Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.93                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        JANUARY 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.


Dear Fellow-Member,

I wish to extend warmest New Year greetings to all our members and friends.

1968 Debit Balance

We have ended 1968 with a debit balance on Church Accounts of £250 which is a cause of considerable concern to our Church Treasurer, and of course to us all. This is due partly to the loss by death and removal of members who contributed generously by Deed of Covenant, or by W.F.O. It must also be due partly to smaller congregations in the past year. Also to increased allocations to the Co-ordinated Appeal and the Maintenance of the Ministry Fund.

In early December when we realised we would not be able to meet the annual expenses and payments due to the General Treasurer in Edinburgh, the Finance Committee discussed the best way of bringing the position to the knowledge of the congregation. It was agreed to recommend to the Congregational Board, and this was later approved by the Board, that I would inform the congregation in this issue of our Parish Magazine of the financial situation and meantime carry over the deficit of 1968 into the 1969 financial year. The Board has asked me to arrange for a copy of this letter to be delivered to all members of the congregation, and for the Minister thereafter to visit each elder’s district in turn, so that members might have an opportunity of offering to play a part in increasing the annual income of our congregation.

Commencing 20th January I will visit each elder’s district in turn, intimating on the previous Sunday the district to be visited. This is considered by the Board as a better approach than a Christian Stewardship visitation by two members of the Board allocated to each district. And here I wish to make a few suggestions on how members can best give financial support to their Church. First, I appeal to all our members paying income tax on the higher rate to consider contributing to the Church by Deed of Covenant. The advantage of contributing in this way is that for every £5 covenanted we receive each year £3 10s 3d in recovery of income tax. This means that for £5 given by Deed of Covenant our Treasurer receives £8 10s 3d. This can be done either by speaking to Mr Donald Lamont, National Commercial Bank, who is our Church Treasurer, or speaking to me and I will provide the necessary forms. A second way of contributing is by taking Weekly Freewill Offering Envelopes. On joining the Church a new member receives a card from the Church Treasurer asking the member to contribute in this way, and when you reply to that card your elder delivers the necessary envelopes at the commencement of the year. The contribution is placed in the envelope and put in the Offering taken up in the Morning or Evening Services each Sunday. Others again take Annual Freewill Offering Envelopes which are more suitable for members prevented from regular attendance at Church Services through age or infirmity. And for some not able to promise giving weekly or annually by envelope, a number of members take a Church Collection Box into which they put what they can afford from time to time, and these boxes are in future to be collected and returned every two months by a member of the Board.

Financing of Old Parish Hall.

The maintenance of the Old Parish Hall makes a heavy demand upon the annual income of our Church but it is our policy to give the Hall freely to all good work of the Church and community. I do not have the exact figures before me, but I do know that the annual cost of heating, lighting and cleaning is well over £200 per annum. The Women’s Guild uses the Hall fortnightly and contributes £40 a year towards the cost of heating and cleaning, as well as contributing over £200 a year towards our contribution to the Co-ordinated Appeal and Maintenance of the Ministry. To save the Church overhead expenditure I appeal to all organisations using the Hall to run some special effort annually as a contribution towards the cost of maintaining the premises.

Special Services and Christmas Parties in December.

On 1st December the Boys’ Brigade conducted the Evening Service, one of the most impressive Services in our Church that I have attended. The script was prepared, written and planned by Niall Weatherstone in consultation with the senior lads of the Company. The three talks were given Mr. Ramsay Johnstone, Lieutenant of the Company, which were followed by Folk Songs and Spirituals, all reminding the congregation of the part youth can and will play in the battle against the evil in ourselves, in society and in the world in general. Solos were sung by Niall Weatherstone accompanied by Douglas Cameron on the guitar. Songs in which the congregation was invited to join included “Sinner Man”, “Open Up Those Pearly Gates”, “We Shall Not Be Moved”, “Kumbaya”, “Good News”, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” and “We Shall Overcome.” Members of the Junior Brigade, including David Pool, David Irving, Donald Cowan, Paul Ernst, Alan Hill, Billy Young, John Scott and Kenneth Hill, sang “Where Have All The Flowers Gone ” and the carol “See In Yonder Manger Low.” It was a moving and challenging Service and the lads are to be congratulated upon their thoughtfulness in planning and conducting the Service. An Offering was taken for OXFAM amounting to £15 16s 9d.

