Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.59                       Price 1/ - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       JANUARY, 1966.

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.

Motto Text for November:"As thy days, so shall thy strength be." Deut. 33. 25.


Dear Fellow-Member,

I am giving the text of my New Year sermon as the promise of God to everyone of you for 1966. The promise means that we will have strength sufficient for each day as it comes, providing we do not squander it over our yesterdays and tomorrows.

Away back on 10th April, 1913 a world-renowned physician addressed the medical students at Yale University in the United States. His name was Sir William Osler, who came from Canada, later worked in the United States, and later still became Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. Sir William was A great man, not simply because he was the author of the greatest standard medical textbook of his day, but by his teaching an dexample he had raised the practice of medicine on two continents to a new level of dignity and service. He was also a man with a wide grasp of other subjects and interests, he was a lover of English literature, and widely read in philosophy. But he was also intensely human, full of fun and loved happy living, loved little children and enjoyed playing with them and writing letters to them. In his address to the medical students of Yale University in April, 1913, he gave them a prescription for good happy living, what he called his philosophy of life, and this is what he said: "Live in day-tight compartments. Throw away all ambition beyond that of doing the day's work well. The travellers on the road to success live in the present, heedless of taking thought for the morrow. Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day absorb your entire energies and satisfy your widest ambition." Now this is not only excellent advice for each one of us for living in this New Year, 1966, it is also in keeping with our Motto Text, that we remember we are given strength for each day as it comes, and that we should guard against using up any of that strength over yesterday worries or tomorrow's anxieties.

Live not in the past, says Sir William Osler

This of course does not mean that we are to school ourselves to live without memory. James Barrie says , "God gave us memory that we should have roses in December". And the memory of happy friendships and happy experiences has a real ministry for us. And the Bible says a lot about remembering. "Remembering the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders and they will tell thee." In another place the Bible says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth". And we know how Jesus in the Upper Room, as He gave the bread and wine to His disciples said, "This do in remembrance of Me".

On the other hand there is much in the past that is far better buried away from our sight forever. Many of us need to conduct a sort of funeral ceremony, not a mournful but joyous funeral ceremony of our own past. In one grave we should bury our past sins and misdoings out of sight forever. For after all, if we have brought out past sins in penitence to God and to the foot of the Cross and had them forgiven, what is the point of going on remembering them and torturing ourselves every day for something we did wrong in the past. God's forgiveness can have no meaning for us unless we take it to ourselves and sort of forgive ourselves: and do as God does, bury our sins out of sight. The Bible says "God sent His Son to be the propitiation of our sins". The Greek translated "propitiation" means "to cover something out of sight forever". That is what God does for us when we come to Him in penitence with our sins and wrong-doings, but we make His gracious forgiveness impossible if we go on remembering and recalling the wrong things we have done in the past. And we should also bury in a very deep grave our past failures and regrets. What is the good of going on saying to ourselves, "If only I had done this or that how different life would have been". There is a character in one of Dickens' stories, I forget now where, who had blundered badly, and he says "if only I hadn't done this" and goes on lamenting his mistakes. But Mark Tapley says "don't look back, don't cry over spilt milk, it won't do you any good". How true it is that it is no good crying over spilt milk. To do so is only to inflict upon ourselves needless punishment. And one other grave we should dig deep and bury in it all our past annoyances and insults and hurts we have received from other people which our minds tend to magnify out of all proportion. I spoke to the Old People's Christmas Party in the Buccleuch Hall the other day about the Christmas Spirit of "forget and forgive for old times sake". How important this is, for to go on carrying in our hearts and minds memories of past injuries we have received from other people hurts no one else but ourselves, and tends to make life sour and clouds all our days. And one other grave we should dig for our past sorrows. I do not mean our sense of bereavement and love for dear departed ones, but all tendency to self-pity which makes life intolerable for ourselves and those around us. For after all, whatever happens to us, life must go on, and we must guard against hurting the living out of sorrowing for the departed.

St. Paul after his conversion on the Damascus Road, realised the urgency of burying, forever the past. He had a past that was painfulto remember. He had taken part in the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He had dragged the Christians to torture and death. To have gone on remembering all this after he became a follower of the Lord Jesus would have rendered him useless in the Master's service. And so in his Epistle to the Philippians he says, "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press on".

Sir William Osier says we should not only forget the past but that travellers on the road to success should be heedless of taking thought for tomorrow.

This does not mean we should cease anticipating the future, for we all need to make some provision for the future. The work of the Christian Church is largely concerned with the future, labouring for the day when Christ's rule will be established upon earth. And in our daily work many of us are engaged in what we might call long-range tasks, and only as we look to tomorrow can we see their completion and some meaning to our present labour. And yet Sir William says "live not in the future" and Jesus said much the same thing as is recorded in Matthew 6. "Be not anxious about tomorrow, tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own." N.E.B. What we are being warned against here is two-fold.

