Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.81                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       JANUARY 1968.

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.

Text for New Year, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and forget not all His benefits”. Psalm 103. 2.

This word “forget" occurs in the Bible no less than fifty nine times, and always with some special significance. In my New Year message I wish to note three occasions when this word is used with meaning for us as we leave 1967 behind and venture forward upon the circuit of another year.

Forget not all His Benefits

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies.”

It will make all the difference to this New Year if we enter upon it with a spirit of thanksgiving for all the blessings that have followed us in past days. Enter upon this New Year with a deep sense of gratitude for all we have and are. This is a reasonable thing to do because our benefits and blessings must have come from somebody, and who else can we call that “somebody” but God. Poor Leslie Stephen was a fine character but he didn’t believe in God. He had a very delightful wife and they were great companions. After her death he wrote to a friend and tried to say what a wonderful woman his wife had been, and then ended his letter - “l . . .” (here was a blank) “that I have known her these years”, .But you cannot thank fate or blind chance for your benefits, you can only thank somebody and that is God.

Right at the heart of London is a famous hospital called, Charing Cross Hospital. Apart from sickness it deals with a thousand cases of accidents each week. For a long time the Chairman of that great Hospital was a man called Lord Inman. His Christian name was Philip and he came from a very poor home. He was the youngest of a faimily of four brothers, and while Philip was very young his father died and so his mother had to face very hard times in bringing the four boys up to manhood. But Mrs. Inman, Philip’s mother," whom he loved very much, was a wonderful woman, full of courage and faith in God. Though she worked very hard to get money to buy what her boys needed, she didn’t want anybody to pity her.

First, she took in washing, piles of it, sheets, towels and table-cloths. With deep t tubs of hot water, she soaped them and rubbed and scrubbed them on the washboard, till the steam rose and they became clean and white again. Then she rinsed them in cold water, wrung them, pegged them out in the sun and wind to dry. It was very hard work, but she needed the money. Then she learned that a good caretaker was required for a local school, and she took that on too. This made her busier than ever, but with a good stout broom, and a scrubbing brush, and a duster she did the work well. Still she wasn’t earning enough money to buy all that was needed, especially in the winter when she had to buy coals. So after a time she heard someone was needed to scrub the tombstones in the village graveyard at two shillings a time. It was hard work, and she couidn’t do it all by herself; so the boys in turn used to go with her to help carry the bucket and scrubbing brush, and hold the lantern. She had to do this work at night for there wasn’t enough time during the day. When she got home on a night she was very weary and tired but she never grumbled, and didn’t want anybody to pity her. At night, when all the work was done and they were all together at home, she would say to her boys; “Now let’s have a chapter before we go to bed”. And of course they did. The old family Bible was brought out, and parts they loved read. The boys loved the stories about Moses, Joshua and David, and the New Testament stories. They came to know many of the Bible stories off by heart. They would take turns in choosing what to read from the Bible. Inman had many chapters she loved specially, and one of them was the 103rd Psalm, especially the second verse, “Forget Not All His Benefits”. To begin with Philip didn’t undersrtand the meaning of the word “benefits”, and then he learned that it meant a kindness conferred by someone who cares for us, but he couldn't understand why this verse was his mother’s favourite. She seemed to have to work so hard, and still have so little money, and one night when he knew he couldn't possibly puzzle it out for himself, he asked her. “Mother” he asked, “What are the benefits you haven’t to forget?”. His mother looking very tired, smiled and gave this answer. “I have my health and strength. We have a roof over oureheads. And I have you, my children”.

Yes, you have a lot of benefits to be thankful for if you have your health and strength, for without it nothing else will compensate. You have a lot to be thankrful for if you have a roof over your head, for as the Directors of Shelter tell us, there are over 12,000 families in Britain today without homes, in Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool and London

Secondly, in Philippial 3. we read, "Forgetting those things which are behind”.

This advice comes from St, Paul, and you remem- abet. he had a lot in his life that was best forgotten. He hadbeen a persecutor of the early Christians.He had consented to the stoning of St. Sterphen, the first Christian martyr. He had dragged the Christians from stheir homes to torture and death. But now he has become a follower of Jesus Christ himself, and while knowing he was freely forgiven for all in his past life, however could he live with the terrible memory and do useful work for his new Master. The memory of his past life always made him feel very humble and unworthy. “I am the least of all the Apostles, and not worthy to be called an Apostle" he writes, because I persecuted the Church of God”. But there came into St. Paul's life a time when he wisely decided to bury the past, because he realised that to go on fretting about What he had. done would never undo it all, and would sap his enthusiasm and zeal as the Apostles to the Gentiles. And so in writing to the Church in Philippi, he says, “Forgetting those things which are behind, I reach forth for those things which are before"