On 8th December the Town Band led the Evening Service under Mr. Alfred Chapman, Bandmaster. The opening voluntary included “We Three Kings”, “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” and “The Holly and the Ivy.” The congregational hymns were all well known carols and heartily sung. Lessons were read by Bandsmen David Calvert and John Ritchie. A solo “If I Can Help Somebody” was sung by Michael Turk. The highlight of the whole and very delightful Christmas Service was the outgoing voluntary played by the Band. the triumphant and moving “Hallelujah Chorus.”

On 22nd December the Morning Service was led by the Sunday School children and staff, commencing with the children entering during the opening hymn with a Christmas gift. The gifts were received by the teachers and later distributed among the sick and aged in Langholm homes, hospital and Eventide Home, and others taken to homes and hospital in Dumfries, Lockerbie and Kirkpatrick Fleming. Toys were sent to the children’s ward of the Durnfries Royal Infirmary. In the Service the manger scene was presented in tableau by Janet Smith and Ian Bell representing Mary and Joseph, and Katrina Maxwell representing an angel. Alan Erskine, James Erskine, Robin Currie and John Scott representing the shepherds. Lessons were clearly and movingly read by Robert Hart, Christine Grieve and Sheila Lamont. The Primary sang “Away In A Manger” and a choir of infants and primary sang “I Saw Three Ships” with Mrs. Margaret Smith directing and accompanying them. This Service commenced with the baptism of Stewart Lawrence Robert Martin, followed by the appropriate hymn “A Little Child The Saviour Came."

At this Service I took the opportunity of thanking the young people for rendering such a lovely Service, also of thanking members of the Guild, David Calvert, Matthew Armstrong, Billy Elliot and others for their work in decorating the Church, and Buccleuch Estates Ltd. for gifting Christmas Trees.

The Evening Service on 22nd December was a United Service in the Erskine Church when the Langholm Iunior Choir again delighted a large congregation with their singing under the splendid leadership of Mrs. Margaret Smith.

On 24th December a Christmias Eve Candle-Light Service was held and well attended. Lessons were read by Robert Hart representing the Sunday School, by Ramsay Johnstone representing the Boys’ Brigade by Elspeth Harkness representing the Youth Club, and by Miss Ann Cartner of Eskdalemuir, now Youth Leader in Stranraer. Also by Mr. Tom Lockie representing the Congregational Church. Mrs. Violet Borthwick rendered “Still The Night” as a solo. Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie led the opening prayer. An Offering was taken on behalf of the Nigeria/Biafra starving people and amount-ed to £29 16s 6d including over £5 collected locally by Miss Lilian Copeland. At this Service I expressed thanks to Danny Murray, Jim Telford and David Calvert for their work along with Billy Elliot in providing, transporting and fitting boards for the candles.

On Christmas Day a United Service was held in our Church, led by Rev. Dr. Dinwoodie, and a down-to-earth and moving address given by Rev. Dr. Harry Escott.

On Sunday, 22nd December after the Evening Service a Boys’ Brigade Carol Choir visited the Hope Hospital, Greenbank Eventide Home, Meikleholm and other homes singing carols and making Christmas gifts. They provided a lot of pleasure to the sick and the elderly in the homes visited.

On Sunday, 29th December the Evening Service was addressed by Miss Ann Cartner on her decision to become a Youth Leader and upon the kind of problems, successes and disappointments encountered in this work.

The Guild Christmas Social on 10th December was one of the best, well attended and very much enjoyed. Songs were sung by Violet Borthwick and Tom Irving with John Cameron playing the accordion and Mrs. Wood accompanist. Games were organised by Mrs. Elaine Anderson and Miss Mary Dalgliesh. Mrs Howarth made an excellent job of table decoration.

On 12th December the Over 60 Club under Hostess Mrs. Flint provided a splendid Christmas supper and entertainment, with well over 60 attending. Songs were sung by Violet Borthwick, Jean Ferguson, Jessie Beattie and Tom Beattie, with Mr. Andrew Mallinson as accompanist. The Langholm Town Band played many well known carols and the people present were delighted when Mr. Chapman, Bandmaster, introduced the youngest member of the Band.

