Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.54                      Price 1/ - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       JULY/AUGUST, 1965.

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. Archie Smith, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Motto Text for July/August: "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee." - Psalm 55, 22.


Dear Fellow - Member,

This word "burden" in our Motto Text comes from the Latin word "impedimenta", a word used to denote the weight of armour or kit a Roman soldier had to carry. The word burden is frequently used in the Bible, because in Bible days, as today, men and women found themselves often well - nigh weighed down with the loads of care and nagging anxiety they had to carry. Here in our text we are invited to cast our burdens upon God, and are assured that He will stretch out invisible arms and bear them for us. In his Epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul says: "Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ." And because our burdens are of such a wide variety St. Paul goes on to say that "every man shall bear his own burden".

All lives have their burdens of one kind or another. Some of them are burdens that other people can help us to carry. But some are burdens that other people cannot help us to carry because they belong so much to ourselves. There are burdens we have to carry alone, things that we cannot speak of even to our nearest friends, and I think this is what Paul has in mind when he says "every man shall bear his own burden". Yes, we all have burdens to carry in life, and as we get older their number and variety increases, and many of them have to be carried silently because they are not tangible things like anxiety for someone we dearly love, dread of sickness or bereavement, doubts, remorse for some irreparable wrong we have done, things we cannot easily talk about. And these are the kind of things that make up the most common burdens for the vast majority of people. And the better we know life and the better we know other people, the better we know that we are not the only people in the world who have heavy burdens to carry. For as Jeannie Deans says in Scott's novel, The Heart of Midlothian "both kings and peasants sigh". Yes, and very often you will find that those who seem to be most trouble free are the people carrying the heaviest loads, loads hidden in the depths of the heart, often hidden behind a brave smile, often secret troubles which only God can see and understand.

In my July/August Message I would like to say something about the three different kinds of burden mentioned in the Bible which represent the variety of the loads people still have laid upon them in the life of this modern world.

Every man shall bear his own burden: Galatians 6, 5.

When we come into this world we are essentially lonely people. We in a large degree live alone and in the end we die alone. I have got to know a lot of people in my pastoral ministry stretching over 30 years, and I find it very common for people to be carrying some secret care they cannot talk about easily. Sir Walter Scott as a boy had a secret care, it was his lame leg which was going to prevent him realising his ambition of entering the army. He didn't like speaking about it or people remarking about it, and he had to bear it as no one could bear this burden for him. The same thing comes in middle life - parents have anxious cares for their children even if they are doing well. I have read about a Church of England minister being appointed to a new parish in the Midlands. In his first round of visiting he called at the home of a couple who welcomed him to their fireside. The man explained that owing to arthritis he had had to give up his work, but he said it enabled him to relieve his wife who was not enjoying good health. The minister asked had they any family? Well, yes, there was John who was killed in the war with the R.A.F. Any other children? There was a long silence and then the remark - yes, we had a daughter. The minister felt anxious to know what had happened to her. The man explained, well she left home years ago and we have never heard of her again. What a burden that couple was carrying, had to carry almost alone because these are troubles we cannot talk about or ask anybody to share with us.

Children at school have to bear their own burdens. No one can learn their lessons for them. And so it is all the way through life, there are loads we have got to carry ourselves if we are going to be equal to the battle of life, and our characters will be moulded and the charm or otherwise of our disposition decided by the way we accept our responsibilties.

Bear ye one another's burdens: Galatians 6, 2.

This means that many of our burdens can be shared, others can help to ease their weight. And while we all have our own personal burdens in life, if we can help to ease the weight of the burden someone else is carrying, we will find our own grow lighter. There is a tribe in India called Santals. They are a brave and interesting people and have many curious ways of doing things. They have a strange way in carrying their burdens. The women always carry their burdens on their head; while men carry them on the shoulder, suspended on the two ends of a long pole. One day a Santal servant came to the station to meet a newly arrived missionary andcarry his luggage. At the station he found the luggage consisted of one heavy bag. Now he couldn't divide that burden into two, as was his custom, and plainly he couldn't carry the bag hanging from the end of his carrying pole. This is how he solved his problem. He found a huge stone about the same weight as the bag, hung that from one end of the pole and the bag from the other, and then walked proudly home carrying his double burden. He found the easiest way was to carry twice as much, because the additional burden balanced the other. And this is what happens when we do what our text bids, "bear one another's burdens". The weight of our own burden grows lighter when we add to it the burden of someone else - for it seems to give balance.

Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: Psalm 55, 22.