“Forgetting the things which are behind”. Sound advice as we go forward upon another year. For like Paul we all have much in the past that is best forgotten, and left behind. We are told of the old painter Siena, that after standing for long looking at one of his pictures, he turned away saying, “God forgive me that I did, not do it better”. But that kind of prayer gets you nowhere, for you cannot go back and paint the picture better, you cannot go back into 1967 and undo something you did or said. Whatever mistakes we have made in the past, whatever sins or failures lie behind us in our lives, they cannot be undone but they can be forgiven. The Bible says of the forgiveness of God which is offered us in Jesus Christ, that “though our sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be like crimson they shall be as wool”. And the Psalm 103 says that “As far as the East is from the West, so far can God, remove our stransgressions from us". Yes, but God cannot remove our past sins and failures unless we like Paul are prepared to forget those things which are behind, and set ourselves to paint better in the year. to come.

This also applies to past resentments, they will darken our lives and the lives of those around us unless. we are prepared to forget them and leave them to die with the old year. To go on harbouring bitter feelings against someone for wrong they once did us, in the end hurts nobody but ourselves. In a schoolIboy’s diary a few years ago were found these words,” written by Sucliffe, the international footballer, “Never yield to the spirit of getting your own back. If you are fouled, never say to yourself, “I’ll pay him back for that”. With the coming of this New Year 1968 God has givensus an excellent opportunity to cut ourselves adrifit from past resentments, and this is the only healthy and happy way to live. And the same thing is true of past sorrows and bereavements. while treasuring the memory of our dear departed, we are wrong to do this with grief and sadness. The first bereavement I experienced was the passing of my father. At the graveside I must have shown bitter grief and I remember a hand placed upon my shoulder an old tfriend of the family, who said to me something like this, “Your father who, sees and knows all that is happening here today will be terribly hurt at you, seeing you so upset. Whatever happens to us on the journey of life, remember that life has to go on, and we owe it to “those we live with to leave behind thoughts that sadden and depress. As Thomast Ad dison put it, “never sit“ down on the side of sad thoughts”. Take Paul's advice “forgetting the things which are behind". It is sound psychology for happy successful living. Forget the things which are behnd, and set ourselves to paint a better picture in the days to come.

Thirdly, in Hebrews 13. 16 we read, “To do good forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased”.

Our first Bible “forget” asks us to forget not all God’s benefits. The second asks us to forget and bury out of sight the past year. And finally We are asked not to forget to do good in the New Year upon which we have entered.

We read in the Acts of the Apostles that Jesus went about doing good. That is, went about seeking to help and encourage men and women by word and deed. I remember an old minister in the North of Cumberland, Rev. Thomas Waugh, whose only son was killed in a railway accident. Some months later, speaking at a meeting in Oldham he said, “Not until five weeks ago did my wife and I feel able to go to the wardrobe and examine the contents of the pockets of the clothes my lad wore when he was killed. In the breast pocket we found a card very much marked as if often read, bearing the words, ‘My resolve'

“I shall pass this way but once, therefore any kind word I can speak, or kind action I can do, shall be done now, as I shall not come this way again.”

This comforted the bereaved father and mother and enabled them to cast aside useless grief which was unfitting them for daily living.

Well, we cannot go back into 1967 and pass through it again, for we pass this way but once. So let us miss no chance of speaking a kind word and doing a kind action. We will have no sad regrets for any good we try to do for our fellows, any part we play in the Church or community in forwarding the work of the Kingdom of God in the world, and the year may be one we will not want to forget it holds memories of something we have done to bring gladness to some fellow traveller. “To do good forget not, for such sacrifices are well pleasing to God".


Dear Fellow Member,

I begin the January letter with best of all good wishes to the members and friends Of the Old Parish Church for the year 1968. I wish also to thank many for Christmas greeting cards, all too numerous to acknowledge individually.

Review of December Services and Activities

The Christmas parties were all much enjoyed. The Young Wives on 6th December, the Women's Guild on 12th December, the Over 60 Club on 19th December, the Eskdale Old People's Welfare Committee Christmas Service and party on 20th December, the Pramary Sunday School on 16th December, the Boys' Brigade Dance and Party on 23rd December, and the Junior and Senior Sunday School party on 26th December.