Sunday School Christmas Parties were very much enjoyed. The Primary party was on 21st December when over 80 children spent a very happy afternoon in the Hall. The games programme was conducted by Miss Mary Dalgliesh assisted by the Sunday School staff. After a good tea Father Christmas in the person of Robert Hart, entered the Hall during wild excitement, and presented gifts. The Senior Sunday School Party on Monday evenlng, 23rd, was a great success and tremendously enjoyed. The teachers deserve great credit for their organisation of these panties and their keen interest in the children.

On Christmas Eve a Boy’s Brigade Ball took place, when the Boys’ Brigade Band provided the music. They enjoyed a grand sit-down supper. Later the lads and girls present attended the Christmas Eve Midnight Service. The Old Parish Hall was beautfully decorated by the Boys’ Brigade and with a lovely Christmas Tree gifted by Buccleuch Estates.

On Wednesday, 18th December the Eskdale Old People’s Welfare Committee provided a very delightful Christmas Party for over 160 elderly people of Langholm and district. The party was held in the Buccleuoh Hall, and after a good meal and entertainment, each person present was presented with a gift. At the same time a Children’s Party was taking place in the Old Parish Hall, run by the Young Wives Fellowship, and was a very happy and succeessiul effort.

Special Events in January.

On Sunday, 12th January, we are beginnlng a Junior Youth Fellowship for young people of 14 years and over. The meetings will be held in the Church Hall at 7.15 p.m., that is immedliately after the Evening Service. The leader will be Miss Kitty Duff. Tea will be served at all meetingts, and at the first meeting there will be a discussion on future progammes.

The Women’s Guild next meeting will be Tuesday, 14th Jannuary, when the programme will be a film in sound entitled “The Healing Hands of Nazareth". The Rev. George Brown representing the Edinburgh Medical Mission Society will be the speaker. There will be a bring and buy stall at this meeting. The Guild will take part in the Evening Service on Sunday, 19th January.

The Guild Burns Supper will be on Tuesday, 28th January, when the guest speaker will be the Rev. R. I. Stuart Wallace, M.A., Church of Scotland minister for Carlisle.

On Sunday, 26th January the services in our Church will be conducted by the Rev. John Kennedy, D.D. Dr. Kennedy has been kept very busy since coming to live in Langholm, and is in constant demand in the Presbyteries of Hawick and Armandale. We are glad to have him this month occupying the Old Parish pulpit.

On this weekend I am to travel south to propose the Immortal Memory at the Portsmouth and District Caledonian Society on Saturday, 25th. On the following day, Sunday, 26th, I have been asked to conduct the Moring Service in an English Presbyterian Church Extension charge in Lovedean, just outside the Island of Portsmouth.


On 12th December, Miss Helen Mitchell, formerly of 21 George Street, passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital at the age of 87. The funeral took place on Monday, 16th to the Wauchope Churchyard. I notice from records in my possession that Miss Mitchel1’s father, Walter Mitchell, was ordained an elder of the Old Parish Church on 10th February, 1901. She was very proud of the part her father had played in the life of the Church in Langholm.

On 17th December, James Murray Cairns, Bridgeend House, passed away at the age of 89 only three days short of his 90th birthday. He was a man with happy memories of a busy and highly skilled life. We have often had conversatsions when I loved to hear of his work with traction engines and threshing machines in the Border district. He was blessed with a devoted family of Steven, Rita and Alastair near him, and his brother George.

On 28th December Robert Robson McVittie, 50 Caroline Street, passed away at the Cumberland Infirmary at the age of 82. Just over a year ago in July, 1967, his wife Minnie Lauder passed away after 47 years of happy married life. He had been a lonely man since her passing, though not forgotten by his relatives who were constant in remembering him. He served in the K.O.S.B. Regiment in the First World War, and for many years after the war as keeper at Burnfoot.

On 28th December Lilian Middleton Irving, Hagg Old School, Canonbie, passed away suddenly in the Cumberland Infirmary at the age of 54. We will relmember her as a woman of tremendous activity and with a great interest in poultry farming. She loved attending the Evening Service in our Church whenever she could manage. She was blessed with a devoted husband Robert Irving, and with her family Margaret and Alastair.

We express our deep and sincere sympathy with the bereaved.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


F. W. O. £94 7 10

Ordinary £48 12 5


The Congregational Board is called to meet in the Vestry on Wednesday, 22nd Jaunary at 8 p.m, preceded by a meeting of the Finance Commitee at 7 p.m.


