No. 51.                       PRICE 1/- with LIFE AND WORK 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                         APRIL 1965.

Text for April: "Friend wherefore art thou come?" Matthew 26. 50.


Dear Fellow-Member

On Sunday, 25th April, we will be celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and in order to help you to find the Service more meaningful I am giving you the message I preached at the last Communion. It was based upon this text, a question Jesus asked one of His disciples, "Friend wherefore art thou come?"

In the Abbey Church of St. Mary, on the Island of Iona, a church dating back to the 13th century, which has in recent years by the labours of Revd. Dr. George McLeod been restored and brought back into regular use, there is now a weekly celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The bread on the Table is actually a loaf baked in the Abbey oven, and it is broken on the table and passed round so that each communicant breaks off a little and passes on to the next person. The wine is served in six chalices in order to preserve the tradition of the common cup, and yet expede serving. The chalices are of modern glass, beautifully designed and made, and each cup has a passage from scripture inscribed near the top. A visitor to Iona who partook of the sacrament in St. Mary's writes that on the particular cup passed to him the inscription was five words which made him pause before drinking from the cup in remembrance of Christ. The inscription was just five words, these words of our text, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" They are simple words, easily read, but soul searching words which made this visitor to Iona think very hard in the few seconds before bringing the cup to his lips. And I suggest we ponder over these five words, and try and imagine we are one of those who were privileged to arrive at the Upper Room on the night the Lord's Supper was instituted, the Thursday night before Good Friday, and the Master asks us this question - "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" and what our answer would have been.

I suggest the first answer would be, I have come because You invited me.

This is the main reason why, ever since that Thursday night 1900 years ago when this sacrament was instituted, men and women have met as we will on Sunday, 25th April, to partake of the bread and wine, because Jesus invites us to come. For that night He said, "This do in remembrance of me." I would like to stress that we come in response to our Lord's wish, not His command. Preachers and communicant manuals sometimes say that the reason why we should attend Communion is that our Lord commands us so to do. But God does not command us. He invites us, pleads with us, "My son, give Me thy heart." God could command and if He did I suppose it would solve all the problems of the world, but it would be at the expense of our freedom and we would become mere robots without character. Jesus does not command, He says "Come unto Me", "Follow Me". He invites, but never did He seek to batter His way into the hearts and lives of people. Holman Hunt's picture, The Light of the World, based upon the text from Revelation, "Behold I stand at the door and knock", pictures Christ standing knocking at a door. It is the door of the heart and as you look closely there is no handle on the door, for it is on the inside and Christ can only gain admission when the door is opened from the inside. So the reason why we will come to partake of the bread and wine on Sunday, 25th April, is because we are invited so to do by the Master.

A second answer to the question of our text, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" would be because we want to meet with the Master.

