike saying to me "Calvert, do you know that ever since Jesus borrowed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem, every donkey has the mark of His Cross upon its back?" We stopped and looked at one of the donkeys, and right enough there is a dark rib down its back, and a dark rib over the shoulders—and this is to be found on the back of every donkey throughout the world. I cannot tell how it comes about, but I do know that Jesus leaves a mark of enrichment on every man and woman who is willing to give to Him and share in His service. Livingstone bore the marks of a lion's teeth in his arm, and addressing the students of Glasgow University he unbared his arm and showed them with pride the marks upon him earned in the service of his Master. Whatever we give to the Master seems somehow to come back to us enriched. "Whatever Lord we give to Thee; Repaid a thousand fold and three." I have known people to give themselves to evil and selfish ways of living, and to bitterly regret it later. I have never known anyone to give of their substance and time and strength to the service of the Lord Jesus and not live to see the day when they felt proud and glad for it all. The Master needs our help today in the work of His Church in our community just as He needed the help of men and women when He was here upon earth—and if we are unwilling His work will be hindered and delayed. He not only needs our help, but if we are His sworn disciples as the owner of the colt definitely was, He is entitled to the help we can give. And whatever help we can give and do give will in the end of the day bring in gladdening returns, for while we may have regrets for many things we do in life we will have none for what we do for Him. Only don't let us be like Joseph of Arimathea, don't leave it too long, lest it is too late in the day for our help to be used by Him while life lasts. As Thomas Gill puts it in his lovely hymn:

"I would not give the world my heart, And then profess Thy love;

I would not feel my strength depart,

And then Thy service prove.""

Easter Services

I was very encouraged by the good attendance al Easter Sunday Services, and wish to congratulate Mrs. Mina Carter upon her good work in arranging special singing at the Morning Service. Many thanks to Mr. Edward Armstrong for singing so impressively "The Holy City", and the Choir for the very lovely singing of "All in the April Evening", Mr. Mallinson for his part at the organ, and to Douglas Cameron and Andy Ritchie for reading the Lessons so clearly and well.

Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Congregational Meeting on Thursday, 26th March, was well attended, and after receiving the Church Treasurer's Annual Report and an audited Statement of Accounts, warm thanks were expressed to Mr. Black for his efficient and faithful work. Among the matters discussed under "any other business" was a proposal that the Kirk Session reconsider the time of the Morning Service. During the Kirk Week visitation well over twenty members had expressed the wish for the Morning Service to revert to 11.45 for the winter months to enable people living at a distance from the church time for essential duties. The time of the Services is by law of the Church fixed by the Kirk Session, and this proposal will be given due consideration before next winter.

Guild Annual Sale of Work

The Guild Sale on 14th March was a very good success, and on behalf of the Guild I express thanks to all who supported the effort. The total amount raised was £195. While this is a few pounds down on last year, it has to be remembered that in previous years the sum raised included the amount raised at the Jumble Sale on the previous Friday evening. This was in the region of £20. This year it was decided to hold the Jumble Sale in December to avoid the two efforts taking place so near together. The part played by Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Thomlinson was greatly appreciated, Mrs. Thomlison's very charming opening of the Sale, and her husband's good humour in auctioning the remaining articles of the Sale. Our best thanks to them both, and for their generous donation.

Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper

he Lord's Supper will be celebrated on Sunday, 26th April, at the 11 a.m. Service, with a Second Table at 3 p.m. for those unable to attend in the morning. The admission of new members will take place at the Morning Service. The Communion Thanksgiving Service follows at 6 p.m. A very warm invitation is extended to our members and to visitors who may be members of other churches.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

During the past month two members of our church have passed suddenly from us. Mr. John Herbertson Storey, 10 John Street, at the age of 53. Mr. Storey had not enjoyed good health in recent years but was always full of good cheer and courage. Our sincere sympathy with Mrs. Storey and the family. Also Mr. Richard Moffat, Shaw Cottage, Westwater, at the age of 66. Mr. Moffat was also in poor health in recent years but was greatly enjoying living with his son in the country. His call came very suddenly after spending a happy evening with his wife and son. Our deep sympathy with Mrs. Moffat and family.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

as given to the Annual Congregational Meeting

In giving my Financial Report for the year 1963 I would in the first place emphasise that the figure £4296 includes Income from all sources. This may be misleading as the larger part of this figure comes from Donations, Deeds of Covenant, Transfers from Chalmers Trust, Fabric Fund and Hall Improvement Fund.

Actual collections from F.W.O. Annual Envelopes and Plate Collections amounted to £1496, which from a roll of 810 members is approximately 11d per head per week. This is slightly better than 1962 when the average was approximately 9d per head, but we spent £40 over Income.

On the Expenditure side the sum of £1640 was spent on Roof Repair, Installation of Gas Heating in the Hall and Part Payment of Ceiling in the Hall, leaving Ordinary Expenditure for Church, Hall and Manse at £2656, which was paid from Congregational Funds. This figure represents approximately 1/3d per member per week.

To be in a position to pay this Expenditure we are fortunate in having an Income of £210 from Chalmers Trust and Donations from Women's Guild and Organisations using the Church Hall, and Deeds of Covenant.

So to sum up, the total sum required to meet an increased expenditure of £100 on Stipend, £50 on Maintenance of Ministry, and £31 on Co-Ordinated Schemes is £2800 to£3000 for 1964. This means that if each members gave approximately 1/6 to 2/- per week we would be in a fair financial position.

Our Fabric Fund will have to be built up and this can only be done by increasing givings by all members of the church, and not only by those who are regular attenders and who carry the whole burden.

