Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.71                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       FEBUARY 1967.

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.

Text for February “In My Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you; I go to prepare a place for you." John 14. 2.

Jesus had been telling His disciples that He would soon be leaving them. This filled them with dismay and sorrow. For their comfort He says: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”.

The Father’s house is the name Jesus gives to that place we commonly speak about as heaven. For the Jews, heaven was a place above the earth, as we note from references in various psalms. In Psalm 8, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou has ordained”. Or Psalm 139, “Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there”.

What do we mean when we speak about heaven, and for people living in this modern space-age where is heaven?

In our text Jesus tells us that heaven is a place.

“I go to prepare a place for you." From the teaching of Jesus we are to understand heaven to be a definite place in a certain locality. The sharp contrast He makes in His teaching between heaven and earth puts this beyond question. When He taught His disciples to pray He said, “When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”. This implies that somewhere beyond is a place which Jesus called the Father’s house. It means that our dear departed ones have not suffered extinction, that they are not sleeping in a grave; that they are in the Father’s house. Jesus taught that when we depart from this world we are not left houseless or homeless. And St. Paul also makes this clear and definite. “We know that if the earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”.

Our text also tells us that heaven is a prepared place.

“I go to prepare a place for you,” says Jesus. I cannot say what this preparation means, but I do know that when we came into this world there was for the most of us a lot of preparation made for our coming. What the Father’s house will be like no one can tell, except that in it there be a place prepared for our coming, and that it will be grander than man’s grandest dreams. For as St. Paul puts it, “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man the things that God hath prepared” on the other side.

And from this we can go on and say heaven is a , prepared place for a prepared people.

This seems reasonable, that most people would be incapable oi enjoying the life"of the Fathers’ house without some kind of preparation. People who pass away from this world hating or filled with evil intentions need to be changed. This is why the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the departed reside for a time in paradise, where they can be changed and forgiven and cleansed by our prayers. Iudas for example, would need a chance to hear of the pardon of the Master for his treachery. The late Professor John Baillie quoted in one of his books, “He who does not praise God while here on earth shall in eternity be dumb”. Yes, we need to be prepared whether here on earth or somewhere beyond and given a second chance for our neglect. For the good Shepherd will not be satisfied with the ninety and nine, the one that has gone astray must be sought and prepared and rescued.

Again our text tells us that heaven is a roomy place.

“In my Father's house are many mansions”. This means roomy, an extensive place, a place of many mansions. Might not Jesus simply have said to those twelve disciples, in My Father’s house there will be room enough for you? No, for the Father’s house is not just for a select few. The purposes of God’s grace are too large to be satisfied by providing room for a favoured few who have responded to the Gospel. During the last war I became acquainted with a Glasgow minister of the Penticostal Church. He had believed and preached that only those who were converted and accepted the teaching of his Church would inherit life eternal. Then he entered the service of the Y.M.C.A. and came out to North Africa to run canteens. And there he saw the native people who were Moslems, not believers in the Gospel, who were many of them good peopie who said their prayers more regularly and earnestly than most Christians do. This shook his faith very severely and he used to discuss the problem he was facing with me. Yes, the Father’s house will include the Moslems too. As the late Dr. George Gunn says in a sermon on this subject, in the Father’s house there will be “Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Americans, Australasians, and countless others of whom history knows nothing, all immortal spirits”.

When Jesus came into this world there was no room for Him in the Inn, but in the heaven He has gone to prepare there is promised room for us all.

“There is welcome for the sinner, and new graces for the good,

There is mercy with the Saviour, there is healing in His blood,

There is grace enough for thousands of new worlds as great as this,

There is room for fresh creations in that upper house of bliss.

For the love of God is broader than the measures of rnan’s mind,

And the heart of the eternal is most wonderfully kind.”

What a wonderful thought for people living in our modern world where so many, despite all our boasted advancement are finding life impossible for want of rioom to live. I saw a picture the other day of a family with five children living in one room and a cubby hole in an overcrowded, crumbling Netting Hill House. The room, the best they have been able to get is kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom, and their toilet is used by 16 other similar families. And for this they pay £5 a week rent. Many were terribly shocked by the T.V. play “Cathy Come Home”, the story of a young married couple who couldn’t find a house; any kind of home. Because of this they were first separated from one another, then finally Cathy was separated from her two young children. A tragic story and a tragedy that it should be true of thousands of Cathys in this country in this day and age. This is not how God intends things to be, and not as Iesus has promised for the Father’s house, where He says there are “many mansions”.