On Sunday, l0th December, the Evening Service was attended and led by the Young Wives Fellowship, and took the form of Lessons and Carols. Lessons were read by Mrs. Jean Graham, Mrs. Jeanette Donaldson, and Mrs. Betty Elliot. Mrs. Jean Young was the soloist. The church was beautifully decorated by the Young Wives, and the Service was well attended and much enioyed.

On Sunday, 17th December, the evening Service was led by the Boys' Brigade and took the form of Carols and Lessons.

Lessons were read by Lt. Isobel Wylie, Staff Sgt. Brian Porteous, Sgt. James Cairns, and Cpl. Philip Harkness. The Service was attended, by the Junior Brigade along with the B.B. Company, and together they sang "Good King Wenieslas". At this Service the minister congratulated the 1st Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade upon their smartness and keen interest in the Church and their good Leadership.

On Sunday 24th December, the Morning Service. which took the form of a Children's Chrisimas Gift Service, was led by the Sunday School. During the singing of the first hymn the children brought in their gifts which were of splendid value and variety. These were the same day Conveyed by Mrs. Graham of Eskdaill Street to Balcary, the Hawick Branch of Dr. Barnardo Homes, and were very gratefully received. The Service proceeded with the baptism of Anne Helen Scott, the daughter of Sgt. Allan Scott of the Royal Marines, and his wife Helen, a Sunday School teacher until her marriage.

Lessons were read by Bruce Somers, Heather Bell, Jacqueline Fletcher, and Sheila Lamont. Under the leadership of Mrs. Margaret Smith the children sang "Once in Royal David's city", "Away in a Manger". The Primary sang, "I saw three ships" and all the children sang "The First Nowell". it was a lovely Service and credit is due to our faithfui teachers and Mrs. Smith.

The Evening Service on 24th December was a United Service of Erskine, Congregational and Old Farish in the Erskine Church. We changed the arrangements to hold this Service in the Erskine Church in order to,provide adequate platform accommodation ,for the Langholm Junior Choir of some fifty members. The Service was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Harry Escott with ministers and elders of the other Churches reading lessons. The church was filled to capacity, showing the appreciation of the. langholm people in the work of Mrs. Margaret Smith, L.R.A.M. in training the Junior Choir. The Junior Choir rendered four groups of carols and very much delighted the congregation with their poise and absolutely first ciass training.

The Christmas Eve Midnight Service at 11.15 p.m. in the Old Parish had an increased attendance, especially of groups of young people. Lessons were read by Anthony Yarham, representing the Junior Youth Club, Jean Hyslop representins the Sunday School, Graham Robertson and Ian Lamont both representing the Boys' Brigade, Robert Hart and Sandy Heughan both representing the Sunday School, Grace Brown representing the Erskine Chrirch, and Janet Irving representing the Congregational Church.Mrs. Violet Borthwick sang "Silent Night. The collection amounting to just over £23 was take on behalf of SHELTER, a National Carnpaign for the Homeless in Britain.

The Christmas Day Service was in the Erskine Church, and was coriducted by the Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie.

Marriage of Minister's Daughter

This has been a very special Christmas for your minister and a family gathering that is rarely possible. I have not been much about in pastoral work over the Christmas period as I wanted to spend all the time possiible wiih members of my famiiy I can rarely hope to see. My son Tom and his wife came over from the U.S.A. to spend the week with us before the wedding, and it was a great delight to see him. Last year he obtained his Ph.D. in electronics in.Pittsburgh University and has since been appointed an Assistant Professor in Electronics. His wife Lorna has been doing research in child welfare for her M.A. in Pittsburgh. They have both done ceptionally well, and I am naturally very proud of them. We also have had my daughter Rosemary and her fiance David Anderson over the Christmas period. The wedding on Friday, 29th brought a lot of relatives from Cumberland, Lancashire and the South together, and the Old Manse was filled to capacity.

The Marriage Service in the Old Parish Church was beautifully conducted by my good friend Rev. Dr. John Kennedy. His lovely Glasgow D.D. robes, his wise words to the couple being married, and his kindly way of speaking made the Seryice one those present will always remember. Mr. Mallinson, and the members of the Choir who took off time to be present, played a part for which I am deeply grateful.

Also we are deeply in debt to Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Horwarth for their skill in arranging the flowers and making the church so yery attractive for the occasion. Mr. and Mrs. Fleming of the Crown Hotel laid on an excellent buffet reception, and by the part they played in seeing everyone served with their requirements, many of the guests remarked it was more like a reception at home.

Here I would like to express special thanks to the Women's Guild for a beautiful present to Rosemary of cut glass tumblers.