R. BLACK, Treasurer. Collections for March,

Clerk's Report to Annual Congregational Meeting

During the past year, the Congregational Board met fairly regularly and, generally speaking, the-meetings were very well attended. The year started and ended with a problem which is, unfortunately, common to many churches, namely, the need to raise funds to keep the Auld Kirk on its feet. Last year at this time we were in the midst of an all-out effort to raise £1200 for the re-slating and repair of the church roof, and preparations had already begun for a grand finale in the shape of a Garden Fete in June. They say the sun shines on the righteous, and our congregation certainly were favoured for no one could have wished for a better day than the 8th of June, 1963. That day we raised over half of the money we needed for the roof, a magnificent effort, and our grateful thanks are due to His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch who opened the Fete and to all who supported us so nobly.

In the autumn, after what we laughingly termed "summer", we were faced with a new problem. The church central heating boiler was at the end of its useful life and had to be replaced, a job which has just been completed. I need hardly tell you that, in deciding upon a new boiler, both capital and running costs were very carefully considered, and we hope the oil-fired installation approved will indeed turn out to be the most economic.

The autumn also saw the erection of the long-awaited ceiling in the Church Hall, and from what I hear, this also has been a well worthwhile effort.

Towards the close of the year our hard-working Treasurer reported that all was not well with the church finances and the Board decided they had no alternative but to tell the Congregation of our serious financial position and ask for immediate help. As you know, during the week commencing 16th February, our Church Week, every household was visited by members of the Board who explained the various ways and means of supporting the church. The result of this approach we must await, but I think it must be bluntly stated that, unless everyone pulls his weight, we might find ourselves churchless. That must never be, and I sincerely hope our Treasurer will be able to paint a much rosier picture when we all meet again next year.

E. C. ARMSTRONG, Clerk to Board.


The closing meeting of the session was held on Tuesday, 24th March. There was a very good attendance and at the close of the meeting Mrs. Carter was warmly thanked for her able and charming conduct of meetings as President for the session. The motion of thanks was moved by the minister and seconded by Miss Ella Glendinning.

Two Items of Special Guild Interest

The Hawick Presbyterial Council of the Women's Guild holds the annual meeting for churches in Eskdale, Canonbie and Newcastleton in the Langholm Old Parish Church on Thursday, 16th April, at 7 p.m. Mrs. Anderson, the Presbytery President, will be in the chair, and the speaker will be Miss Denholm. We hope for a good attendance of our Guild members.

Guild Annual Outing

The Annual Outing is planned to take place on Saturday, 20th June, by coach to Ayr. The charge for the coach is 10/- each, those attending being left to arrange for meals at Ayr individually. Times of leaving will be intimated later. We have booked a 42-seater coach and would like names of those wishing to go as soon as possible, and not later than Saturday, 30th May. Names should be handed in to the Secretary, Mrs. Wood, National Commercial Bank, or to the minister. We hope there will be a good response and a full coach.


The meeting on 25th March when the Pathfinder Film was shown was well attended and the silver collection amounted to approximately £15. The street collection took place on Saturday, 4th April. Mrs. M. S. Paterson, The Cottage, Terrona, who is the local representative, wishes to thank all who supported this effort and in particular the Guides for the part they played in sponsoring it.


The Kirk Session meets on Thursday, 9th April, at 7.30 p.m. and on Friday, 24th April, at 7.30 p.m.

The Congregational Board will not meet this month.


Another session is nearly completed and once again the Company has had a successful and happy winter together.

Last month for the first time the Company took part in the Border Colours Competition held in Galashiels. Although not even in the first three, the experience gained was invaluable and gave the officers and boys the chance to see how enthusiastic all the entrants were in this annual competition which has been held for about 40 years.

This year about 20 members of the Company will be holding their Annual Camp at Girvan when it is hoped that good weather will prevail.

he Annual Display and Prize-giving will be held in Buccleuch Hall on Friday, 1st May, when all friends of the Company are welcome. The Inspecting Officer will be Superintendent Stenhouse of the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary.

With the kind assistance of Miss Bonnar we were able to get a Life Boy Team going. Under the leadership of Miss Ruby Norman about 20 boys meet weekly in the Congregational Church Hall.


March 1—Mandy Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Beattie, 6 Buccleuch Terrace.

March 1—Colin Andrew, son of Police Constable and Mrs. George Stobbs, Police Station.

March 3—Valerie Anne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Kinnear, 31a Eskdaill Street.

March 3—Sheila, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hyslop, Cowburn Cottage, Corrie.

March 29—William Niall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Borthwick, Hillview, Buccleuch Square.


March 21—Ramsay Johnstone, 8 Holmwood Crescent, to Sheila Armstrong Bell, 5 David Street.

March 27—Thomas Grieve McCrindle, Scotsholm, Rosevale Street, to Margaret Veitch Richardson, 6 West Street.


March 4—Funeral of John Herbertson Storey, 10 John Street. Aged 53.

March 27—Funeral of Richard Moffat, Shaw Cottage, Westwater, Aged 66.

"I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10, 28.


April 12-11 a.m.—The Revd. W. G. Anderson, B.D. Hawick Old Parish Church. Flowers: Mrs. M. Armstrong, Marlsyde.

6 p.m.—Revd. Tom Calvert.

7 p.m.—Class for New Members.

19—11 a.m. and 6 p.m.—Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. James Maxwell, Treetops.

7 p.m.—Class for New Members.

26—11 a.m. Admission of First Communicants and Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

3 p.m.—Second Table for those unable to attend Morning Service.

6 p.m—Communion Thanksgiving. Revd. Tom Calvert.

Flowers: Mrs. R. Robertson, Gowanbrae,

May 3—11 a.m. and 6 p.m.—Revd. Tom Calvert.

Flowers: Mrs. T. McKail, B.L. Bank.