Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.94                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        FEBRUARY 1969.

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

Session Clerk: Alexander Hutton, Savings Bank, Market Place, Langholm

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

Treasurer: Mr. Donald Lamont, Rosevale 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.

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and glad in it”. Psalm 118. 24

These words of our text are often used in reference to the Iewish Sabbath or to our Christian Sunday when we gather for worship. This is why the preacher oten recites these words before the opening prayer. These words have also often been used by preachers as a text for Easter Sunday, to describe the day upon which our Lord rose from the grave “This is the day whic-h the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

But it is clear that what the Psalmist has in mind is not any particular day but the actual day in which we are living, whether we read these words on a Sunday or any other day of the week. They mean the present day whether it be Sunday, Monday or any day of the week or the year. I think the Psalmist realised that there is a tendency among people to regard the present day as of secondary importance, and this is why he emphasises the importance of each day as it comes to us.

This text is certainly not a reference to some day already past.

We should not depreciate the past for it has much to teach us and holds happy memories for many people, but God’s Word as we have it in this text requires us to stop trying to live the past over again, “For this is the day which the Lord hath made; we will, rejoice and be glad in it”. Recently I read these words “In the past if you look back is encouragement, but if you try to live in the past you live with decay”.

This is the cause of much stagnation in the life of many of our churches in this land, they remember the old days when it is said the pews were all full, and they try to live in those old days by hanging on to old ways and old methods of appeal which were good in past days but have no relevance to the needs and problems of today. Of course one can understand how people as they get olderlike to dwell on past days when they were at their best, when their health and expectancy was at its highest. And it has to be acknowledged that there are some elderly people who are every bit as much up to date in their ideas as many of the younger people. But there is danger in -looking back upon the past through rose coloured spectacles and picturing t-he past as -grander than it actually was, because as I have said we were at our best then and saw things in that way.

And then there is the danger of living with past memories that are not happy ones memories that persecute us every time we dwell upon them, past mistakes, past failures, past sorrows. They are best forgotten in the same way as scripture counsels us to forget past sins that have been forgiven. For as the scripture says, God casts our sins behind his back ‘and blots out the handwriting that is against us, and then we can say with St. Paul, “forgetting the things which are behind, I reach forth unto those things which are before".

Again, our text is clearly not a reference to future days but to the present day.

The Bible gives us no encouragement to live or try to live in the future. There are many people who are constantly clamouring to predict the future and get a glimpse of coming events. They believe that if only they knew what lay ahead they would be better able to deal with things. Like the Irishman who once said to his priest, “I’d give you fifty pounds if you can tell me where I’m going to die. Why do you want to know that? asked the priest. You’d be no better for knowing. Faith, said the Irishman, I would for if I knew where it was I’d never go near the place.

Hitler, before making his political speeches first consulted his astrologer and always before making any of his mad invasions. King Saul called up the Witch of Endor and it only added to his disillusionment, because through his disobedience the spirit had departed from him. Many people long to know what is in store for them in life. There is a strange man in London who calls himself an astrologer and all kinds of people including some leading people in public life consult him before entering upon new ventures. Yes, and many good Chiristian people think God’s unfair, hiding from us what’s in store for us and think they would live with greater confidence if they knew what the years ahead hold for them. But surely it is the very wisdom and mercy of God that these things are hidden from us. God in His mercy keeps the future all unknown. “Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?”. But there wouldn’t be any peace if we knew what trials or sorrows lie ahead of of us. God in His love keeps hidden from us things that might deter or frighten us if we knew too much about them before the time.

And there is a tendency not so much to see into the future but to live in it before it comes. There is a danger of spending a lot of our time in literally wishing our lives away by trying to live in the future. Like a school boy wishing for the time examinations are over or the next birthday party or holiday comes. You get this tendency in business men, lovers and people of all walks of life. And often when the time is fulfilled people find it hasn’t brought the happiness they thought it would and that their earlier days were their best days. For at every stage of life there is always still something more desired that seems to lie ahead, and men and women wishing fo-r some future event to Come, and in doing so they make today a good deal duller than it needs to be.

Let us have our hopes for tomorrow by all means, but enjoy today while it is with us. For “this is the day which the Lord hath made so let us rejoice and be glad therein”. Jesus was always trying to get people to trust the coming days to God and to live today fully and worthily. He was dead against this tendency of adding to today’s fears and burdens those of tomorrow. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”.