Many of our burdens we have to carry alone. Others we can share with friends and find them grow lighter. But here the Psalmist claims that we can bring all our burdens to God, and find ourselves sustained under their load. This does not mean that faith takes our burden from off our shoulders but gives us strength to bear it. This is what happened when Jesus came with his burden to God in the Garden of Gethsemene. "Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me." But that cup of coming suffering and the Cross was not taken away from Jesus. Somehow Jesus seemed to realise that it couldn't be, and so brought himself on to say: "Nevertheless not my will but Thine be done." And we know that from then on Jesus was sustained in drinking the bitter cup. And so it was for St. Paul when a terrible illness befell him. There came to him what he calls "a thorn in the flesh", or as the N.E.B. translation has it: "I was given a sharp pain in my body." What this illness was it is difficult to be sure except that it was accompanied with severe pain and headaches and that it threatened to lay Paul aside and end his adventurous work as a missionary. So he brought this burden to the Lord. He says: "I besought the Lord thrice that it might depart from me. And He said unto me: "My grace is sufficient for thee." And so Paul found his burden was not taken away but that he was given help and grace to triumph over it. In the wonderful story of William Booth and the Salvation Army as told in the biography, The General Next to God, it is told how his wife, Catherine Booth, was recognised as one of the finest and strongest characters in the land. Even Queen Victoria and Prime Minister Gladstone attached the greatest importance to her judgements and sought her counsel. Catherine Booth had a wall - text in her room so placed that all eyes could rest upon it: "My grace is sufficient for thee." And that promise was the secret of her remarkable life, and when she returned from consulting Sir James Paget, her surgeon, and had to break the sad news that she had been given sentence of death, that promise still held. She carried on with the work of seeking to redeem outcasts despite pain, and when she was laid down for the last short rest and with the family gathered round her bed, she could speak no longer. Yet her wasted fingers pointed to the text which had always hung above her children's photograph, and someone took it down and placed it in her hand. But now all gathered in the room knew the text had been fulfilled and her work was done.

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee."

Before this promise can find fulfilment we have to do what Jesus did, what Paul did, what Catherine Booth did - accept our burdens whatever they are in the faith that our lives are in God's hands and that he has a plan and purpose in all that happens to us. God does not send our burdens of suffering or sorrow. He didn't plan Calvary and all the tortures Jesus endured - that was the work of men who were blinded with hate. God didn't plan Paul's illness or Catherine Booth's cancer. We do know that if only men would spend a fraction of the wealth squandered on weapons of war on medical research, God could give men power to eradicate most diseases from off the earth. God does not send suffering or sorrow but when these things do come to us we may take them and cast them upon God and He will enable us not only to endure but turn what has happened to us to good account. The late Dr. Sangster of Westminster Methodist Hall has told of once visiting a girl in a London hospital who was going blind. He was told that no human skill could save her sight, and the girl had been told of this. Sitting at her bedside she said: "Dr. Sangster, God is going to take my sight from me." Dr. Sangster sat there for quite a time in silence and silent prayer, and then made this remark: "Don't let Him, Jessie, give it to Him." When we can do that with our health, with our fears, with whatever constitutes our burden in life, give it to God and then we will soon know the meaning of the promise - "He will sustain thee."

Here is a closing parable taken from one of Dr. Weatherhead's delightful books and based upon this text about casting our burdens upon God. The wings of a bird are a burden. In some birds its wings weigh more than the rest of its body. But when it carries its burden and at the same time thrusts the air to sustain and support it, it finds that its very burden becomes the means by which it learns to fly. God is like the supporting air around a bird. We learn to fly when we trust this upholding power: "Cast thy burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee."

Salvation Army Centenary

Somewhere about the end of the last century, the pulpit of the Langholm Old Parish Church was occupied by General William Booth. It is said that over 1700 people were crammed into our church on that occasion. It is just a hundred years in July since William and Catherine Booth founded the great work known under the name, the Salvation Army. In its early days the Salvation Army penetrated the shameful slums of Victorian England, bringing a message of hope to the downtrodden and poverty - stricken, drunkards, prostitutes and starving children. The Army now celebrating its centenary has today 25,500 officers dedicated to an enormous programme of work in 69 countries and 162 languages throughout the world. The story is told in The General Next to God, by Richard Collier, a book which no one can read without having their religious convictions deepened. It is the story of the man who said he liked his tea like his religion, hot.

Visit of Moderator of Assembly, and Common Riding Service

We will soon find Langholm preparing for the annual Common Riding celebrations on Friday, 30th July, and we wish David McVittie with his Right and Left - Hand Men a very happy day. On Sunday, 25th, Cornet David McVittie, the Common Riding Committee, the Provost and Council are invited to the 11 a.m. Morning Service. This will be a United Service of the Old Parish, the Erskine and the Congregational Churches. The Lessons will be read by the Cornet and the Chairman of the Common Riding Committee. The Moderator of the General Assembly, the Right Reverend Dr. Archibald Watt, will give the sermon on this occasion. Having heard Dr. Watt speak several times during the Assembly week, I am sure he will have an appropriate message for the Cornet and Common Riding visitors, as well as words of encouragement to the members of the Langholm Churches. There will be the usual War Memorial Service at 10.15 a.m. when the Cornet will lay a wreath on the War Memorial and the ministers of the town churches will share in a short Service.