This was certainly true for those twelve men who turned up at the Upper Room on the Thursday night before the crucifixion, they wanted to be with Jesus. And this is something that will happen for everyone of us on Sunday, 25th April, if we attend the Service. Let me explain how this happens. Remember a physical presence is not necessary in order to meet with a person. I first met Robert Louis Stevenson in the Church Hall at Longniddry, in 1929, as I listened to A. E. Whitham lecturing on "The Boy Who Never Grew Up". He made Stevenson live for me that night, though in point of fact Stevenson died in 1894, and I have got to know him better and better with the passing of the years. But in a far more wonderful way you may meet with Jesus in the celebration of the Last Supper, and hear Him speaking to you. For in that Service He speaks to us not in words but in symbols of bread and wine, speaks to us about the length God's love has gone to lay hold upon us, and that the love which speaks to us through the broken body and shed blood is a love that will never let us go or give us up. And in the Service, as we take the bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus, we find Him coming very close to us. For after all we are not remembering a dead Christ whose body lies in a tomb, but the living Christ who conquered death and the grave, and who is the greatest living reality in this modern world. As Professor Donald Bailie says, "Remembrance of Christ is not merely a matter of loyal commemoration. We sometimes call it a memorial feast. But it is much more. It is not a sad remembrance of a dead person. "Do this in remembrance of Me" is not an adequate translation of the Greek anamnesis, which really means recalling. What the Service does for us might be partly explained by what Queen Victoria did after the passing away of Prince Albert. She ordered that his rooms in Windsor Castle should remain untouched, and that his clothing should be laid out daily upon the bed, and the wash basin filled with fresh water, just as if the Prince was still there. And she kept this up for 40 years, and it helped the Queen to feel that Albert was still near her. And in a far more wonderful way the taking of the bread and wine helps us to realise the presence of Jesus. For some the realisation may be faint and for others more vital, but we cannot attend and partake in this Service of the Last Supper without having the person of Jesus uppermost in our thoughts, and we cannot do this without going away from the Service better men, better women. It is told of King James I that he was once present in Westminster Abbey when some famous preacher was delivering the sermon. But the King left the Royal pew and was found kneeling in a side-chapel where Holy Communion was being celebrated. When asked if he was not going to listen to the sermon he replied "I would rather meet my Friend than hear Him talked about". And this is what we may all expect when we come to Communion in our Old Parish Church, to meet with Jesus.

One other answer to this question, "Friend wherefore art thou come?", is that as His acknowledged friends we want to renew our bond of friendship with Him.

Those men who met with Jesus in the Upper Room, with all their failings, were the friends of Jesus. Jesus called them His friends again and again and this filled them with pride. And of course just before coming to. the Upper Room they had not been behaving like friends of Jesus should, they had been quarrelling and now felt terribly ashamed of themselves. And by coming to meet with Jesus on that last night they were given, a chance of making good - and renewing their bond of friendship with Him. What a wonderful friend Jesus was, and is. "A friend that .sticketh closer than a brother". Or as the hymn says, "A friend that never changes, whose love will never die". There is a story told of a school teacher asking his class, what do we mean by the word friend. Up went a hand and the answer given was "A friend is a chap who sticks to you even after he has found you out". That was the kind of friend those early disciples found in Jesus, and the kind of friend He offers to be to us. We may let Him down again and again, but He never gives us up and is always ready to take us on again in new trust. Peter vowed he would never fail Jesus. "If I should die with Thee, yet will I not deny Thee". Yet a few hours later in the porch of the Judgement Hall, when a serving maid pointed to Him and said, "Surely thou art one of His followers", Peter denied with cursing that he had ever met with Jesus. But that was not the end, Jesus didn't hold that against poor broken Peter. Peter came back and renewed his bond of friendship after the resurrection. And it is my belief that Judas could have done the same if only he had waited, and that somewhere in the realm beyond Judas for love betrayed will meet with Jesus and renew the solemn bond of friendship.

If we could have had that Communion Cup from St. Mary's, Iona, to drink from when we come on Sunday, 25th April, and in taking it in our hands have read the inscription - "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" - we would have to confess in our heart of hearts before we drank from it that we have not been very good friends of the Master - that we have often let Him down, as Peter did in the porch of the Judgement Hall. But Jesus never held that against Peter, and He is not going to hold our failings against us. For Jesus never casts up the past, and He never gives up hoping for us and trusting us, and that is just how we will stand before Him in the Service on the last Sunday of this month. In that Service we are invited to come, and meet with Him, and renew our pledge of friendship, despite our past broken vows and loyalties, and make our sacrament. For as I have explained at our Communion Services many times, the original meaning of the word sacrament has to do with making or renewing a vow of loyalty.