Our text recommends that we live each day as it comes.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, writer of many helpful books on the problems of living, tells us in his book, “The Art of Real Happiness”, a story of a charming old lady. Her hair was white, her cheeks though pink were covered with a network of criss cross lines of care. A little girl had come to visit her, and as the same toast sixteen years previously when a minister in Portsmouth, and it was a source of great delight to find many old friends present. On the following Sunday morning I addressed a newly formed congregation of the Presbyterian Church of England in Lovedean. This congregation mainly of Scots is making a brave effort to become established in a large new housing area where many of the people are openly opposed to having a church building erected near to their homes, which speaks for itself of the attitude of masses of the people of this generation to the religion which inspired our civilisation and social welfare. The Service was held in a community hall and was attended by a large number of professional people frorn Portsmouth itself, who are giving this new venture their support. The newly appointed minister, Rev. R. G. Whitehouse has come recently from Regent Square in London. It is a fascinating task forming a new charge of the Church as everyone works together with such keenness, and there is no one there to quote how things used to be done in the good old days. But it is a costly task as the congregation needs to raise the stipend and meet the building cost-s. While I was south Rev. Dr. John Kennedy conducted the Services in the Old Parish and I wish to thank him warmly. From what I have heard his sermons and address to the children was very much enjoyed.

Formation of Youth Fellowship

The Fellowship of Youth under the leadership of Miss Kitty Duff has now made a good start, and programmes of special interest are being planned. On Sunday, 23rd February the Youth Fellowship will accompany the Boys’ Brigade Group to the ancient English Parish Church of Arthuret, near Longtown, when the special Service given our Church on 1st December will be repeated as the conclusion oft a special Week of collecting for Christian Aid.

Sunday School Superintendent

At a recent meeting of our Sunday School teachers it was unanimously agreed to appoint Mr. John Scott, 54 William Street, as Sunday School Superintendent. John has been serving as a Sunday School teacher for several years. He is the youngest of our elders, and has for some years served as Secretary and Leader of the Langholm Youth Club. Last year John was chosen by the Hawick Presbytery as Presbytery representative to the Fourth British Conference of Christian Youth held Edinburgh from 26th July to 2nd August, when the subject of the Conference was “Living 68 Style”. John Scott takes over after a gap in the office of Sunday School Superintendent since the removal of Mr. William Stuart to Lockerbie. Mr. William Stuart, now living tin Benreay, Lockerbie, served our Church as Sunday School Superintendent for over 55 years. We can be sure that he will be feeling very thnilled to know that a young and keen Christian elder of the Old Parish now follows him in this important office.

Disappointment Over Day Trip to Holland

It is a source of very great disappointment that the proposed Day Trip to Holland on a Wednesday in April is not going to take place owing to the Tourist Company finding themselves booked up to the limit. We had well over 40 names of people looking forward to the trip. The Tourist Company offers a similar trip to Paris at a rather higher charge of £12 but we cannot consider this at this late date. What we have decided to do is to book now for April 1970.

Minister’s Visitation

As intimated in the last parish magazine I was due to commence visitation of all members of the Old Parish Church on 20th January, partly with a view of encouraging all our members to contribute to the Church in an organised and regular way. I have not got nearly so far on as I hoped, and have yet to complete High Street, to be followed by Hallpath area, and southern end of High Street. This will be followed by Iiohn Street, George Street, Charles Street: Old, David Street, and Rosevale and West Street. Owing to the hinderrance of flu I am having to drop a week out of this programme. I may say that you are all the most charming people to visit, and that you are in the main responding to the appeal made in the last issue of this magazine.

Eskdale Old People’s Welfare Committee

The Committee met on Friday, 10th January when it was resolved to held an outing for the older people of Langholm and Eskdale in June, probably on Tuesday, 10th and will be a return visit to Silloth.

British Legion Party for Langholm and Eskdale Older People

On Saturday, 11th January the Langholm Branch of the British Legion again gave a delightful tea and entertainment of the older people of Langholm and district. This party was also attended by a number of elderly people from Notwen House, Kirkpatrick- Fleming, including Mrs Allison and Mrs Wands, both members of our Old Parish Church. We congratulate William Cuthbertson and his Committee on this effort, and the Ladies Committee on serving the tea and presenting a gift to all present.