Our text also tells us that the Fatller’s house will be a permanent place.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions.” The word mansion is an old word first used in the 16th century in the first translation of the Bible into English. And it did not then mean what it suggests today, a stately house or grand palace. The root meaning of the word in the Greek is “a place that remains”. And so Dr. James Moffatt in his translation of our text, translates, “In my Father’s house are many abiding places”. Heaven or the Father’s house is a place that remains from age to age. “We have no abiding city here but we seek one to come”. Like Abraham we “look for a city which hath foundations, Whose builder and maker is God”. In this world we see only change and decay, in the world to come we look for the abiding places which Iesus has gone to prepare.

One last thought, the Father’s house means HOME.

So long as it can be called the Father’s house you are entitled to think of it as home. And what a wonderful place. What a wonderful word home is. It transforms a house be it large or small into one of the most wonderful places in the world. On the grave of Robert Louis Stevenson are to be found. the words of his own requiem,

“Under the wide and starry sky,

Dig the grave and let me lie.

Glad did I live and gladly die,

And Iay down with a will.

This be the verse you grave for me;

Here he lies where he longed to be;

Home is the sailor, home from the sea,

And the hunter home from the hill.”

If heaven is the Fathers house, if it is home, it means it is a place where we will be at ease. It means we will be able to recognise each other and enjoy each others company. Tennyson believed this, When his friend Arthur Hallum died, Alfred Tennyson Wrote his “In Memoriam”, in which he says, “The eternal form will still divide, the eternal soul, from. all beside, and I shalt know him when we meet”. Yes, and the promise of Iesus is that in the realm, beyond we shall live a larger better life in the Father's house. We sometimes speak about death as sleep but it may well be that death is awakening ifrom sleep. This was the thought in Shelley’s mind when he wrote about his dear friend Iohn Keats who had died at the early age of 26.

“Peace, peace, he is not dead, he doth not sleep He hath awakened from the dream of life.


Dear Fellow Member,

On Friday last, the Womens World Day of Prayer was observed in 150 countries throughout the world. Everywhere the same serviice was used, thus providing an opportunity for fellowship at a deep level and the experience for Christian unity in prayer with Christians throughout the world. The service of prayer and worship this year was prepared by Queen Salote of Tonga, and reflects her strong Christian faith and sense of the eternal. She read her Tongan Bible every day, and was seldom absent from Sunday worship in the Free Methodist Church at Nuku’alofa. Within a few months of completing the Order of Service, Queen Salote died. Each year the service order comes from different parts of the World, this year from Tonga, last year Scotland, the previous year from U.S.A. My letter comes too late to allow me to commend the local Service in Langholm when the Womens World Day of Prayer was observed but I trust the arrangements for local churches were well known and supported. In my letter I wish to give a few news items of special interest.

Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Congregational Meeting will take place on Thursday, 23rd March in the Church Hall, meeting at 7.30 p.rn. The annual financial report will be submitted, and there will be opportunity to discuss matters partaining to the welfare of the Church. We hope there will be a good attendance.

Lord High Commissioner to General Assembly

This year was to have been a special General Assembly with the Queen Mother attending as Lord High Commissioner. Owing to her recent operation the Queen Mother had reluctantly to withdraw from the appointment, and it has just been announced that Lord Reith, former Director of the B.B.C., and present Rector of Glasgow University has been appointed Lord High Commissioner. This is an appointment of very special interest. Lord Reith is a son of the Manse, his father was a Church of Scotland minister in or near Glasgow. Janet Irving, Jean Hyslop and Colin Barnfather were present. I remember a story told about him he confirms was true. After being released from the Services after the First World War he happened to be in London. He had not yet made up his mind what he might do as his lifework. He had a splendid academic training and might have turned to a number of professions. He happened to attend the Sunday evening Service in Regent Square Presbyterian Church, London, when the preacher took as his text Ezekiel 22. 30, “I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap but I found none”. He was tremendously impressed, and the following Week saw in the press the advertisement asking for applicants for the appointment of the first Director of the B.B.C. He felt this was the task God Was guiding him to, applied and was appointed. He did a splendid job in those early days of broadcasting, introduced broadcasting of religious Services and carefully supervised everything that was being put over on the air. I have read somewhere that when interviewing applicants for leading appointments with the B.B.C. one of his first questions was, “Do you believe the fundamental teaching of Jesus Christ?” A very good question for anyone seeking appointment with the B.B.C. in a country like ours where everything that we treasure we owe to Christian influence. If that question was still a leading one for appointment to the B.B.C., the standard of programmes would be safeguarded.