Mr. George Thomson, an elder of the Ettrick Kirk Session is shortly to be awarded a long service certificate by {the Moderator of the General Assembly for 34 years service as an elder. Mr. Thomson was ordained an elder of Langholm Old by the late Rev. William Lindsay, M.A., on 20th April, 1924. We send him our congratulations and best wishes. He is now over 70 years of age.


December - June Copeland, 11 Eskdale Place.

December 22 - Stewart Lawrence Robert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Martin, 92 High 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.


December 12 - Helen Mitchell, 21 George Street. Age 87.

December 17 - James Murray Cairns, Bridge-end House. Age 89.

December 28 - Robert Robson McVittie, 50 Caroline Street. Age 82.

December 28 - Lilian Middletion Irving, Hagg Old School. Age 54.

“I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have oommitted unto Him against that day”. 2 Timothy 1. 12.


January 5 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. J. MacIntosh, Orchard Hill, Ha'path.

January 12 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, C. Glendinning, 70 High Street.

January 19 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Mary Hounam, 54 Caroline Street.

January 26 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. John Kennedy, D.D. Flowers, "Mrs. J. Tyman, Barbank.

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


“Forgetting What is behind me”, Phillippians 3. 13. N.E.B.

“Do not be anxious about tomorrow”. Matthew 6. 34. N.E.B.

These two texts give us a line on how to deal with one of the most common of killing diseases, worry. Men and women in Palestine 1900 years ago worried themselves into their graves by their problems and fears, and I do not think life has changed a lot in this respect. Wherever you go today, or without going anywhere but just looking inside our own hearts land minds, is it not true that we are from day to day wornied people. And it is our worry that is the chief cause of much of our illness and unhappiness. As :a well known psychologist said some time ago, “it is not hard work that causes a breakdown of physical health but worry”.

The two texts I have chosen help us to deal with this problem of killing worry.

First, “forgetting what is behind”, that is, stop worrying about your yesterdays.

This text comes from St. Paul, and he had a lot in his past life, in his yesterdays that might have caused him worry for he had been a persecutor of the Christians and had consented to the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. But Paul knew well that he would be of no use to God or the cause of Christ if he spent the rest of his days brooding over past misdoings. And so he closed the door up-on the past, a door which was never again to be opened. “Forgetting what is behind me, I reach out for what lies ahead", he writes. And this is sound philosophy because you cannot go back and make a better go of the past.

Now what are the things of the past we should school ourselves to forget? (a) Past sins and failures. Confess them to Almighty God and accept His promised forgiveness in the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. The promise is, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us”. (b) Past resentments and grudges. For our own mental stability and health We should give past resentments a respectable burial, for if not in the end of the day we will harm no one but ourselves.

And then our second text, stop worrying about tomorrow. “Do not be anxious about tomorrow”.

This does not mean that we are not to think about tomorrow and plan what we will do, but that we are not to fret and worry about tomorrow. “Do not be anxious about tomorrow says Jesus, “tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own”. The reason why we should avoid fretting about tomorrow, is that in doing so we are using up strength which is given for today. Dr. Sir William Osler, a Canadian who became Professor of Medicine at Oxford, once gave an address to young doctors graduating in the United States of Amerrica. In his address he said, “Here is a prescription for effective living, live each day in a day-tight compartment, shutting out the failures of yesterday, and the anxieties and fears of tomorrow. The load of tomorrow added to that of yesterday carried today makes the strongest falter. We must learn to shut off the future as tightly as the past”. And of course much of our worry about tomorrow is about things that never happen. Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout movement, once said, “I have Thad many troubles, in my life, most of them never happened”. St. Mark tells us that on the morning of the Resurrection, some women set out for the tomb to annoint the supposed dead body of Jesus. And that as they went along in the darkness they “kept staying to each other, “who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre". They were worrying all the way about however they would manage to remove the great stone which sealed our Lords grave. But when they came to the sepulchre and looked they saw that the stone had been rolled. away. All the way there they had been worryring needlessly. And a lot of our worry about the future is like that, worry about bridges we will never need to across about stones that ‘have already been rolled away.

And this is true not only of things we dread the future but of joys we anticipate, We spoil the present by trying to live in the future, Looking tor our happiness around the next corner rather than ing it now. Many of us enjoyed watching the life story of 'Marie Curie on television last week. Here is part of a letter of good New Year wishes she once sent to her family. “My dear children, 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 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”.