Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.36                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       DECEMBER, 1963.

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

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.

Motto Text for December:— "I sat where they sat". Ezekiel 3: 15.

Letter from the Minister.

Dear Fellow-Member,

During the past few days, millions of people throughout the world, of every nationality and language, have been brought to a sense of grave sorrow as moving as if it had been in their own family circle, by the vile assassination of the noble President of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Whatever wicked creed inspired the instigation of this foul deed, and the true identity of the assassin, will probably never be known. But one thing certain is that no evil cause ever gains by acts of murder against its opponents. As has been said, "the blood of the martyrs has become the seed of the Church"; and in like manner the grand cause for which John F. Kennedy lived and died will now find itself commended rather than discredited by this senseless and useless act being attributed by the Dallas police to a man called Lee Harvey Oswald.

John F. Kennedy possessed all the charm and wit that is characteristic of his Irish ancestry. After graduating in Harvard University, and the London School of Economics, he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1940. When news came of the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese, he asked to be sent for duty in the South Pacific, and was duly assigned as Commander of a P.T. boat. Shortly after midnight in August 2nd, 1943, in the waters of the Solomon Islands, his boat was cut in half by a Japanese destroyer. The young Commander led most of his crew to an island, towing one wounded crewman through the waters for some five hours by biting a strap in the man's life-jacket. That is an example of the cool courage and endurance the late President Kennedy displayed throughout his short period as President. In this patrol boat incident he was severely wounded, sustaining spinal injuries which later caused him writhing pain, and for which he underwent successive operations. He occupied his long, pain-filled months by writing a book, "Profiles in Courage", biographical studies of eight American Senators who defied public opinion to stand fast by principles in which they believed. And this book won a prize as the best biography of the year.

In 1960 he won the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, and conducted a strenuous election campaign, stressing the need for a new outlook on home and foreign policy. He won the support of people of all religious creeds and shades of political opinion by his humour, frankness and obvious sincerity. His victory was by a bare 118,000 votes, and this took him to the White House at the age of 43, to become the youngest President of the United States. In his inaugural address in January, 1961, he appealed as President to his countrymen and to people everywhere to join him in a "struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself". And into this cause he threw himself with courage and zeal for the rest of his grand young life, so treacherously cut short on Friday, 22nd November, by the assassin's bullet.

The late John F. Kennedy, though he may never have declared it in so many words, governed his thinking and actions according to the motto text I have chosen for December — "I sat where they sat". He was forever trying to see national and international problems from the point of view of the other side. It is safe to say that no American President since Abraham Lincoln has understood and really given himself to champion the cause of the coloured peoples of the United States. We recall how a hundred years ago, on New Year's Day 1863 Lincoln proclaimed the freedom of the slaves, four million of them, and would have gone on to give them equal rights in the land had he not within the next year suffered the same fate as befell John F. Kennedy last Friday. Since Lincoln's day little has been done to give any form of Christian justice to the coloured peoples, especially in the Southern States. They have lived a kind of suspect life subject to the long outdated system of segregation. As was said in the House of Commons by Mr. Patrick Gordon Walker on Monday, "John Kennedy set himself to complete the task that had been begun by Abraham Lincoln of reconciling the races of America. He showed the same clear-sighted courage. He showed the same proud disregard for anxious political calculations." Cut off as he has been in mid-career, President Kennedy's assassination may shock into shamed silence the bitter men who sought to frustrate his race policies. Like Lincoln, President Kennedy was a man of healing. But his stage was immeasurably the larger. Lincoln sought to heal a rent in a divided nation, President Kennedy brought a touch of healing to a rent and divided world. He had a gift given to few to embody, in himself, the anxieties, the aspirations of a whole generation practically the world over, and particularly the young". We recall how almost immediately after taking office he set out to meet Mr. Khrushchev face to face in an effort to bring a new understanding between East and West. This came to have the result of slowing down the cold war, the acceptance of the nuclear test ban treaty to be hailed by the world with such evident relief, and the laying on of the hot-line, which makes it possible for the heads of the two largest military powers in the world to confer at the "eleventh hour" in the event of threatened war. He began his task as President on January 20th, 1961, by pleading for peaceful co-operation between East and West: — "Let both sides seek to evoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce. Let both sides unite to heed, in all corners of the earth, the command of Isaiah — to 'undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free'." And this grand ideal of the greatest Christian statesman of this generation was slowly but surely gaining world acceptance, particularly among the peoples of the Soviet Union, and this foul assassination must prove a tragic set-back beyond all calculation.