Guide Thinking Day

The Girl Guides, under their Captain, Miss Mary Dalgliesh, and their Lieutenant, Miss Jean McVittie, and the Brownies under Brown Owl Miss Mary Armstrong will attend the Old Parish Church on Sunday, 23rd February to observe Thinking Day.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

During the past month we have lost a highly respected citizen of Langholm and a former elder of the Old Parish Church in the passing of Thomas Calvert, Eskdale Cottage, on Wednesday, 22nd February at the age of 79. Thomas Calvert was ordained an elder on 17th April, 1927 by the late Rev. William Lindsay, M.A., and was for many years devoted servant of the Church. He served in the First World War with the 5th K.O.S.B. Regiment in France and suffered much after the war as the result of gas poisoning. He was a man of genial and friendly disposition and with a delightful sense of humour. Many of our people will remember this late wife Nellie Scott Jackson who was apopular figure and worker in the Church and community whose passing away in 1955 was a great loss to him. he is survived by his son Jackson Calvert, to whom we extend our deep sympathy.

With greetings to all our people

Yours sincerely,




F.W.O. January £72 9 9

Ordinary January £19 19 6


On Tuesday, 14th January the Guild enjoyed seeing the film, “The Healing Hands of Nazareth”, and listening to Rev. George Brown speaking about the work of the Edinburgh Missionary Society.

The Guild Burns Supper was held on Tuesday, 28th when a company of over seventy attended. The Haggis was carried in by "Mrs. Elaine Anderson, led by Piper Ronald Laidlaw, and addressed in traditional style by Miss Jeannie Graham. The company of delightful singers included Irving Stuart, Ian Rodger, and Mrs. Sheila Johnstone. Mr. A. C. Mallinson served as accompanist. The chief guest was the Rev. E. J. Stuart Wallace, minister of Carlisle Church of Scotland and chaplain to Carlisle Hospitals. He spoke of Robert Burns from a wide knowledge of his life and works. He recalled how his great-grandfather as Minister of St. Michael’s Dumfries was minister to Robert Burns later his widow and family and how his grandfather, when minister of Troqueer was an intimate friend of the Burns family, and therefore claimed that from his own father he had obtained a true picture of the real man, not the rake as some of his enemies had tried to depict him but a man of higher morals than the majority of the prominent figures of his day. Mr. Wallace spoke rnovingly of Burns’ genius in expressing feeling and understanding with human weakness and failure in his songs. That his life battle against rheumatic endocarditis, of which he was later to die an early death, was caused not by excessive drinking but by hard work and wet clothes as plowman at Mt. Oliphant in his early days. The toast to Town and Trade was moved by Mr. James Pattie, Rector of Langholm Academy, who spoke of the worth of the Langholm people, their Provost and Town Clerk, Councillors and Officers in keeping the town clean and attractive at the lowest possible rates. He spoke of our debt to our industrial leaders in tweed export, and told how on a recent visit to Salisbury, Rhodesia, he was thrilled to see Langholm tweed displayed in one of the leading shops. The reply to Town and Trade was given by Mr. Donald Lamont, who spoke with humour and thanked Mr. Pattie for the well deserved compliments to the people of Langholm. The toast to the Lassies was moved by Mr. John Maclntosh when he delighted the company with an account of the incrieasiingly important part women were taking in public life. The toast was replied to by Mrs. E. Anderson in a very able speech.

A vote of thanks to the speakers, singers, accompanist, Miss Graham for reciting, and the Piper was moved by Mrs. T. Calvert, Guild President, to which there was a warm response.

The next meeting of thr Guild is on Tuesday, 25th February when Mr David Ward of Carlisle will bring his popular Quartette of singers and elecutionists. Mr Ward is Carlisle Solicitor and a son of the manse, and is well known for sacred and secular concerts he has produced. To this meeting we invite as guests the Young Wives Fellowship, the Over 60 Club, and the occupants of Greeenbank. As there is no guild meeting before that day we appeal for gifts of sandwiches, scones and cakes for this occasion.


February 2 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. W. Hosie, 60 Holmwood Drive.

February 9 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Ieannie Graham, White Cottage.

February 16 -11 am. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. K. Neill, Varna, Ha’path.

February 23 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Robert Graham, 2 Eskdale Place. Guides and Brownies attend Evening Service in observance of Thinking Day.

March 2 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss E. Rowe, 30 Henry Street.


January 5 - Duncan, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Armstrong, Hillhead.

January 5 - Shirley Margaret, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Scott, 54 William Street.

January 12 - Andrew, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Paisley, Cammo.

January 13 - James George, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Webb, 60 Henry Street.


January 31 - Alexander Heughan, 7 Holmwood Crescent, to Jean Stroyan Hyslop, British Linen Bank House.


January 22 - At Longtown Hospital, Thomas Calvert of Eskdale Cottage. Age 79.

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? . . Thanks be unto God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. l Cor. 15. 54 - 57.