The Evening Service on Sunday, 25th will be attended by members of the Eskdale Lodge, and will be conducted by the Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie.

Details of Moderator's Visit to Langholm and District

The Moderator, the Right Revd. Archibald Watt, D.D., will attend a Civic Reception in Hawick on Friday, 16th July when he will be welcomed by the Provost, and thereafter visit the churches, hospitals and mills of Hawick and district. On Thursday, 22nd July, Dr. Watt will be given a Civic Reception in Langholm in the .Buccleuch Hall, when he will be given a welcome by Provost Grieve. For the next three days his engagements will be: Friday, 23rd July at 11 a.m. Barbank, to meet Ministers and Session Clerks and their wives. At 3 p.m. in the Erskine Church there will be a United Service for members of the Women's Guilds, and when presidents will be presented to the Moderator. At 7.30 p.m. he will address a Service in Longtown, with people of Canonbie Parish uniting. On Saturday, 24th July the Moderator will visit the Thomas Hope Hospital at 11 a.m.

Special Arrangements for Services in July and August

On Sunday, 18th July I am absent attending the annual Air Cadets Camp, this year held from 17th to 24th July at R.A.F. Station, Syerston, near Newark. The 11 a.m. Morning Service in the Langholm Old Parish that day will be conducted by the Revd. A. R. Alexander, M.A. During August there will, as in former years, be United Services with the Erskine Church. Sunday, 1st August, and Sundays, 22nd and 29th in the Erskine Church at 11 a.m. and on Sundays, 8th and 15th in the Old Parish Church.

Call to Revd. J. A. Brydon Maben from Castleton and Saughtree Sustained by Hawick Presbytery

On Sunday, 27th June the Revd. J. A. Brydon Maben conducted Services in Castleton and Saughtree as sole nominee. Voting by ballot took place on the following Monday when Mr. Maben was duly elected, and the call signed by over 140. The call was sustained by the Presbytery, meeting at Langholm on 30th June, and the Ordination and Induction of Mr. Maben at Newcastleton was fixed for Thursday, 15th July. This will be a happy day for the people of Newcastleton and Saughtree as the vacancy has lasted since November, 1964. Mr. Maben was for a number of years in business and entered the Scottish Baptist Church, holding his first charge in Orkney. As he was of Church of Scotland upbringing, a native of Galashiels, in 1964 he applied to the General Assembly for admission as a minister of the Church of Scotland, which was granted subject to one additional year of study in Christ College, Aberdeen. He is a married man with a young family. In many ways he is a very gifted man, both as a choir leader and instrumentalist. He comes with the very high commendation of the professors of Christ College, and we look forward to him fulfilling a happy and fruitful ministry in this linked Border charge of Castleton and Saughtree. My duties as Interim Moderator have been considerable but have given me very great pleasure, particularly getting to know the farming community many of which were known to my own family in North Cumberland.

Congratulations on Special Efforts and Outings

First I would like to thank the ladies of our Guild for giving such a happy reception to the Guild members from Morton Parish, Thornhill, in our Hall on Thursday, 10th June. The delightful tea and refreshments and the friendly way our ladies mixed with the visitors made a very fine impression. I have a word from Mrs. Henderson, wife of the Morton minister, that they wish their appreciation and thanks to be given to our ladies, and hope for a return visit to Thornhill at some later date.

Our Guild outing to South Shields was a very successful one and I hear comments of a very happy day and an interesting drive.

The Senior Sunday School Outing to Edinburgh on Saturday, 26th was well organised. The children visited Edinburgh Castle, the Zoo, had an hour shopping in Princess Street, picnic at Cramond, and then a drive over the new Forth Bridge. All returned with the same opinion that it was one of the best outings yet. Then on Saturday, 3rd July the Primary children were taken for an afternoon outing to Silloth and I know from my own boys how very good their teachers were to the children, and of a splendid day.

On Sunday, 27th June the Sunday School held its annual Flower Service and Prize Giving. We regretted that owing to a sad bereavement Mr. William Stuart could not be present to take part as Sunday School Superintendent. The Service commenced with a procession when the minister entered the church holding the hands of Katherine Elliot and Elizabeth Johnstone. Lessons were read by Jill Morrison, Gordon Cameron, Keith Borthwick, and Joan Hyslop, and were exceptionally well read and heard. The following received prizes for good attendance: Senior and Junior Classes - Moira Bell, Joan Hyslop, Rhona Brown, Jacqueline Fletcher, Carol Johnstone, Tom Borthwick, Walter Borthwick, Dorward Nawrocki, David Erskine, Douglas Anderson, John Hill, Kenneth Hill and Robert Hotson. Primary: Vivienne Richardson, Janice Anderson, Christine Grieve, Margaret Hotson, Anne Young, Elizabeth Johnstone, Alison Fletcher, Anne Borthwick, Ross Elliot and Richard Erskine. A very happy Service concluded with the baptism of Kevin Andrew Scott, the father being one of the Sunday School teachers and young elders.