The Latin origin of the word belongs to a Roman soldier on joining his legion swearing he would be loyal to his captain and Emperor - and Roman soldiers renewed that vow from time to time. Those on Garrison duty abroad would be brought home on occasions and on the Field of Mars, with right hand erect, would utter sacramentum as Caesar rode past in his golden chariot. And when Roman soldiers became Christians they used this same word when they drank the cup of wine in remembrance of their new Lord and Master, which meant that every time they partook of the bread and wine they renewed their bond of loyalty and friendship with Jesus. And we do the same when we partake of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, we offer ourselves anew, and enter into a renewed bond of friendship with the Lord and Master of all good life, and go forth resolved as Peter did, to be His better servants.

Comments on Kirk Week Visitation

I wish to thank the members of the various teams who undertook this work. I have heard from many of the Elders and Board members of how well they were received, and the pleasure of the experience. Kirk Week is being observed annually in parishes all over Scotland, particularly in industrial areas, and in many cases by special Services. I am sure we are on the right lines in concentrating on annual visitation so that all members have an opportunity of talking freely with the Office-bearers who stand behind the minister. I can say that the results are most encouraging. When I have reports from all visiting teams I will see that all points raised are discussed at a meeting of the Board, and action taken to answer points raised wherever possible.

Annual Meeting of Old Parish Congregation

At the Annual Meeting of the Congregation there was a much improved attendance this year, and I had the impression that the meeting was valuable and enjoyed. Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Clerk to the Board, read the minutes of the last meeting, and this was followed by election of members to the Board, and reports from the Church Treasurer, the Session Clerk, the Women's Guild, the Sunday School, and youth work. Most of these reports are given below. Special thanks were given to Mr Robert Black, Church Treasurer, for his faithful and efficient services to the Church, to Mr. Archie Smith for the splendid voluntary service given as Church Officer, and to Mr. and Mrs. Matt Armstrong for their grand work in arranging the Communion Table Flower list, and seeing to distribution of the flowers after the Services. Thanks were also expressed to all who give flowers from week to week. Tea was served by a special Guild Committee under Mrs. Ella Calvert. We had the Revd. John A. Grimson, minister of Kirkpatrick-Fleming, as guest speaker and he delighted us with his Irish wit and humour. The programme of choir and solo singing was much appreciated.

Guild Sale of Work

The Guild Sale of Work in March was most successful and very much enjoyed. Lady Milne Home delighted us all with her charm and friendly disposition. We are indebted to all stall-holders, those who contributed by gifts of goods or money, to the Secretary, Mrs. Wood, for her work in securing Lady Milne Home, and to Mr. Hill for his services in auctioning remaining goods. The total receipts, including the jumble sales preceeding, amount to £230 1 ls 7d which is a very creditable achievement. This places the Guild in a position to continue its annual support to our Church Treasurer's liabilities.

Special Services and Events

On Palm Sunday, 11th April. the Morning Service will be taken by the Revd. A. R. Alexander, M.A. when I require to be at Castleton Church to meet with the vacancy committee. On Easter Sunday, 18th April, I am in my own pulpit for both Services and we 'hope to have a special choir singing appropriate Easter songs at the Evening Service. The Boys' Brigade Annual Display and Inspection will take place on Friday, 30th April in the Buccleuch Hall.

The General Assembly In May

I have been appointed a commissioner to the General Assembly this year, and Mr. James Maxwell has been appointed Assembly Elder. There is a prospect that Langholm will have a visit of the Moderator of Assembly in July, and fuller details will be given when known.

Gift of Curtains to Old Parish Church

I wish to acknowledge with warm thanks the gift of very beautiful red curtains for the entrance .doors of the church by Mrs. M. A. M. Cowan, 5 Meikleholm. This is an expression of her love of her Church and the gift will do much to add to the comfort of worshippers, as well as adding to the beauty of our lovely Old Parish Church.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

