Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

N0. 27.DECEMBER, 1962.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings

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

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

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

Motto Text for December: "God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December".—James Barrie

Letter from the Minister

Dear Fellow-Member,

June is the month for growing roses, but in our motto text James Barrie says that by living the best kind of life we can have roses in December. Yes, even in bitter December with its short days and frost and fog. Of course he is not thinking about our cold, black gardens at this season, but about the human heart. Many years ago Dean Hole wrote "A Book about Roses", and in the first sentence he says, "He who would have roses in his garden must have roses in his heart". So the roses we are thinking about which bloom in December are the memory of lovely things we have done, or thought, or said, or read, in the earlier months of the year.

Life is not all a June day, it has Decembers and Storms as well as sunshine.

It would not be good for us if life was blooming roses all the way. The fact is that if all the year was June there would be no roses at all. Before they can bloom they require the frost and the snow, the stormy wind and the drenching rain, just as much as June sunshine. People who live in the South of France, where acres of roses are grown that perfume may be distilled from their petals, grow weary and ill with the weight of the scented air. It is the same in California where they have a Valley of Roses, budding in February. On both sides of the road for mile after mile they grow, and send out their fragrance so that the perfume pervades the clothing of those: who pass along the road. But the people who live there are not healthier or happier than those who live in a cold clime. A few years ago Dr. George McLeod of the Iona Community, was visiting California, and having had a good look round he remarked to his host, "Well, this is just as life should be, roses budding in February, and the average income of the people not below £2,000 a year". His host replied, "It may seem like that, but on the other hand there are more people suffering from nervous disorders and more consulting psychiatrists in California than in any other country in the world". All sunshine makes Sahara a place without growth or natural beauty. On the other hand the rose blooms in June as the result of the December frosts and the March winds and storms. And it is also true of human life, as the result of our disappointments and sorrows and cares there blossoms in our characters those qualities of sympathy and understanding and kindliness without which the journey of life would be a barren waste. It is said that "where nobody ever suffers, nobody ever cares". And an ancient writer has put it like this, that "to suffer much is like learning many languages, it enables us to understand all and make ourselves intelligible to all".

Roses whether in June or December need roots

If we are to have roses in December we must see to the planting and the pruning and the root things. Dr. James Stewart, a Perthshire lad who became a missionary, and who was responsible for building Lovedale, the most successful Christian Institute and Hospital Africa has known, was once asked the secret of his success in life. His reply was, "With God's help I have always tried to do the root things of life". Now what are the root things in this business of growing roses that will be still blooming in December?

Learning to forget and forgive as we go along in life.

It is a pity that so many people as they get older, instead of remembering roses, remember only the thorns that pricked their fingers. We all have times when we feel hurt or upset by something that has been said or done to us, and they are wise people who school their minds to forget and forgive. Or sometimes to forget by being for- given. I have known people to allow their days to become clouded by going on day after day, week after week, year after year, remembering with resentment some wrong that had been done them. We should let Christmas, with its spirit of forget and forgive, as it comes round every year, help us to stop harbouring old resentments and hurts. Also, to let the time of New Year resolution help us to make up our minds we are going to forget our past mistakes, and try to make atonement for them in the new year. The people who learn to forget and forgive, and who have accepted God's forgiveness in Jesus Christ, for their own past sins and mistakes, have the best chance of having roses blooming in December.

Another root is in trying to help others, and help the cause of Christ's Kingdom in the world