What Are Our Missionaries Doing?

I have just been reading about the part two Church of Scotland missionaries are playing in the relief of drought stricken districts of North India. They are the Rev. John McLeod of Drumnadrochit, and Mr. David Goodsir of Edinburgh. They have developed a highly efficient method for drilling for water in barren country. Their services have been requested by the Indian Government in an effort to relieve the emergency created in North India by prolonged drought. Rev. John McLeod was formerly a farmer in Glenurquhart, and was appointed for missionary service in 1959, the year after his ordination. Since his appointment he has become expert in well digging and blasting techniques. It is through work like this, including medical work and teaching that we have a hope of winning the battle against Communism in the Near and Far East.

What the Church is doing at Home

There are two new developments in the Church of Scotland Social work. First a new hostel, described as a “half-way house” for discharged prisoners and alcoholics, has been opened in Edinburgh. The first of its kind to be opened under the Social Services Committee, provides homely accommodation for six or seven men mainly for short periods. Residents will be referred to the hostel either by hospitals, the prison service or by other units of the Church’s rehabilitation work. Second, the Social Services Committee is about to open a pre-release hostel in Edinburgh for girls at Tynepark Approved School, Haddington, one of three run by the Church of Scotland. When it is opened this year, the hostel will provide accommodation for about six or eight girls who have made satisfactory progress at school. They will still be under supervision but will be able to take up employment in the city returning each evening to the hostel. I mention this to let our people know what is done with much of the money we have each year under allocation to send up to the General Treasurer in Edinburgh. Few people know much about the vast and exciting work our Church is doing at home and abroad.

New Trend in Youth Work

I have recently accepted appointment as convener of Hawick Presbytery Youth Committee, and Assembly representative. I was a member of the Church of Scotland Youth Committee twenty years ago representing the Church of Scotland Presbytery of England. With the passing of twenty years I find the Committee vastly changed in outlook and practical aims. One of the advantages the Commitee now enjoys is a highly trained staff of fourteen workers who are seeking to cover the needs of our Church. throughout Scotland. I am interested in one development which speaks well for present day youth. It is reported how in Edinburgh a Church Youth Group set of cheerfully for a week’s work at an Eventide Home, as their weeks holiday. They paid their own expenses and slept rough, but they counted the holi- day a huge success. The report of their work read: “Work was done, and well done. Local people especially the old, benefited from their friendship. The young people involved themselves and learned something of service and sacrifice.” This is a line we need to encourage more and more in our Youth Clubs, to get young people to beiong to the club not for the entertainment they will get but for the opportunity to give themselves to some kind of service.

Young Wives Eflort for their Church

On Saturday, 25th February, the Young Wives Fellowship will run a Coffee Afternoon, with Mannequin Parade and children’s dancing. The function will be opened by my wife, Mrs. Calvert, at 2.30 p.m. The effort is organised by the Young Wives to enable them to make a good donation to church funds

Boys’ Brigade Parents Night

Most organisations run in cycles, one year strong and enthusiastic and the next year not so keen and strong. The Boys’ Brigade keeps up numbers and interest in a remarkable way. We have to thank the officers for this and for the leisure hours they give; up to this good work. The Boys’ Brigade, which includes Junior Brigade, is holding a Parents Night on Wednesday, 8th March, at 7.30 p.m. I am sure they will welcome visitors on this occasion.

Guide Thinking Day

The Langholm Girl Guides and Brownies will attend the Evening Service of the Old Parish Church: on Sunday, 19th February, to observe Guide Thinking Day. The actual date for Thinking Day is 22nd February, but we observe the occasion with a Church Service on the Sunday previous. 22nd February was chosen as Thinking Day being the birthday of Lady Baden Powell in 1889, and also of her husband Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Scout Movement, who was born on 22nd February, 1857. I believe that it was at a World Conference in Poland many years ago that it was first suggested that this date should be observed annually by Guides and Brownies as Thinking Day, when Guides all over the world would think of each other and send greetings to each other. And of course later on was added the ceremony of sending polished pennies to a Fund for helping any special need.

