Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.38                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       FEBRUARY, 1964.

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 February:- "Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Matt. 16, 18.

Letter from the Minister

Dear Fellow-Member,

In my letter this month I want to say a word about the Christian Church, what the Church is, and how it has been built up and extended throughout the world down through the past twenty centuries.

The Church began with a handful of twelve men. Today she numbers her adherents in millions, possibly a third of the world's population. And though you may not think so from the general indifference seen towards the Church in a district like ours, men who know the Church in her world-wide setting, men like Professor Latourette, tell us that in this present day the Church is growing and advancing with a rapidity never known before in all her history.

Think of what the Christian Church has done, and is seeking to do in our own day. In every land in which the Church has been established, she has built the first schools, the first hospitals, and the first libraries. The Church was the first authority to take care of little children and old and helpless people. It was the Church that inspired men and women to fight dirt and disease and ignorance and squalor and social injustice and war, and has always stood firmly for the sacredness of human personality. Robert Burns, whose anniversary we have just been celebrating. and who could criticise religious humbugs in the most blighting terms, always gave the Church the rightful credit for what she had done for Scottish character. In the Cotters Saturday Night. after describing a home where the Church existed at its very hearth, he says of a family from that kind of upbringing that they grew up to make the name of their nation loved and respected. "From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur springs; That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad".

There is a great dangerof us becoming too parochial in our thinking of the Church, and to forget that we are but a congregation of a branch of the great Christian Church which has its roots in every land under God's blue sky. The Church is working everywhere to win the world for the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ, believing that the day is surely coming "when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea". And the Church today is caring for people more than ever in her history, caring for the aged — the Church of Scotland has some 30 of the best run Eventide Homes in Britain —caring for youth, especially those who have missed the way in life. And our Churches abroad do the same work. I often write to the Church authorities in Australia and Canada about Scots lads and girls going out to settle in these lands. And I could almost write a book about the wonderful things the Church has done in meeting people on arrival to a new country, finding them accommodation. work and encouraging them to live the best kind of life.

What is the Church?

It is not, as many suppose, just a lovely building or an organisation. The word Church comes from the Greek Ecclesia, which means people. Not just a priestly class or ministers and elders, but every one baptised into its fold and flock. And this of course means that if a local Church is a strong and active and happy worshipping congre- gation, it is because these qualities are found in the hearts of its members. It means that if one member slacks and becomes indifferent, others are influenced to do likewise and the Church suffers. I often wish we could get our members to realise this —that they are the Church, and to ask themselves now and again. "What kind of Church would my Church be, if every member was just like me?"

Our Motto Text this month is about building the Church, and we are all expected to take a part in this grand work. "I will build My Church" said Jesus. And then after the Crucifixion and Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus left this world, and left the future building to us. This is a very old legend, and all legends that persist speak truth, concerning the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to heaven after His Ascension. It is said that the Angel Gabriel met Him at the gates of the city. "Lord, this is a great salvation that Thou hast wrought", said the angel. But the Lord Jesus only answered "Yes". "What plans hast Thou made for carrying on the work? How are all men to know what Thou hast done ?" asked Gabriel. "I left Peter and James and John, and Martha and Mary to tell their friends and their friends to tell their friends, till all the world should know". "But Lord Jesus" said Gabriel, "Suppose Peter is too busy with his fishing, or Martha with her house work, or the friends they tell are too occupied, and forget to tell their friends —what then?" The Lord Jesus did not answer at once; then after a time He said in a quiet confident voice, "I have made no other plans. I am counting on them".

Yes, in building the Church here in Langholm and throughout Scotland and throughout the world, the Lord Jesus is counting on us, and we will not fail Him.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

Mrs. Helen McCracken Reid, wife of Robert Reid, Waverley Cottage, passed away on 12th January at the age of 76. Our sincere sympathy with husband and family and relatives. Miss Sybella Hunter Elliot, after devoted care and nursing in the Thomas Hope Hospital, passed away on 17th January at the wonderful age of 93. Our sympathy with all relatives and admiration of the devotion of Mrs. McVittie and other relatives to an aged relative.