Many of the loveliest roses in December have had their roots in simple deeds of human helpfulness and sympathy. When you make some sacrifice that you know has brought joy and help to someone else—that is truly a rose of December. The story is told of a soldier on the Western Front in the First World War. His leave had come through and he was on his way from the front line, feeling so happy that he wished every bloke could have a leave and get home that day. At the base before boarding the train that was to bring him to the Channel Port, he heard of a friend, a soldier in the line, who had news of sorrow at home, but couldn't get leave as the quota was filled up. He at once volunteered to give up his leave if his friend could be granted it. A few hours later he was trudging his way back to the battle front, but not with weary feet. For he felt a thrill and joy in his sacrifice, which he knew his wife and kids would feel when they knew why ho wasn't coming home. I have known many people to grow older with a wonderful sense of poise and delight, for they were often pondering over past days when they had done something to bring help and hope to someone less fortunate than themselves. And the same is true over what we do for the cause of the Church. People who have been the means of bringing some acquaintance along with them to worship and have seen the person they influenced become a worshipper and worker in the Church, that is something to remember with something of a thrill. If you have been the means of leading someone into a happy simple faith in the Lord Jesus, that is a rose for for December. And I am sure that no one who takes part in the present call to support the Fund for re-roofing the of our Old parish Church, will ever look back upon the sacrifice they make in the gift they give without a sense of satisfaction.

One other Root of Decemeber roses, the happy friendships we form.

"Friendship" said Stevenson, " is the real wealth of life. For your wealth you leave behind you; but your friend goes with you beyond the sunset". Yes, the memory of happy friendships go with us right to December at the end of the year— they go further than that, they go beyond the sunset. So let us guard our friendships, for they are root things that bring us blooming roses in December. As Dr. Johnson once said, "If a man does not make new friendships as he goes through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man, Sir should keep his friendships in constant repair".

Recall what the memory of happy friendships meant for Jesus as he entered the cold December of the Judgement Hall and the sufferings of Calvary. On that last night with the Twelve in the Upper Room, He thanked them for their friendship and loyalty which had meant so much to Him in those last days: "Ye are they who stood by Me in My trials", He said in loving gratitude. The friendships of the Galilean lanes, the memory of all that those poor blundering disciples had been to him, was a real rose in December for Jesus.

Before December comes for us in life's little day, let us see we have a lot of happy memories of things we have done and said, of songs we have sung, of happy laughter and friendship. Our heavenly Father has been too wise to make life all a bed of roses for us. But we can all echo the testimony of the old English preacher Billy Bray, "that we have had the vinegar with a spoon but the honey with a ladle". And in our December when it comes we will all be able to walk in the rose garden of memory, and while we may not altogether forget the thorns that pricked our fingers we will delight in remembering the roses that cheered and gladdened us, and we will look forward knowing that the year will come round again to June when some of us will once again have the chance of growing lovely roses.

Report of Church Re-Roofing

The work has proceeded since September and one side is now completed. With the change in weather conditions there may be some delay in the work on the river side of the Church. It is a great undertaking on the part of the congregation to renew rooting that has stood the strain of 116 years, two generations, and what is now being done ensures that the next generation will find the Old Parish Church in good repair. It is demanding sacrifices from our members and friends at this time, but you can have this satisfaction—that you are passing on to those who come after us something we received from those who loved God's honour before we were born, and passing it on enriched by our labours and sacrifices. I expect the Church Treasurer will be giving some account in his report on the progress of the Re-roofing Fund, at any rate Mr. McMillan is preparing a graph showing the progress which is to be placed in the Church vestibule. We have a long way to go to reach £1,200, but every contribution, however small, helps the graph to move upwards to the goal. For those who are willing to take them, we have 100 Collection Boxes available, with the picture of the Old Parish Church and the details of the Re-Roofing Fund. We would like as many of our people as possible tor take one of these boxes into their homes as a means of giving a little each week. Apply either to your Elder or to the Minister.

Visitation with Elders

We have now completed three districts in this special visitation, and on the first week of December I will be going round with Mr. L. Ewart, and on the second week with Mr. D. Hendrie. On the week commencing 16th December I hope to commence the Holmwood district. I am very cheered and encouraged by seeing an improvement in Sunday attendance. We will shortly be considering the many suggestions made in the returned questionnaires, and will take action upon the points made as far as possible.

