Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.62                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       APRIL, 1966.

Minister: Revd. Tom Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. John Tyman,M.A. LL.B., Barbank, Langholm. Tel. 223

Clerk to Board: Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Town Hall, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill Street.

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

Church Officer: Mr. W Elliot, 3 Buccleuch Terrace.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Motto Text for April, "What think ye of Christ" Matthew 22. 42.


Dear Fellow Member,

I have read somewhere of how during the First World War one day a regiment of soldiers out of the line on the Western Front were lined up for Church Parade. It was a wet cold winter day, and for lack of accommodation indoors the parade was outside. The Padre was a good Padre, a wise man who understood the feelings of men, and knew that some religious Services could do more harm than good. He realised that many of the men were cursing him and all he represented for having to spend some of their precious time for rest standing out in the wet and cold. So the Padre without any preliminaries just opened his Bible at Matthew 22 and read these words of our Motto Text, What think ye of Christ?, and remarked, "this is my sermon, I ask you, what think ye of Christ?". Then after a sentence of prayer asking God to biess the men and their homes, he turned to the officer in charge of the parade and asked him to dismiss the men.

Now that was a perfect sermon for such an occasion, and I would add that it would be a perfect sermon for any occasion, to ask men to think of Christ. Because men and women cannot think of Jesus Christ whatever kind of mental image they may have of Him, without being made to feel ashamed of the things that are wrong in their lives and without being lifted up into higher, endeavour for the things that are good and true. In taking these words "What think ye, of Christ?" as my motto text for April I want to make a few suggestions to help us to ask ourselves this question in a way that wili lead us to find the thought of Jesus Christ challenging and meaningful.

First in thinking of Christ it is important that we have a right picture in our minds of His physical appearance, and understanding of His inner joy of living.

It is unfortunate for religion that many people think of Christ as an ageing sorrowful figure after the pattern of medieval art, or the pale figure with a halo after the pattern of the stained glass window Christ. or the sentimental figure of the hymn "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild". What we have to remember is that Jesus was a young man and never anything else but a young man, meanwhile here on earth. His hair was never flecked with grey nor was His form ever bowed beneath the weight of years. He died upon the Cross and offered up His spirit to God at the age of 33, died before the noon day hour of His life had struck. I know He is often depicted as "a man of sorrows, and aquainted with grief" but it is certain He didn't go about among men looking sorrowful and mournful' He was throughout "His earthly life seen as a full blooded young man full of vigorous life. I am sure He often laughed and we know he loved to go to gay parties' He often talked about "My joy" and sought to share it with others. He was a young man strong of limb who had worked the greater part of His earthly life as a craftsman. He never sought sympathy or indulged in self pity. When women were weeping ovei Him on His way to the Cross He said to them, "weep not for me but for yourselves". And His inner life was the same. He harboured no grudges against those who surrounded Him with their malice and hate, there was no spitefulness or vindictiveness in His nature. So I would like to emphasise that when we think about Jesus Christ it is important that we get the New Testament picture of Him clear in our minds, and realise that the Christ who has called us to follow Him is not one who is planning the destruction of men, even the worst of them, but who is all the time seeking to bring the wanderer back from the error of his ways. As St. John's Gospel reminds us, "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved". Also that He is not a sorrowful figure but a man of joy calling us to share in His joyous life.

Secondly, we cannot think of Christ without thinking of His wonderful teaching.

You cannot think of Christ apart from His teaching, and His teaching was such as the world has never listened to, teaching of an order that has never been surpassed even to the present day. We read that "He taught as One who had authority and not as the Scribes,". And remember He had been to no college or university, and had never travelled beyond the borders of His native land. One day officers of the law were sent to take Him but after listening to Him teaching they returned empty handed saying "never man spake like this man". And this is the point, "never man spake like this man" because He was more than man. As Tennyson puts it in his grand hymn, "Thou seemest human and divine; the highest, holiest manhood, Thou". We read that when the time came that death darkened the home of Thomas Carlyle, someone opened the Bible and read the words, "Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions". Whereupon Carlyle remarked, "If you were God you have a right to say that, but if you are only a man, what do you know more than the rest of us". But Thomas Carlyle was satisfied that those were the words of one who is more than man.