Fretting about imaginary troubles in the days to come. Many people are using up their daily strength worrying about things they fear will happen to them in the future, which for most people never happen. Like that story in. St. Mark 16 about the women who went early in the morning on the first day of the week to the sepulchre to annoint the body of their Lord. All the way they kept worrying "who will roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre". But when they came to the sepulchre they found that the stone had already been rolled away. And so it often happens when we come to tomorrow the things we had feared and fretted about do not exist, and never did exist except in our own imagination. So much of our worry is needless, and at any rate it does nothing to help us even if it is about something that is real. Lord Baden Powell, founder of the Scout movement, once said, "I have had many troubles in my life, most of them never happened".

And then this tendency of living in the future makes us wish the present days will pass quickly, and leads us to mortgage the happiness of today for some future happiness which for most people never comes. So many people are spending their days wishing them to pass quickly because they are living for some success or happiness they believe awaits them next week, or next month, or next year. Jesus was dead against this way of living, and Sir William Osier counsells against it. He says "travellers on the road to success live in the present, heedless of taking thought for tomorrow". "My dear children", Marie Curie once wrote to her family at the New Year, "I send you my best wishes for a Happy New Year. That is to say, a year of good health, good humour and good work. A year in which you will have pleasure in living every day, without waiting for the days to be gone before finding charm in them, and without putting all hope of pleasure in the days to come. The older one gets the more one feels that the present must be enjoyed."

And another reason against living too much intomorrow is that no one can be sure of ever reaching tomorrow, no matter what our age or health or expectation of life. As the Apostle James says in chapter 4 of his Epistle, "Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." The best commentary on these words of S. James is the daily newspaper obituary column, disregarding the age of those deceased, because the longest life-span seems so short when it comes to an end. To those young medical students in Yale University the future would seem certain and assured, but Sir William reminds them that the future is uncertain for any age and that it is the present that matters.

Our text asks us to trust God for strength for each day as it comes, that is, to live one day at a time.

We will not fail in finding strength sufficient for our needs if we leave yesterday and tomorrow out of account, for the promise is "as thy day so shall thy strength be". We can learn the wisdom of this way of living by considering the techniques of Alcoholics Anonymous that remarkable fellowship which has done so much to help men and women from the compulsive drink habit. The A.A. never asks its members to sign a pledge or promise life-long abstinence. It simply asks them to begin each day with the resolution not to touch liquor for that one day. And it does not claim that the alcoholic can achieve this agonizing self-discipline. He has to acknowledge his own helplessness, but help comes from fellowship with others of his own kind, and from an undergirding power that is inspired by faith. He lives a day at a time, and trusting in help from outside of himself, from others like himself and from the source of power referred to in our text.

So my New Year message is, live a day at a time, and we will have strength sufficient for our needs. More than that we will be enabled to live with a sense of triumph and victory. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale in his book, "The Art of Real Happiness", in a chapter entitled "Growing Old Happily", tells this story. At a dinner party an elderly white-haired gentleman was the source of most of the good cheer in conversation. He kept the whole party in good humour. When any subject like war or strikes was introduced he would sidetrack the conversation and introduce some brighter topic. He was full of vigour and of bright hopeful spirit. Someone remarked "well you really have mastered the art of living, were you always like this?" "No," he replied, "at one time I was a terrible wreck and addicted to constant worry. But fifty years ago I was cured. I began reading my Bible and meditating upon texts like " they that trust in the Lord shall renew their strength", and "As thy days so shall thy strength be".

"And as I let words like these sink into my diseased mind I suddenly found myself healed". God wants us all to trust Him for tomorrow, that is why He doesn't tell us anything about the future before it comes, and His promise is that whatever tomorrow may have in store for us, we will have strength sufficient for the day when it comes.

"For tomorrow and its needs I do not pray.

But keep me, guide me, help me, just for today."


Over the Christmas Season many happy parties have taken place in Langholm. Two of these parties were for older people. One on Wednesday, 15th December in the Buccleuch Hall, organised by the Eskdale Old People's Welfare Committee. This Party began with a Christmas Service when all the ministers took part, Revd. Miss Bonnar, Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie, Revd. Fr. Marshall, Mrs. Thomson of Canonbie U.F. Church and myself. Christmas songs were sung by Miss Jean Ferguson, Mrs. V. Borthwick, Mrs. Beattie and Mrs. Thomson. A splendid tea was served by the ladies of the Committee and on leaving the party of approximately 160 were all presented with a gift. The second was the Over 60 Club party in our Old Parish Hall. This party was organised by Mrs. Flint, hostess, assisted by her Committee, when approximately 60 were given a turkey supper, a gift and an evening's entertainment. The Langholm Town Band helped in leading carol singing, and Mrs. Angus played her accordion.