My warm greetings to all our people.

Yours ever,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Kirk Week in Langholm Old Parish Church
16th to 22nd February

ln the last magazine I mentioned that the Kirk Session and Congregational Board had decided to organise a visitation of all members, to discuss with you what part you may be able to play in helping us to meet our increased financial obligations as a Church. All the Churches throughout the country, faced with the same problems, are doing much the same as we are. After consultation with the Church Treasurer, I have drawn up a list of the items of expenditure in which there is a marked increase for 1964. In the last magazine I said we would require an increase in income of approximately £818 in 1964. and after a further talk with the Church Treasurer, I find that is a very conservative figure. and is likely to be nearer £1,000. This may seem a big increase to come so suddenly, but it should be noted that this includes cost of a new church furnace, estimated at £470.

(a) First note our increased assessment in what we are under obligation to contribute to Assembly Funds. Assessments by the Assembly Committees and Presbytery are based upon the membership, and we have a big membership of well over 800 communicant members. Our Assembly and Presbytery assessment for 1964 will be approximately £877, the figure based, as I have said, upon our membership. This figure includes our contribution to the Maintenance of the Ministry Fund. which will be £30O, an increase of £50. This Fund is responsible for the provision of the minimum stipend in all charges throughout Scotland that are not self-supporting.

(b) The figure also includes what is known as the Co-Ordinated Appeal to the amount of £426. The calculated increase is £75 over last year. This is a Fund which all parishes have both obligation and privilege in supporting, The money is divided out in support of Foreign Missions. Home Missions, Social Services Committee which maintains some 30 Eventide Homes in Scotland, Homes for Children, a Mother and Baby Home, Hostels for Young Men, and Young Women, and a Rehabilitation Centre in Glasgow. It also gives financial support to the Inter Churches Refugee and World Hunger organisaiton; work among H.M. Forces abroad in the form of canteen services; Youth Work, particularly in care of those who have missed the way in life. The figure also includes £'75 to Aged and Infirm Ministers' Fund, a calculated increase of £25. Presbytery assessment is also included, amount of increase not known yet. but was £56 in 1963.

(c) ln our total expenditure is included the sum of £6'79 to be paid to minister as part of stipend, this being an increase of £100 over last year. The cost of new church furnace, £4'70. Cost of heating and lighting the Church and Hall, £425—being an increase of £38 over last year. Repairs to Church, Hall and Manse, approximately £160. Salaries of Church and Hall caretakers, and salary of Organist, approximately £250. Other expenses include advertisements, telephone, postages, Communion Elements, pulpit supply during minister's holiday, Sunday School magazines, deficit on magazine and Life and Work fund, provision of Bibles and New Testaments for weddings and baptisms, travelling expenses, etc., amounting to approximately £366.

lt is difficult to give a concise statement of items where there is a marked increase, but these increases will be seen when the Church Accounts are presented to the Annual Congregational Meeting on 26th March, and by comparison with previous year, you will get some idea of increase up to that date. On the other hand the main increases for 1964 will not be seen in comparison until the presentation of accounts in 1965.

I might summarise the main factors which are involving our congregation. and most others of the Church of Scotland, in need for increased income. With the Church Union in 1929 of the Church of Scotland and the United Free Church of Scotland, the Heritors of the Old Church of' Scotland parishes were relieved of their responsibility in maintaining the fabric of Church Hall and Manse. From then on the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland placed the responsibility of maintaining fabric of Church and Manse on the congregation, giving limited aid and loans in cases of urgent need. The Old Parish Churches held endowments which the General Trustees took the liberty of adjusting in many cases, so that previous United Free Churches might share their benefit. This could only happen at a vacancy, and actually did in the case of our Church —so much was taken away from endowments at the last two vacancies. But the main reason for present requirement of increased income is, as everybody will readily understand, just the increased cost of living. When I was ordained a young minister in 1933. the minimum stipend was £300, and a minister was able to live on this and even buy a car. In 1963 the minimum stipend was £940 or thereabout, and this is regarded by financial experts as the equivalent of £300 in 1933 in spending power.