And think of His superb teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, the most relevant words for our modern dangerous world to listen to. "Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth". Can you think of any other teaching that the leaders of the nations today need more to pay heed to, teaching that they will go on ignoring to their peril and final destruction, Of course I know the answer generally given, that it is all impractical for a world like ours and that at any rate Christianity has been in the world for 1900 years and what difference has it made? Have not some of the most devastating wars of recent times been engineered by professing Christian nations? The answer of course is that while nations may be nominally Christian they have never as yet accepted the way of Christ. As the late Mr. H. G. Wells once put it, "to this day Jesus Christ is too great for our small hearts". The late Mr. G. K. Chesterton once remarked "Christianity has not failed, it has been found difficult and never tried." Here and there it has been tried and the results have astonished the world. Here is an example. During the year 1900 war became imminent between Chile and Argentina. It was over frontier claims like the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and huge preparations were in hand for a bloody conflict. But at Eastertide of that year Bishop Benavente of Argentina made a great appeal in Buenos Aires for Christian reconciliation. A Chilean bishop made a similar appeal, and the result was that the two republics decided to ask King Edward VII of Britain to arbitrate bewteen them and the dispute was settled by a treaty pleasing to both sides. And so the two peoples took the money they calculated they would have spent on war and used it to improve schools and hospitals. And the weapons of war they had intended to use to blast and destroy each other were melted down and cast into a great statue of Christ which they erected on the highest pass over the Andes, the mountains separating the two countries, and on 31st March, 1904 the peoples gathered round that statue and read the words inscribed on its base-"Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than Argentines and Chileans break the peace to which thev have pledged themselves at the feet of Christ the Redeemer". The nations of our present day world could do just this, if they had the humility and wisdom, and in doing so they would be doing what the masses of the world's common ordinary people long for, and the 'world would be free to go forward to solve its glaring and urgent problems of removing hunger and disease from the face of the earth, and bringing in the promised day when the "kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ".

Thirdly we cannot think of Christ at this season of the year without thinking about what the Christmas Callendar calls His Passion.

During the next two weeks up to Good Friday Christian people are called to think over again the meaning of our Lord's suffering and death. To recall His last journey up to Jerusalem, the betrayal by a friend, the trial and false evidence and the smiting of Him and spitting upon Him and the crown of thorns. and then the cruel death upon the Cross, and the prayer "Father forgive them for thev know not what they do". In all this our Lord believed He was doing something to change the heart of mankind. doing something to set us free from the power of the evil that dwells in the heart of man. I have read of a girl who returned home from school one day and shocked her parents by telling thern she had been punished in her class that day for the first time in her life. Her parents pressed her to tell them the reason. Well, she said, something very wrong had been done, and told what it was. But they said, you never did a thing like that? No, she replied, of course I didn't, but no one else would own up, and something had to be done about it, so I put up my hand. That is what happened when Jesus went to Calvary, something had to be done about saving mankind from the terrible consequences of evil in their nature, and so Jesus put up his hands upon the Cross. As the prophet foretold He would, "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. and by His stripes we are healed."

And let no one living today beguile themselves into thinking that while this might have been necessary of sinful men and women living 1900 years ago, it has no meaning for us today. For we are not really better men and women than those who gathered around the Cross. We are better socially, better off, better fed, but men and women are still bent on the same evil ways as the Jews who crucified Jesus. Think of the terrible things we read about every day in the newspapers, of what men and women are doing today in this age of enlightenment, like the recent scene in a dance hall in Lockerbie. The famiIies who are producing the modern race of thugs and vicious hooligans are in the main the people who have turned their backs upon the Christian way o{ life, and they stand condemned every bit as much as their offspring, and they need, as every one of us needs, the name of the Crucified Saviour to plead, if there is God and justice at the heart of the universe and wrong has to be accounted for and brought to book sometime, somewhere.