Mary Armstrong Grieve, Skippers Cottage, passed away at the age of 80 in the Thomas Hope Hospital on 4th March, and we extend our sympathy to Simon her son and other relatives. Then on 19th March, to the shock and grief of us all, her niece, Mrs. Janet McCrindle of Scotsholm, Rosevale Street, passed suddenly away in the Cumberland Infirmary at the age of 46. She was well known and loved by many In the town and district. We express sincere sympathy with her daughter Ethel, her son Thomas, her mother Mrs. Grieve, and other relatives in their sad loss. And as I write this letter I am distressed to hear of the passing away of Mrs. Agnes Pringle, 47 Caroline 'Street, in the Thomas Hope Hospital at the age of 81. Mrs. Pringle will be missed by many as she was regularly at Church and I enjoyed many happy conversations with her about rearing lambs and country life. Our sincere sympathy with her son and other relatives.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




Collections for March, 1965

F.W.O £111 0 6

Ordinary £25 11 0

By Deed of Covenant £60 0 0

By Annual Envelope £3 2 0

By Collection Boxes £12 11 7

By Donation £1 0 0

Treasurer's Report

In giving my report on the Treasurer's Statement, I would. draw your attention, mainly, to the General Account.

The figure £3,724 17s 5d is the total amount passed through my Books during the Year. Givings by the Congregation, by means of F.W.O. Envelopes, Plate Collections, Annual Envelopes and Deeds of Covenant amounted to £2,057 17s 5d which averages at approximately 11¾d per member, per week. This certainly shows an increase on 1963 when the average was about 10d to 10½d, but we are still well below our aim of 1s 6d to 2s per member as asked for last year. Could this figure be reached there would not require to be any special calls for repairs, etc. as we are depending at the moment on donations etc., the Women's Guild and Organisations using the Hall, etc., with Transfers from Fabric Fund, Chalmers Trust, and Sunday School Mission Box, to meet our expenditure. Fortunately this amounted to £1,666 12s 2d with which we were able to pay our way and leave a Balance of £91 18s to carry forward.

This may seem a large amount to carry forward but during January there are always various Accounts to pay, and with adverse weather conditions, attendances, and therefore Collections, tend to drop.

The Fabric Fund is still very low, but we hope that by special individual efforts, etc., this Fund will be considerably increased during the year.

There are various increases in our Commitments for the current year which we have to Budget for and these are

     Stipend £100

     Maintenance of Ministry £ 50

     Co-ordinated Schemes £ 22

This makes a total of £172. So, in present circumstances our Finances will have to be very carefully considered before any Schemes, other than General Repairs, etc., are taken in hand.



Session Clerk's Report in Respect of Year 1964

The state of the Congregation as at 31st December, 1964, is as follows:-

At 31st December, 1963, the number of Communicants on the Roll totalled 815. During the year

1964 there were removed:

     by death 19

     by Certificate of Transferance 6

     otherwise 9

A total of 34

leaving a net figure of 781. During the year 1964

there were admitted to the Communion Roll:

     by Profession of Faith 28

     by Certificates of Transferance 24

     by restoration by resolution of the Kirk Session 11

     A total of 63

making a full total as at 31st December, 1964 of 844.

During the year three new Elders were ordained namely, David Calvert, Ramsay Johnstone, and John H. Scott, making the total number of elders 25.

There were 27 baptisms during the year, none of which were adults.

It says much for Mr. Calvert's enthusiasm that in a small community such as ours he has been able after 4½ years of his ministry still to find persons willing to come forward for admission to the Church.

JOHN TYMAN, Session Clerk.

Report of Clerk to Board

Election of Board Members

The Moderator explained that seven members had to be elected to the Board to replace Mr. A. D. McMillan, Mr. D. Murray, Mrs. Osier, Miss B. Paterson. and Mrs. Telford, who retired by rotation and were, of course, eligible for re-election, and Messrs D. Calvert and J. Scott who had been appointed Elders. Nominations were then invited, and the following members were proposed and elected: Miss V. I. Berkley, Mrs. V. Borthwick, Mr. J. Little, Mr. A. D. McMillan, Miss B. Paterson, Miss S. Scott, and Mrs. M. Woolnough.