The question facing us is how to cope with this changing situation of increased costs in Church maintenance. The Congregational Board, the financial authority of our Church under our new constitution (and a finer body of Office-bearers could not be found than the present members), have undertaken on my suggestion to visit every member of our Church during the week commencing 16th February, to discuss with you any suggestions or criticisms you may have, and whether you might be able to increase your present weekly contribution to your Church. Two members are appointed to go out together in a district or street, and I would like you to receive them cordially and discuss with them any proposals you may have. Of course we fully understand that many of you are already giving generously, even to the point of sacrifice, and we are not asking you to do more. But to avoid discrimination all members will be visited, and this will at any rate give the Office-bearers the chance of thanking those already doing so well by their Church. And of course many of our members are pensioners. and some are non-earners, and we do not ask them to give more than they are already. Those in this category should not feel in any way embarrassed by a visit from members of the Board, as the visit is intended to have social and well as business import.

As a guide to those who would like to know the amount they might be expected to contribute to their Church, we suggest that earning members consider whether they could give at the rate of 3d. in the pound of weekly earnings. If this could be accepted as a policy by all earning members, our Church would immediately be set free from financial concern.

A few suggestions on how members may contribute according to their circumstances:—

(a) I would like to urge all who are on the high rate of income tax, to consider contributing to their Church by Deed of Covenant. lt does not cost you any more by signing the required form, and it means that our Treasurer recovers annually the amount of tax you have paid, for the benefit of the Church. We are already receiving £235 through members giving in this way. ln the case of aging people there is no difhculty, as the contract of seven years ends with decease. In case of people on high rate but who fear that changing circumstances may bring them below the high rate before the seevn years contract is completed, it simply means that the Church would no longer benefit from recovery of tax, and consequently you would be free to continue giving same amount or less if found necessary. I appeal to all in a position to contribute in this way to do so. The visiting members of the Board will have the appropriate forms, or if preferred, have a word with the minister, who will be glad to make arrangements or discuss the proposal.

(b) The second method is will known, that of contributing by taking Free Will Offering Envelopes. Last year £920 of our income was received in this way. The visiting members of the Board will have cards which you can sign and on receipt of this card the Treasurer sends envelopes.

(c) Others again contribute by taking annual envelopes, and any who wish to adopt this method are invited to do so.

(d) Others again may feel reluctant to enter into any committed way of contributing, owing to limited resources. To them, as well tts to any-one else who may be contributing in other ways, we offer Old Parish Church Collection Box —we have a supply of 300 of them — into which you can put the little you can afford at any time. These boxes will be emptied from time to time according to your arrangement with visiting Board members.

The following is a list of the teams from the Congregational Board who will be visiting our members on the week commencing 16th February. I hope before then to hear from the teams what particular nights of that week they will be visiting, and will make intimation on previous Sunday, so that members can make an effort to be at home to receive the visiting Board members.

(1) Caroline Street with Buccleuch Crescent and Terrace—Wm. Smith and Mrs. Osler.

(2) Henry Street—James Pattie and David Calvert.

(3) Eskdaill Street and Place—Kenneth Neill and Mrs. Herbertson.

(4) Walter Street. Wauchope St. and Place, and Meikleholm —Wm. Hosie and Mrs. Mina Carter.

(5) Holmwood Drive —James Kyle and A. Mothersole.

(6) Holmwood Crescent. Gardens and Braeheads—Robert Noble and Mrs. Hogg. `

(7) High Street — Archie Smith and Miss Mary Graham.

(8) David Street, John Street, George Street and Charles Street Old—Robert Robertson and Miss Mary Dalgliesh.