Youth Club Developments

We have not been able to continue the Saturday evening Youth Club for several months for various reasons, but now that we have been able to rent from Messrs. Reid and Taylor the hall premises in Charles Street Old, it has become possible for the Youth Club to make plans for meetings at least two nights each week, and for room to be found for the Junior Youth Club, and the Junior Choir. Our Youth are looking forward to the weekend 2nd December, when they will be guests of Mr. Scott Hay in Reid & Taylor's gallery, and when they will be joined by some of the Newcastleton youth.

Special Services in December

On Sunday, 16th December, the Evening Service will be a United Service with the Erskine Church, in the Old Parish Church.

On Sunday, 23rd, we will hold Pre-Christmas Services. The Evening Service will be the Children's Gift Service, and will be led by the Sunday School in special Readings and Carols. The filmstrip, 'The Littlest Camel Knelt', will be shown during the Service. The children's gifts will be received at the commencement of the Service, and will later be given to the Hawick Branch of Dr. Barnardo's Homes. After the Evening Service the Youth Fellowship will be going round some of our homes Carol Singing, and we will be pleased to receive invitations to any homes of people unable to get to Church.

On Christmas Eve, Monday, 24th December, the annual Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be led by members of the Youth Fellowship, the Service commencing at 11p.m.

On Christmas Day there will be a short Christmas Day Service at 11 a.m.

On Sunday, 30th December, we will hold Old Year Services at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

We have lost another faithful member in the passing of Mrs. Annie Murray. 25 Rosevale Street, and express our sincere sympathy with her family.

Christmas Greetings

My wife and I send our warmest good wishes to all the members and friends of the Old Parish Church for a very happy Christmas, and for good health and prosperity in the New Year. Especially we remember the older people and those not in good health, and trust that they may have a very happy day on December 25th this year.

With kind regards to all our people,

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Treasurer's Report

Annual Envelopes £18 0 0

Roof Repair Fund £33 0 0

Deed of Covenant £28 l0 0

F.W.0. Envelopes

To enable me to revise and issue F.W.O. Envelopes, I will be grateful if "Promise Cards" are handed in as early as possible.

Robt. A. Black, Treasurer.

Kirk Session Report

At the October Communion, 493 attended at the morning and afternoon Services, and since then 16 have received Communion in their homes, making a total of 509. The following were received into membership of our Church at the Communion Service by transfer certificates:—

Mr. and Mrs. Derek Bell, 18 Caroline Street.

Mrs. S. M, Hill, Eskholm, Rosevale Street.

Mr. and Mrs. John Fenton, 36 Holmwood Drive.

Mr. and Mrs. Sumners, Eskdale Place.

Mr. J. Grey, 15 Kirkwynd

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Aitken, Douglas Hotel

Mrs. Christina Lyle, Becks Cottage.

Mr. and Mrs. Crawford, 2 Douglas Terrace.

Women's Guild

Mrs. Calvert wishes to thank everyone who supported the recent Coffee Morning at the Manse. The sum raised on behalf of Guild Funds is just over £42.

The Meeting on 27th November was addressed by Miss Penney, on "Looking forward and outward", and was a most inspiring address. The Bring and Buy Stall on that occasion realised £4, and we wish to thank the members for their generous support of the effort.

The next meeting will be the Christmas Party on Tuesday, 11th December, when we will have a programme of games and carols. We are anxious to see a big attendance, and particularly would like to see all the older people, members and friends. We will be glad to arrange transport for any having difficulty in walking to the hall at this time of year, and requests for transport should be made to members of the Committee or to Mrs. Calvert.

Sunday School

The Christmas parties will take place. Primary children on Friday, 2lst, and Juniors and Seniors on Saturday, 22nd December.



11th—Doris Ann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fergus Park, 5 Walter Street.



24th—Magnus Aitken Neill, Sawmill Cottage, to Janet Mary Grieve, The Lodge, Langholm.

In Memoriam

Funeral on 6th November of Mrs. Annie Murray, 25 Rosevale Street, age 80. "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand". —John 10: 28.


The Kirk Session meets on Thursday, 13th December, at 7-30 p.m.

There will be no meeting of the Congregational board in December, unless specially called.