The Sunday School par cies were very much enjoyed. The Primary Party on Saturday, 18th was a great success, and much credit for this goes to Misses Mary Dalgliesh and jean McVittie. The Senior Party was on Monday, 20th when over 80 lads and girls enjoyed a programme of games, songs and dancing. Again many thanks to the teachers including Misses Mary Dalgliesh, jean McVittie, Lila McVittie, Brenda Morrison, Mrs. Elaine Anderson and Messrs. Gavin Graham and Irving Bell.

The Guild Party on 14th December was very much enjoyed. Mrs. Carter, Guild president, presiding, and children from the Junior Youth Club helping in the entertainment in singing carols.

The Life Boys and Boys Brigade held their parties on the week before Christmas, and were well supported by the Parents Committee.

The Christmas Services began on Sunday, 19th December. In the Morning we all were deeply touched by the part played by the children in producing a Nativity Play. We are indebted to Miss Hazel Farms of Canonbie Manse, and George Cowan for their work in producing the play. and Miss Hazel Farms for her singing. The gifts brought by the children, a very good quality of gifts, were taken this year and divided between the children in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and the Astley Ainsley Hospital, Edinburgh. Letters of warm thanks and appreciation have been received from the respective Matrons.

The Evening Service on the 19th of December was a Carol Service led by the Langholm Town Band. Under Mr. Chapman, Bandmaster, the Band gave a delightful rendering of the Hallelujah Chorus. The attendance at both Morning and Evening Services was good. In the intimations that day thanks were expressed to the Buccleuch Estates for gift of Christmas Trees for the church and the hall, to the ladies of the Guild for their good work in decorating the church, to those who had erected the Christmas Tree and fitted the lighting, and to a lady to be unnamed who had donated additional furnishings of Wise Men, Camels and Shepherds for the lovely Stable which was made and presented to the Church two years ago by the late William Morrison.

The Christmas Eve Candle Light Service had an increased attendance this year. Well known carols were sung in candle light, and solos were sung by Mrs. Violet Borthwick, Silent Night; and Mrs. Alexa Harkness, Child .in a Manger. Lessons were read by Jim Kyle, representing the Boys Brigade; George Jackson and Grace Brown, representing the Erskine Church; Brenda Morrison, representing the Sunday School and Badminton; Barbara Paterson. representing the Young Farmers; Elaine Anderson, representing the Guild; Anthony Yarham, representing the Junior Youth Club; and. Anne Cartner from Eskdalemuir, now a trained Youth Leader. The midnight bell was rung by Walter Brown. The collection was on behalf of Christian Aid for the World's Suffering, under the British Council of Churches, and amounted to £24 15s 9d. Thanks were expressed to DavidCalvert, and Danny Murray for erection and provision of boards for candle bearing, and others who had helped.

Christmas Day Service was again well attended in the Old Parish, when Dr. Dinwoodie preached an apprcpriate sermon.

The Services on the Sunday after Christmas were well supported. The Evening Service was a special joy to us all, when through the activities of Mr. Mallinson and Mrs. Carver a large choir of over 40, all of our congregation, led in a delightful Service of Christmas music and singing. Parts rendered by the choir included, "Good King Wenceslas", "Nazareth", "The Coventry Carol", and "Unto Us a Boy is Born". At this Service I paid tribute to the courage of the late Mr. Richard Dimbleby, and made courage the subject of a short Old Year address.


As intimated on recent Sundays, we are hoping to start a Junior Choir, and the first meeting will be on Friday, 7th in the Old Parish Hall at 4.15 p.m. The age group suggested is 8 years upwards. The leader of the choir is Mrs. Smith, wife of Dr. James Smith. Mrs. Smith, who is a highly qualified music teacher, was born and brought up in the Manse. Her father, the Revd. John Kennedy, D.D., Ph.D., is minister of Cambuslang Old Parish Church. We are very fortunate in having Mrs. Smith offering her services for this good work and I hope there will be a big response. Nothing can be calculated to do our Church more good at the present time than restoration of the Junior and Senior Choirs in full strength.


The Young Wives Fellowship had an encouraging first meeting, when Mrs. Betty Elliot was appointed president, Mrs. Hutton as secretary, and Mrs. Yarham as treasurer. The meeting in January is on Thursday the 20th and will be held in the Hall at 3 p.m., bringing babies who will be looked after by Guild members. Young mothers without children are also cordially invited. We appeal for gifts of toys suitable for the baby room where they are cared for whilst mothers are attending the Fellowship. A rocking horse would be a most useful and acceptable gift. or toys of that nature.


I wish to acknowledge with warm thanks the gift of £1 sent to me anonymously, "for two people known to me who will have a lonely Christmas".