Langholm Youth Club

We are indebted to Mr. Tom Coulson, a member of the Youth Club Committee, for taking four young members of the Club on a Church of Scotland Youth Leadership course called Inverclyde. Irving Hotson, the young people attending. They greatly enjoyed the week-end and the experience of meeting in with youth from other parts of the country.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

During the past month six parishioners have passed away, and I would here extend very sincere sympathy with relatives. Miss Nellie Little, 7 Albert Place, passed away after a brave battle against her weakness of latter months. Her sister, Mrs. Erskine, was a great comfort and strength to her. Then followed the passing of Archibald Douglas Macmillan, 12 High Street, after months of illness. We miss him greatly as he was not only a loyal churchmen but a real servant of his church. We often sought his advice on repairs and renovations and his wide experience enabled him always to tell us the best way to go about a job. Knowing full well that his days were limited, he kept bright and never lost his quiet humour and kindly outlook. The third was Robert Leckie Copeland, 11 Eskdale Place, after a long illness. Robert Copeland was a grand fellow and very rnuch loved by his friends, as was evidenced by the large attendance at his funeral. Next was Mrs. Alison Ciapperton Wilson, 37 Henry Street. Mrs. Wilson was a faithful member, regular in church and at the Guild. For the last year or more she has not been able to get out and was in declining health. The fifth was Miss Agnes Jane Byers, late of The Bield, who passed away in a Dumfries Hospital at the wonderful age of 99. There are many who remember her milliner’s shop in the High Street, and hats they purchased from her many years ago. Many times I have gone with her elder, Douglas Anderson, taking the Sacrament to her home, and we have happy memories of those occasions. And just as I write this letter I hear of the passing of William Bell Stockbridge, 12 Meikleholm. His passing is a happy release after sufiering for some months. He was a man of good cheer and we enjoyed his conversation. His nephew, David Whiteford, is the present Chaplain-General at the War Office.

I would like to express sympathy and concern to our senior elder, Mr. William Stuart, who is laid aside with illness. We pray that he may have a good recovery and that later in the present year we will be able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his being ordained to the eldership of the Old Parish Church.

With warm regards to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




Collections for January 1967

F. W .O. £83 18 0

Ordinary £29 6 6

By Deed of Covenant £10 0 0

Annual Envelopes £6 0 0

Collection Box £2 2 9


The Guild enjoyed three very happy meetings in January. The first on 10th January when films were shown on the work of the National Bible Society of Scotland in distributing the scriptures in many parts of the world. We particularly enjoyed listening to Mr. Ian Morrison, who lived for ten years in China and twenty years in Singapore. Mr. Tom Lockie showed the films and we thank him, and Messrs. Reid and Taylor for the loan of the projector. The Burns Supper was a great success on Tuesday, 24th. Rev. and Mrs. Brydon Maben of Newcastleton were our guests and they brought with them a brass quartette and soloist. Mr. Mabon spoke to us in terms appropriate to the occasion. Miss J. Graham excelled in reciting Tam o’ Shanter, and songs were sung by Irving Stuart, Mrs. Pool and Violet Borthwick. Mrs. Carter, Guild president, is to be congratulated on her organisation, and Mrs. Wood upon her adaptability as an accompanist.

On 31st January the Guild enjoyed two films depicting the social work of the Church of Scotland in caring for youth in our cities, and care of the aged in Eventide Homes. Again we were indebted to Mr. Tom Lockie for showing the films and Messrs. Reid and Taylor for lending the projector.

The next meeting of the Guild is on Tuesday, 14th February. when our Guild are guests of the Erskine Guild.

On Tuesday, 21st February, we look forward to having Mrs. Smith speaking on her visit to the United States and her experiences in lecturing there upon Occupational Therapy.


February 12—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. K. Neill, Varna, Hall Path.

February 19-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Robert Graham, Eskdaill Street. Baptisms at Morning Service. Evening Service attended by Guides and Brownies observing the annual Thinking Day.

February 26-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Elizabeth Rowe, 30 Henry Street.

March 5-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. W. Kay, 22 Caroline Street.


January 8-—Bruce McLean, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fergus Park, 5 Walter Street.

January 8--Valerie Ann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Hogg, Meikleholm.


January 3—Miss Nellie Little, 7 Albert Place. Age 76.

January 6——Archibald Douglas Macmillan, 12 High Street. Age 60.

January 12-—Robert Leckie Copeland, 11 Eskdale Place. Age 59.

January 11—-Mrs. Alison Clapperton Wilson, 37 Henry Street. Age 71.

January 23—Miss Agnes Jane Byers, late of The Bield. Age 90.

February 7 - William Bell Stockbridge, 12 Meikleholm. Age 75.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Iesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15. 55 and 57.


The Kirk Session is called to meet in the Vestry on Wednesday, 22nd February, at 7.30 p.m.

The Congregational Board is called to meet on Wednesday, 22nd February, in the Church at 8 p.m. WHEN A FULL ATTENDANCE IS DESIRED FOR IMPORTANT BUSINESS.