Presentation of New English Bible to our Church

In my last News Letter I mentioned that we were in need of a copy of the New English Bible for use on the Communion Table Lectern. I soon had many offers and the first was accepted from Irving Bell of Holmwood Drive, given to celebrate his 21st birthday on 25th Decem6er. I took advantage of the qpportunity to dedicate the Bible at the close of the Morning Service on Sunday, 24th December. Many thanks to Irving, and to many others who expressed a desire to make the gift.

Illumination of Stained Glass Window

I am personally very pleased with the effect of the new lightlng to bring out the figures in the lovely stained glass window in our church. It was found that a double lamp equipment was required and to be housed on a pillar near the window. This has invilved extra expense but my mind has been put at ease by Mrs Kenneth Neill who was quick to tell me she understood and was prepared to meet the extras cost.

Appointment of Treasurer and Life and Work Secretary

As I mentioned in the last News Letter, Mr. Robert Black has from the end of the year resigned as Treasurer of the Old Parish Church, and his resignation was received with regret, and gratitude for fifteen'years grand service to his Church. At a meeting of the Congregational Board on 15th December, Mr. Donald Lamont, Rosevale Street, was appointed: to take over this responsibile task. Mrs. Mina Carter has been appointed Secretary of Life and Work, to take charge of the magazine distributors.

Hawick Presbytery News

Arrangements have been made for every Church and parish in Hawick Presbytery to be addressed in groups by a representative of the Church of Scotland Christian Stewardship Committee during the month of January, 1968. There will be a meeting in Langholm, of Erskine Elders along with Canonbie and Newcastleton, and probably Ewes and Westerkirk. I have asked for the Old Parish to be exempted from this meeting in view of the fact that we have plans for a special effort along the lines I outlined to the Kirk Session at a recent meeting.

The Presbytery has been asked to nominate one delegate to attend the Fourth British Youth Conference of Christian Youth in Edinburgh in the summer of 1968. The name of Mr. John Scott, 54 William Street Langholm has been approved providing he finds himself free to attend. John is one of our young elders and has for years shown a keen and practical interest in youth work.

I wish to express very special thanks to Messrs Buccleuch Estates for once again gifting us with Christmas Trees for the church, and hall. Also to thank Billy Elliot and David Calvert for setting up the tree and Telfords of Langholm for supplying lighting. Also Mrs. Mina Carter for furnishing the Crib, and the ladies of the Guild for holly decoration. We are in debt to the Boys' Brigade for decorating the hall in splendid Christmas form, and for the good seryice given by the Boys' Brigade Band of Ian Glendinning, Douglas Cameron and Niall Weatherstone in many Christmas parties.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

Thomas Smith, 16 Henry Street, passed away on 7th Decemtber, suddenly, at the age of 81. He was interested in everything concerning Langholm and the Old Parish Church. I have happy memories of conversations with him about stock and farming in which he was keenly interested, and the privilege of celebrating Comrnunion with him in his home on many occasions. He was blessed with the care of a devoted sister, nephews and their wives, to whom we express our sypathy in bereavment. At this time I would like to express our concern and prayers for all visited with illness, especially for Mr. Robert Meek in his affliction, and his wife Beattie giving herself day and night to nursing her beloved.

Warm greetings to all our people

Yours sincerely


, Minister

The next meeting of the Guild is on Tuesday, 9th January, when the meeting will be open to all music lovers, men and women, young and old. The programme will be provided by the Carlisle Citadel Songster Brigade with electronic organ. Silver collection and Bring and Buy stall.

The Guild Burns Supper takes place on Tuesday, l6th January when the Guest Speaker will be the minister's nephew, Dr. Rowland Calvert from Burnley Hospital Group. Tickets 4/6d. Please take tickets by Sunday, 14th to enable the Secretary to have numbers for catering.


January 1 - 11 a.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. 6 p.m. United Service in Congregational Church Flowers Miss M. Hounam, 54 Caroline Street.

Januarv 21 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. John Tyman, Barbank.

January 28 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. W. Hosie, 60 Holmwood Drive.

February 4 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss J. Graham, Whita Cottage.


December l7 - Jacqueline Anne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harvey, Greenhead.

December 24 - Anne Helen, daughter of Sgt. and Mrs. Allan Scott, 7 Eskdaill Street.

December 3l - Tracy Jane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Iain Macdonald, Eskdale Hotel, Langholm.


December 29 - David Stirk Anderson, Elm House, Arncliffe, Skipton, to Rosemary Vara Holmes Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm.


December 7 - Thomas Smith, 15 Henry Street. Langholm. Age 81.

"Jesus said .. . I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." John ll. 25.