"What think ye of Christ?" Of Christ putting up His hands to take the blame for us? Unless we have lost all sensitiveness of soul we iust cannot think of Jesus hanging upon the Cross for us without doing something to be in some way worthy of it all. Recently in a sermon I told the story of the Russian Sister of Mercy, Mother Maria. Early in the last war she was in Paris helping Jewish families to escape from German occupied territory. This grand woman, with a great heart of pity helped thousands to escape. Then the Gestapo arrived as was to be expected and she was taken away into Germany and detained in a concentration camp mainly for Jews. In this camp she lived for close on two years helping by her spirit of love and kindness those whom Hitler was set upon exterminating. It was said that Mother Maria was so wonderful that even the German guards respected her and saluted her. Then came the day when the Germans built a new building in the camp which they called the baths. Here they said the inmates of the camp would have hot baths. But no one was deluded. They knew from the start this was a gas chamber, Hitler's latest method of mass extermination, and every now and again a line of so many would be ordered to form up for baths, and of course they never returned. One day in 1945, near the end of the war. a line of Jewish women were awaiting this terrible ordeal. The German officer in charge was not concerned about what particular person stood in the line but only that there was a certain number. Half way down the line was a young Jewish woman weepinq, hysterically, for she had a little baby to care for. Mother Maria moved towards her, pushed her out of the line and told her not to fret, "I will take your place". And that wonderful woman took the place f another passed into the gas chamber and never returned. She didn't need to, as it was known her turn would never have come, she was not on the list. And what Mother Maria did in taking aoother's place in the death line, is remembered today by thousands upon thousands of men and women in Germany and in Israel and in many parts of the world, people of all races who are trying to make their lives count for something out of respect for the memory of such a wonderful woman. And when we think about Christ at this season of the year, taking our place to save us from the chamber of horrors which all must dread who know they are sinners of one kind or another, it surely makes us want to do what Isaac Watts suggests in his great hymn.

When I survey the wonderous Cross On which the Prince of Glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.

See! from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet. Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of Nature mine, That were an offering far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Annual Meeting of the Congregation

The meeting of the Congregation took place on Thursday. 24th March when we welcomed as guest speaker the Revd. Robert M'Connell' recently appointed minister of Roberton and Teviothead. The reports of the Church Treasurer, Mr. Robert Black, Session Clerk, Mr. John Tyman, Clerk to the Board, Mr. E. C. Armstrong, are given below. Thanks were expressed to Mr. Black for his vigilant and efficient care in keeping Church Accounts. We expressed special thanks to Mr. John Tyman who is retiring at this time from the office of Session Cierk, after serving our Church in this capacity for over ten years. During that time Mr. Tyman has been the inspiration of much that has gone to enrich the life of the Old Parish Church, the formation of the present Company of the Boys' Brigade, the Candle Light Service on Christmas Eve, and the careful organisation of the orderly and silent distribution of the elements in the Communion Service. At this Meeting Mrs Carter, Guild president, reported on a very happy Guild session, and I took the opportunity of thanking her. the secretary, Mrs. Wood, and the treasurer, Mrs. Goodfellow, for their splendid services. I also mentioned that during the past year two new organisations had been formed and were meeting with some success, the Junior Choir under Mrs James Smith, L.R.A.M., with Mrs. Wood, accompanist, and with a membership of over 30. The Young Wives Fellowship, with Mrs. Betty Elliot, president, Mrs. Hutton, secretary, Mrs. Yarham, treasurer, and a membership of 21. Also that our hall was used weekly by the Over 60 Club under Mrs. Flint, hostess, with average attendance of 40 and serving a much felt need. The Women's Guild provided refreshments at this Annual Meeting as in previous years, and were warmlY thanked. Revd. Robert M'Conneil delighted the gathering with a talk illustrated by coloured slides on life in the Shetlands, scene of his previous ministry.

Guild Sale of Work
Details of the Sale are given below. All I wish to say here is a warm thanks to Mrs. Henry of Broomholm, for opening the Sale in her charming way, and all who worked to furnish the various stalls, took charge of the door, the tea committee, and all who gave and bought making the Sale a singular success, realising the sum of £235 In addition to Guild stalls the Sunday School as in previous years ran a most attractive stall, and this year an additional one organised by the Young Wives Fellowship, proving very successful. The Guild has undertaken this year to finance the decoration of the hal1, and the conversion of the gallery into an additional hall, and we hope for this work to be carried through during the summer.