Clerk to Board.

Sunday School Report

We have 15 Teachers, with Mr. Stuart, our Superitendent.

In Senior and Junior classes we have 30 girls and 39 boys. In the Primary and Beginners classes we have 57 girls and boys. This makes a total of 126 altogether.

We are fortunate in having Irving Bell, one of our teachers, to play the piano for us during the Services.

Last year we handed over to the Church the sum of £28 16s 2d for Foreign Missions, etc.

Since the late Mr. Pilkington .bequested £100 to us, we have been able, with the addition of our weekly collections, to pay all expenses for Summer Outings, Christmas Parties and Prizes.

The Teachers have now decided to pay for our Magazines, which will save the Church approximately £17 yearly, so now, we are as it were, "standing on our own feet".

The cash balance at credit is approximately £104 10s 9d.

Last year we took the children by bus to Gatehouse etc., but nothing definite has been fixed for this Summer.




During March the Guild enjoyed regular weekly meetings. On Tuesday, 9th a delightful concert provided by Mr. McGee of Lochmaben. On Tuesday, 16th a very interesting lecture with coloured slides given by Mr. Peter Fothergill on life and customs of Norway. And on Tuesday, 23rd the closing meeting took the form of a short Service when our thoughts were centred upon the Silences of Jesus as He stood before His judges. This was followed by a business meeting when it was decided that the annual outing this year will be to South Shields and there was a large vote in favour from those wishing to attend. The Sale of Work together with the Jumble Sales in December and February realised the sum of £230 11s 7d.


Classes for the various badges and certificates are well under way, these including signalling, fireman's, wayfaring and scripture knowledge.

The Company is very busily engaged in preparing for the annual display and inspection to be held in the Buccleuch Hall on Friday, 30th April at 7.30 p.m. and to which all parents and friends are cordially invited. The inspecting officer will be Mr. Shirley, Secretary of the Boys' Brigade in Scotland.


April 11 - 11 a.m. Revd. A. R. Alexander, M.A. 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. M. D. Armstrong, Marlsyde. Class for first communicants after Evening Service.

April 18 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. James Maxwell, Treetops. Special choir singing Easter song at Evening Service. Class for first communicants after Evening Service.

April 25 - 11 a.m. Admission of first communicants, and celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Flowers, Mrs. R. Robertson, Gowanbrae. 3 p.m. Second Table, Revd. Tom Calvert. 6 p.m. Communion Thanksgiving, Revd. John Grimson, M.A.

May 2 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. T. McKail, British Linen Bank.


March 10 - Mark Bell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Underwood, Penton.


March 6 - James Lamb, 10 South Hermitage Street, to Helen Armstrong Irving Nixon, Cooms.

April 3 - In Drumblade Parish Church, Huntly - Robert Colin Milligan, 5 Buccleuch Square, to, Lesley Beatrix Sim, Kirkton, Drumblade.


March 4 - Mary Grieve, Skippers Cottage. Age 80.

March 1 - Janet A. McCrindle, Scotsholm, Rosevale. Street. Age 46.

March 30 - Agnes Pringle, 47 Caroline Street. Age 81.

"I am the resurrection, and the life" saith the Lord, "lie that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live". John 11. 25.


The Kirk Session will meet on Wednesday, 7th April in the vestry at 7.30 p.m.

The Congregational Board will meet in the vestry on Thursday, 29th April, at 7.30 p.m.


by Andrew Gillies.

"Last night my little boy confessed to me Some childish wrong;

And kneeling at my knee

He prayed with tears --

'Dear God make me a man

Like Daddy - wise and strong.

I know you can."

"Then while he slept

I knelt beside his bed,

Confessed my sins

And prayed with low-bowed head.O God, make me a child

Like my child here -

Pure, guileless,

Trusting Thee, with faith sincere."


Printed at. Advertiser Office, Langholm.