(9) Charles Street New, Elizabeth Street, Mary Street and Buccleuch Square —J. MacIntosh and Mrs. Telford.

(10) Rosevale and Riverside Bungalows —Alec Cowing, and A. D. McMillan.

(11) West Street, Waverley Road, Charlotte St. and Maxwell Place —James Maxwell and David Murray.

(12) Drove Road. Kirk Wynd. Arkenholm—David Hendrie and John Scott.

(13) St, Thorwalds and area—Robert Douglas and Mrs. Armitage.

(14) Skippers to Irvine House and Canonbie—Matthew Armstrong and John Hyslop.

(15) Sawmill—Langholm Lodge and Holmhead, and all members in Ewes direction—Matthew Douglas and Mrs. Little.

(16) Westerkirk area and Potholm— L. Ewart and Wm. Elliot.

(17) Wauchope District from Manse to West-Wate—Douglas Anderson and Mrs. Bell.

(18) In search of Covenants inside and outside of the Parish —Revd. Tom Calvert and Miss Barbara Paterson.

One Last Point

While this appeal for increased financial support does not apply to pensioners or non-earners, it is recognised that there may be a few people who are members of our Church who will be aggravated by this approach. I am thinking of a few people who are members and who do not in any way support the Church either by attendance or financial support. The Kirk Session has advised the Congregational Board to remind them, that since in accepted method of Assembly assessment the willing are called upon to bear the burdens of the unwilling, that they consider this suggestion. That by applying to the Minister they may have their names removed from the Communion Roll (the list that decides our financial assessment), and placed on the Supplementary Roll. They would retain the rights of the ministry of the Church, as indeed every resident in the parish does, but they would no longer swell the number of those who are regarded by the authorities in Edinburgh and Hawick as full member of the Langholm Old Parish Church, and giving their due support.

The strength of the Church lies not in its numbers. but in those who mean business - in those who realise that the Church is the people who make up its membership, and who are willing to spend and be spent in the Master's service.


Would anyone wishing to receive monthly Life and Work with the Parish Magazine cover, please apply to Mr. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill St. The quality and interest of Life and Work has recently been tremendously increased, and is making a great effort to help us to know all that our Church is doing at home and abroad.

Christmas Gifts of Coal

Many will have wondered who the Santa Claus was who was responsible for the delivery of a bag of coal after Christmas. The answer is that Mrs. Cochrane, St. Ann's, Langholm, gave Mr. Calvert a cheque for —50 to spend on Christmas Cheer for pensioners in Langholm. It wasn't possible to cover all pensioners, so Mr. Calvert selected over a hundred names of people not receiving from Earl Haig Fund, British Legion or Red Cross. Very many thanks to Mrs. Cochrane for bringing the gladness of Christmas remembrance to many aging people in Langholm.

Church Calendar—February, 196

9th—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Miss J. Graham, Whita Cottage. Meeting of the Congregational Board after Morning Service, when all members are desired present.

16th—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. K. Neill, Firbrae. This Sunday marks the beginning of Langholm Old Kirk Week, when all members will be visited by members of Board.

23rd—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Robert Graham, 29 Eskdaill Street. At Morning Service, minister will report on results of Kirk Week.


lst—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers. Miss Eliazbeth Rowe, 30 Henry St.


Jan. 31st—Jacqueline Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. T. and Kathleen Hall. Whitelawside, Canonbie.

Feb. 2nd—Rosalind Ann, daughter of Mr. Jan & Mrs. Marion Wardas, The Bungalow, Buccleuch Square, Langholm.

In Memoriam

January 12th—Mrs. Helen McCracken Reid, Waverley Cottage, age 76.

17th—Miss Sybella Hunter Reid, at Thomas Hope Hospital, age 93.

"I have run the great race. l have finished the course, I have kept the faith. And now the prize awaits me". 2 Timothy 4, 8. N.E.B.