Also £50 from Mrs. Flora Cochrane, St. Anns, Langholm, for Christmas cheer for Langholm people. I may add that this is being expended on bags of coal of one hundredweight to a number of people whose names have been selected after consultation with the Lady Visitors of the Eskdale Old People's Welfare Committee. One would like to include all elderly people with such remembrance but even a generous gift of £50 only buys a certain number of bags of coal and then we have to stop before all one would like to remember are included.


The United Monthly Evening Service for January will be in the Erskine Church on Sunday, 16th January, when the Revd. Beatrice Bonnar, B.D. will be the preacher. I am proud of the way our Old Parish people are supporting these united efforts. This is a sane and Christian movement of bringing the small evening congregations together, and it makes one ask why there should ever be any division since we sing the same hymns and psalms, say the same prayers, and are labouring for the same goal.


During the past month two grand men of stalwart character have passed away. First John Scott, 23 Eskdaill Street. He was born in Longtown and as a young man joined the South Shields Police, and rose to the rank of Deputy Chief Constable. He retired to Langholm because of his love for the hills and rivers and people of our township. Together with his wife Ethel they founded the Star of Eskdale Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, and through their efforts the Langholm Chapter ranks high in the opinion of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland. John Scott passed away after a few months suffering in which he displayed a like courage to that of the late Richard Dimbleby. The South Shields Police were represented at his funeral out of the high respect in which he was held. He is survived by his wife and family of one son and two daughters, and we extend to them our sincere sympathy in their loss.

On Sunday, 2nd January, George McVittie, 27 Charles Street (New), passed peacefully away. He was at Church on the previous Sunday and fully intended being present for worship on New Year's Sunday, but it was not to be. George was one of the finest and most highly respected men of our community, and is remembered and mourned by many for the kindness and help given in that way of not letting the right hand know what the left hand was doing. He never quite got over the loss of his wife last February, but up to the last he was full of good cheer, good humour and interested in all that was going on—especially in his own Church. George McVittie was blessed with wonderful next door neighbours in Mr. and Mrs. Danny Telford, who meant a lot to him in these last months. Few people have been more generous to the Old Parish Church, which he loved and in days of health was rarely absent from Sunday worship.

Deepest sympathy with Miss Joan B. Wilson, 2 Francis Street, in the passing of her sister Miss Jane Beattie Wilson, M.A. on 12th December. I know from conversation in my visitation in the town how highly Miss Jane Wilson was thought of by those who were fortunate in having her as their teacher in Langholm Academy.

Langholm has suffered a big loss in the sudden passing of Mr. R. R. Scott Hay. Tributes have been paid to him in the Local and National Press, but I would like here to record appreciation of his helpfulness and ready sympathy when I approached him from time to time in the interests of youth facilities. Our present Youth Club had its birth in premises in Charles Street Old which Mr. Scott Hay made available. On frequent occasions he invited our Youth Fellowship to the Reid and Taylor Gallery, and addressed them on the relation of Art to the tweed industry.

Wishing all our people every blessing in 1966.

Yours sincerely,




FWO £:91 14 9 Ordinary £:27 5 10

By Deed of Covenant £:40 0 0

By Annual Envelope £:12 0 0

By Donations £:12 10 0

Christmas Day Collection £:2 2 9

Candelight Service £:25 0 0


The Guild commences the New Year with a meeting on Tuesday, 11th January when two talkie films will provide the programme. One film tells us of our missionary work in Kenya and the other of Nigeria.

The Guild Burns Supper will be on Tuesday, 25th January, when the guest speaker will be the Revd. J. C. Lough, M.A., Minister of Hutton and Corrie and Eskdalemuir.

On 8th February the Guild has arrangements for the Wigton Road Methodist Choir, Carlisle, coming to give an evening of song.


December 18, Alan Scott, 104 Stranfrank Road, Carstairs Junction, to Helen Thomson Telfer, 7 Eskdaill Street.


December 9, Karen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allan James McGinley, 93 Caroline Street.

December 26, John Edward, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Calvert, 14 Charlotte Street.


December 11, Mr. John Scott, 23 Eskdaill Street. Age 73.

January 2, Mr. George McVittie, 27 Charles Street New. Age 83.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 2nd Timothy 4. 7.


January 9-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. C. Glendinning, 70 High Street.

January 16-11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers Miss Mary Hounam, 54 Caroline Street. 6 p.m. United Service in Erskine Church.

January 23-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. John Tyman, Barbank, Langholm.

January 30-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Wm. Hosie, 60 Holmwood Drive. February 6-11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss J. Graham, Whita Cottage.


The Kirk Session Will meet on Wednesday, 12th January in the vestry at 7.30 p.m.

The Congregational Board will meet on Wednesday, 26th January in the vestry at 730 p.m.