Junior Choir

The Junior Choir led a most moving Service on Sunday evening, 27th March, when a large congregation was deeply impressed with each item rendered. We were left with the impression that much can be done to make the Evening Service the leading Service of the day if we could have more occasions when the young people play a similar part. On this occasion we had the Minister and members of Langholm Congregational Church sharing our Service, and on Palm Sunday evening we will attend and share in the Service in the Congregational Church.

April Celebration of Sacrament of The Lord's Supper

On Sunday, 24th April the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper will be celebrated at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. with Communion Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. First Communicants will be received into membership at the Morning Service. Classes for first communicants continue every Sunday evening throughout April. I will be glad to take private Communion to the homes of any unable to attend Church if requests are made.

Other Special Services in April

Easter Sunday, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Baptisms at Morning Service. The Evening Service on Sunday, 17th April will be attended by members of the Order of the Eastern Star, with Mrs. Violet Borthwick as Worthy Matron.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

During March, three of our Old Parish peoPle passed away and we here express sincere sympathy with their relatives in their loss and bereavement. Mrs. Elizabeth Bell, 12 Charles Street Old, at age of 80. Mr. James Haldane, 26 Holmwood Drive, suddenly at age of 69. Mr. James J. Beattie, Middleholm Farm, suddenly at age of 76.

With kind greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




Collections for March 1966

F.W.O £79 0 9

Ordinary £25 11 2

By Collecting Boxes £1 18 0

By Deed of Covenant £60 0 0

In giving my report on the Financial Statement for £965, I would again like to draw attention to the congregational givings for the year.

The Statement shows a total of £2,128 15s 9d which is made up of. £1,721 10s 2d from F.W.O. envelopes, Annual envelopes, Ordinary collections and Collection Boxes, and £407 5s 7d from Covenants and Tax Refunds. These figures show an increase over 1964 of £31 5s 4d and £?39 13s, respectively. A total increase of £70 18s 4d.

This total of £2,128 15s 9d works out at approximately 11½d per member, per week, which is a good deal short of the required amount of 1/6d to 2/- per member, per week, to meet our commitments, and, furthermore, for this year 1966 an extra £166 is required to cover increases on Stipend £100, Maintenance of Ministry £50, and Co-ordinated Schemes £16

With regard to the Fabric Fund, this fund has increased by £327 17s 4d during the year, bringing our current balance up to £500 4s.

ROBERT A. BLACK, Treasurer.


The Church Board discussed many items of interest during the year, but undoubtedly the most important concerned the rewiring and lighting of the Church. It was reported some time ago that the wiring was in a dangerous state, and the Kirk Session authorised the engagement of a Glasgow firm of Consultants to investigate and report. This report was comprehensive, but the suggested lighting scheme which, amongst other things, allowed for the flood lighting of the stained glass windows was considered to be unnecessarily elaborate and, at an estimated cost of £2,500, too expensive, and a special Committee has been set up to review the whole question.


On 31st December, 1964,the Communion Roll contained 844 members names. During the year 1965 there were removed from the Roll: by death, 15; by Disjunction Certificate, 10. Leaving a net figure of 819.

While during the year there were added to the Roll: by profession of faith, 15; by Disjunction Certificate or Restoration, 34. Making a total of 49.

The number of Communicants on the Roll at 31st December 1965 was therefore 868.

There are 25 Elders and 18 members of the Congregational Board.

During the year 1965 there were 27 sacraments of baptism, one of which was an adult.

The attendance at the two Communions during the year were as follows: Spring Communion 457; Autumn Communion 451. The number of members who communicated at least once during the year was 535.

This is my last report as Session Clerk as after 10½ years I have decided to retire. I would therefore take this opportunity of expressing my sincere thanks to Mr. Calvert and to the members of the Session for all the assistance they have so willingly and ably rendered to me in the carrying out of my duties.


Session Clerk.


The Kirk Session met on Wednesday, 9th March when Mr. John Tyman, Session Clerk, asked to be relieved of the duties of that office. In accepting his resignation warm thanks were expressed for his ten years good service to our Church. It was reported that the Hawick Presbytery will under the order of Quinquennial Visitation be visiting the Old Parish on Thursday, 28th April, meeting the minister at 7 p.m, the Kirk Session at 7.30 p.m. and the Congregational Board at 8 p.m. The visiting Committee of the Presbytery wiil consist of the Revd. Robert Lockhart, St. Margaret's and Wilton South, and Mr. Hill, elder from Hawick Old. On Sunday, lst May the morning Service in Langholm Old Parish will be conducted by Revd. Robert Lockhart, when he will report on the visitation.