The late revered President Kennedy was a Roman Catholic, and a good one. There are good Catholics and bad Catholics just as there are good Protestants and bad Protestants. John Kennedy knew the text of the Bible and often quoted from it in support of his grand and fair ideals for the world. He was regular in his attendance at his Church, and was never "ashamed to own his Lord, Or to defend His cause, Maintain the honour of His Cross, And honour all His laws". As he travelled abroad to meet national leaders, he regarded arrangements for his attendance at Church as important as the arrangements made for place and time of meeting Heads of State, because his religion was a real thing and coloured the whole of his thinking and doing. I believe it was his humble faith in Jesus Christ and in the Christian pattern for the world that gave John Kennedy inspiration, and cool calculating courage to endure when faced with ignorant and misinformed opposition.

During the past few days people all over the world in their millions have been thinking of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, and the two little children, Caroline and John — as Ezekiel was enabled to think of his fellow captives in Babylon— "I sat where they sat". It is only when we can put ourselves in another's place that we can have true sympathy, and as people have listened to the news and watched TV programmes they have been enabled to realise how desperately sad Mrs. Kennedy must be feeling, and we are all filled with wonder and amazement at the way she has been able to carry through with dignity and poise following the gun carriage bearing the body of her devoted husband and the father of her two children. We were all touched when we heard how Mrs. Khrushchev, wearing black and with tears in her eyes, followed her husband in expressing sorrow and sympathy at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. I think this feeling of sorrow going out to Mrs. Kennedy from millions who have never seen her, makes me feel there is something very healthy and good in the hearts of the majority of the people of the world. It has given us a new realisation of the sort of man the world truly admires, and the sort of causes the majority of people care for. The human heart has been touched because one of the greatest men of this generation, a man who was so full of promise for the future of the world, has been so sadly snatched away. And we are left to see to it that this great man has not lived in vain. As Mr. Butler put it in his address to the House of Commons: "Sir, after this tragic loss, we both here and in other countries of the world, must see that this promise is not lost, that the light is not dimmed, and that our sense of purpose is not stunned. Pray for the good health and sense of mission of the new President, and pledge ourselves with him, to the task of making life secure and better for our generation and those still to come".

Christmas Services, Parties and Greetings.

Once again we draw near to Christmastide, when we will be celebrating how at a certain point of history, God did much the same as Ezekiel did when he came to them of the captivity: — "I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished". In order that God might let us know how He feels for us, He came into this world in the person of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Was born in the lowly manger of Bethlehem, came to us in our captivity and sat among us— felt our human pain — shed our tears, and finally bore the burden of our sins by suffering on Calvary. And this is the fundamental meaning of Christmas, that God understands us and sympathises with us, because in Jesus Christ He has felt our lot.

You will note from the Church Calendar given in this issue that on Sunday, 8th December, observed throughout the Church as Bible Sunday, I am exchanging pulpits with the Revd. E. G. S. Traill, M.C.. of Lilliseleaf. I first met Mr. Traill in Aldershot during the war when he was a Lance Corporal. He was later commissioned and awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. He has spent some years as Church of Scotland minister in Kalimpong, and since returning to service as a parish minister has distinguished himself as a moving and challenging preacher and public speaker. On Sunday, 15th, we have a United Service with the Erskine Church in the evening, this time in the Erskine Church. On Sunday, 22nd, we will hold Pre-Christmas Services, taken in the Morning Service by the Sunday School, and in the evening led by a Children's Choir organised by Mrs. Carter and Mr. David Murray. At the Morning Service children are asked to bring a gift which will be received at the commencement of the Service, and later taken to children in Springbel`s Home, Annan, and Wendy House, Dumfries. The Christmas Eve Nine Lesson and Carol Service on Tuesday evening, 24th December, will commence at 11-30 p.m., and will be led by the young people of our Youth organisations. The words of the carols will be projected on a screen as last year, which dispenses with necessity of hymn books or carol sheets. It will be a candle-light service as in previous years. The Youth Fellowship will be out carol singing on Sunday evening of 22nd December, when we will visit the Hope Hospital, sing at the Christmas Tree at the Town Hall, and visit homes as requested. Another very happy thought is that a few of our young people from the Girl Guides and Brownies will give a party and short entertainment in the Thomas Hope Hospital on Tuesday evening, 31st December.

Sympathy with the bereaved.

We express our sympathy with the family of Mrs. Grace Elizabeth Wood, Tarras Lodge. Mrs. Wood passed away at the age of 74 after many happy months of devoted care from her daughter-in-law. Also with the husband of Mrs. Maggie Jane Pattinson, who passed away in Galashiels at the age of 77. Mrs. Pattinson was a Miss Duncan, at one time living at 11 Walter Street, Langholm.


I am interested to hear of one of the Langholm young men venturing abroad meeting with success and attainment in his work. I speak of Revd. James Beverley, son of Mrs. Beverley in Henry Street. Over a year ago, James, after graduating in Texas University, was ordained and inducted to Faith Presbyterian Church, Brownsville, Texas. Recently James was appointed in addition to his duties as minister of Faith Presbyterian Church, as Chaplain of the Texas Police, on the choice of Chief of Police, Gus O. Krausse, President of the Texas Police Association. We congratulate James on his new appointment, and send best wishes from his old friends of the Langholm Old Parish Church.

With all best and warmest good wishes for a Happy Christmas to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Kirk Session Report.

The Moderator reported that he had celebrated Private Communion to 31 people in their homes since the November half-yearly Communion. Also that a certificate of transfer of membership from Rydal Street Methodist Church, Carlisle, to Langholm Old Parish for Mr. and Mrs. John Callum, 75 Caroline Street.

Congregational Board.

At the last meeting of the Board it was reported that the Church furnace was leaking water into the fire owing to a section being almost burnt through. It was recognised that the boiler, having done 27 years, was now in a condition that it could give out at any time. A small sub-committee was set up and entrusted with powers to select the kind of new boiler, whether solid fuel, oil or electric, and take steps to place an order for the furnace replacement. This is likely to cost somewhere between £400 and £600 according to the make and type of furnace.

Trasurer's report

Annual Envelopes: £9 0 0

Woman's Guild.

There was an excellent attendance of members at the Guild Meeting on Tuesday, 26th November, when we were fortunate in having as our speaker Rev. W. Nicolson, Vicar of Nicholforest, who subject was "People I have met". The speaker, who spent twenty-eight years in the Police before entering the Ministry, had a wealth of interesting, and, at times, amusing incidents to relate.

Mrs. Carter introduced Mr. Nicolson, and Mrs. Anderson expressed the thanks of all present for the most delightful talk.

The Guild are having a Coffee Morning and Bring and Buy Sale at Ashley Bank Hotel on Saturday, 7th December, which we hope will be well supported. Our next meeting is on 10th December when we shall be the guests of Erskine Church Guild

Sundy School.

The Sunday School Christmas Party will be held on Saturday, 21st December, Primary at 2-30 p.m. and Junior and Senior at 6 p.m. The Sunday School will lead the Pre-Christmas Morning Service on Sunday, 22nd December, when children are asked to bring a Christmas gift for sending to Springbells Home, Annan, and Wendy House, Dumfries.

Boys' Brigade.

The Boys' Brigade Annual Enrolment Service took place on Sunday, 24th November, when the Officers, Warrant Officers, N.C.O. and serving boys renewed their promises, and the following new recruits were enrolled: Alan Borthwick, Graham Weatherstone, Scott Morrison, Douglas Cameron, Niall Nicholson, Andrew Ritchie, Robert Sloan, Michael Hebington and Andrew Quarry.

The newly formed Life Boy Team, under the Leadership of Misses Ruby Norman and Isabel Wyllie, has had a good response. The Team meets in the Congregational Church Hall on Fridays at 6-30 p.m.

Youth Fellowship.

Members of the Youth Fellowship are to be the guests of Mr. R. R. Scott Hay at Reid and Taylor's Gallery on Sunday. 15th December, meeting at 7-30 p.m. Canonbie youth are invited as guests, and young people in Langholm, not members of the Fellowship, will be welcome.

Church Calendar.

Sunday, 8th December— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. E. G. S. Traill, M.C., Lilliesleaf. Flowers: Mrs. Wood, National Bank Buildings.

Sunday, 15th December— 11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Wood, Potholm; 6 p.m. United Service in Erskine Church: Revd. T. Calvert and Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie

Sunday, 22nd December— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: The Woman's Guild. The Morning Service led by Sunday School as Children's Gift Service. Evening Service led by Children's Carol Choir.

Tuesday, 24th December — Christmas Eve. Candle-Light Service of Nine Lessons and Carols led by Youth organisations. Commencing 11-30 p.m. Carols on screen.

Sunday, 29th December— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Old Year Services. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: The Woman's Guild.

Sunday, 5th January, 1964— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. New Year Services. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. MacIntosh, Orchard Hill.


Sunday, 3rd November— Corinne Irving, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Eric Maxwell. 3 David St.


November 22nd— Robert Hubert Foster Underwood, The Bungalow, Penton, to Mary Harkness Bell, 21 Eskdaill Street.

In Memoriam.

6th November— Funeral to Ewes of Mrs. Grace Elizabeth Wood, Tarras Lodge, aged 74.

25th November— Funeral to Langholm Cemetery of Mrs. Maggie Jane Pattinson, Galasheils, age 77.

"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them".— Revelation 14: 13.


The Kirk Session meets in the Vestry on Thursday, 12th December, at 7-30 p.m. for the regular monthly meeting.

There will be no meeting of the Congregational Board in December, unless called for special business.