At the meeting of the Congregational Board there was discussion on the re wiring of the Church and a special Committee was appointed to study proposed plans and report back at the next meeting.

The Kirk Session met on Sunday, 27th March for the ordination and admission of Mr. Thomas William Gibson Coulson as an Elder. After the Service Mr. Coulson was welcomed as a member of the Kirk Session, and in reply expressed his sense of honour and privilege in being called to this office.


The main event of the Guild in March was the annual Sale of Work. The Sale was opened as reported by Mrs. Henry of Broomholm, when she spoke of the delight it give her to take part, and how much she, and her husband Major Henry enjoyed attending the Old Parish at the United Services. Mrs. Henry was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Master Hugh Calvert, and later thanked on the motion of Mrs. Carter, Guild president. The Sale was a good success and a most happy occasion realising the sum of £235. The following is the list ot stallholders and the amounts realised:

Taken at entrance, £23 5s 9d. Donations £23 19s 3d Produce Stall £14 13s 10d. Cake Stall £30. Work Stall £48 12s 3d. Candy Stall £31 1s 6d. Tombola £13 4s 9d. Sunday School Stall £15 19s 3d. Mrs. McMillan, £5 2s. Mrs. Carter, special effort, £16 15s 9d. Young Wives Stall £10 17s 8d. This represents a lot of hard work and effort. Young Wive's stall organised on one week's invitation to take part. Warm thanks to all who took part including the ladies who were so much occupied serving the splendid tea.

At the closing meeting of the Guild session on Tuesday, 22nd. the minister gave an address appropriate to the Passion season. After tea the Guild discussed the summer outing, and decided upon going to Dunfermline and St. Andrews on Saturday, 2lst May, coaches leaving Langholm at 8 a.m. Will all interested let Mrs. Wood, National Bank House, have their names by 2nd May so that adequate coach accommodation can be reserved and catering arrangements completed. It is planned to have lunch at Dunfermline and tea at St. Andrews.


March 6 Charlotte Ann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.. Thomas Lunn, Ashley Bank Hotel.

March 13 Lesley Margaret, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson, Tundergarth Mains.


March 19 William Middlemass, Hollows, Canonbie, to Wilma Nixon, Pathhead, Langholm.

March 26 Graham Johnstone, 5 Douglas Terrace, to Merle Irving Robinson, 9 George Street.

April 2 David Corrie, Tollbar, Townhead, to Irene. Boyes, 27 West Street.


March 8 Funeral of Mrs. Elizabeth Bell, 12 Charles Street Old. Age 80.

March 25 Mr. James Haldane,26 Holmwood Drive Age 69.

March 28 Mr. James J. Beattie, Middleholm. Age 76. Funeral to Castleton.

Jesus said, "Because I live, ye shall live also"- John 14. 19.


April 3-11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs J. E. Kyle, Kyleakin, Wauchope Place. 6 p.m. United Service in Congregational Church.

April 10-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Easter Services. Baptisms at Morning Service. Revd. Tom Calvert Flowers, Mrs. M. Armstrong, Marlsyde.

April 17-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert Flowers, Mrs. James Maxwell, Treetops. Eskdale Order of the Eastern Star attend Evening Service.

April 24 Celebration of Holy Communion 11 a.m and 3 p.m. Communion Thanksgiving 6 p.m Admission first cornmunicants at Morning Ser-- vice, Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Robertson, Gowanbank.

May 1-11 a.m. Revd. Robert Lockhart, giving report on Presbytery visitation. 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. T. M'Kail, Merrick, Walter Street.


April 13 Meeting of the Kirk Session 7.30 p.m. followed by meeting of Congregational Board 8.30 p.m.

April 22 Meeting of Kirk Session 7.30 p.m. prepare for celebration of Sacrament of Lord's Supper The Kirk Session is asked to meet in the vestry on Sunday, 24th at 10.30 a.m.