Elders' Wives' Special Effort for Fabric Fund.

The Car Treasure Hunt held on Wednesday, 7th July, was a great success and I wish to congratulate the Elders' wives on their whole - hearted support and for introducing something of a new kind of interest. There were some 40 cars entered and a really attractive and thought - provoking penalty and clue paper presented. For this we are indebted to Mr. Jack Ross and his helpers. There was a large gathering in the Hall at the close of the drive when the ladies had a busy time serving refreshments and when one was impressed with the very friendly atmosphere of the gathering. The prizes were accorded as follows: 1st equal, John Rae, Canonbie, and John Fisher, Caroline Street; 2nd, R. Nixon, Penton; 3rd equal, R. Carruthers, Canonbie and Jack Willis, Sorbie. In thanking the ladies for their effort I took opportunity of saying how much we appreciated the attendance and support of people from Newcastleton, Penton, Canonbie and Eskdale. The sum of £43 was realised in aid of the Fabric Fund.

Sympathy With The Bereaved.

During the past month we have had two bereavements in the congregation. Mary Maxwell, 13 Rosevale Street, passed away on 23rd June in Carlisle City General Hospital after a street accident in Langholm. Miss Maxwell was 84 and was very active for her age. She is sadly missed by her sister Mrs. Stuart. Our deepest sympathy with the relatives.

As I write this letter I have just heard of the sudden passing of William Morrison, 13 Henry Street. His sudden passing makes me very sad as I have had so much help and encouragement from him in the work of the Church. He designed and made the Christmas Crib which has done so much to delight the children at the Christmas season. He took a leading part in the Archaeological Society and had wide interests which made him a delightful conversationalist. Our sincere sympathy wth his wife and family.

The next issue of the Parish Magazine will be on the first Sunday of September. The August issue of Life and Work will be held up to go out with the September issue.

Meantime I wish all our people a very happy holiday with good weather and safe travelling.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


At the last meeting of the Kirk Session it was decided to apply to the Presbytery for permission to convert the Hall gallery into an additional hall according to a plan prepared by Mr. Douglas McMillan. It is hoped to carry through most of the work with voluntary labour to save expense, and offers of help, particularly from joiners, will be greatly appreciated.


The old Infant School in Charles Street Old is now converted into the Public Library and the Langholm Youth Centre. The two spacious rooms set aside for a Youth Centre have been decorated and it is planned to open the premises for Senior and Junior youth in early September.


July 11 - 11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. R. Johnstone, 14 Elizabeth Street.

July 18 - 11 a.m. Revd. A. R. Alexander, M.A. Flowers: Mrs. M. S. Paterson, The Cottage, Terrona.

July 25 - 11 am. Common Riding Cornet's Service, combined with Visit of the Moderator of the General Assembly, Rt. Revd. Archibald Watt. D.D. This will be a United Service of Erskine and Congregational with Old Parish.

This Service will be preceeded with a short Service at War Memorial at 10.15 a.m. when the Cornet will lay a wreath on the War Memorial.

6 p.m. - Service attended by members of Lodge Eskdale Kilwinning - conducted by the Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie. Flowers: Miss P. Hotson, 2 Walter Street.

August 1 - 11 a.m. United Service in Erskine Church; Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie.

August 8 - 11 a.m. United Service in Old Parish. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Calvert, The Manse.

August 15 - - 11 a.m. United Service in Old Parish. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Ella Calvert, 12 Charlotte Street.

August 22 - 11 a.m. United Service in Erskine Church Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie.

August 29 - 11 a.m. United Service in Erskine Church Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie.

September 5 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. D. Anderson, 65 Caroline Street. Sunday School meets with Morning Service.


June 20 - William Anthony, son of Mr. and Mrs John Fisher, Zambia Police, Mazaburka, East Africa.

June 27 - Kevin Andrew, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joh; Scott, William Street.

July 4 - Kenneth Anderson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lake, 7 Mary Street.

July 11 -John Grant, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Smith, Arkinholm Terrace.

July 11 - Robert James Ewan, son of Mr. and Mrs Alec Graham, 14 George Street.

July 11 - Alan Mark, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joh: Graham, Wattaman, Half - Morton.


July 3 - George Ellwood, 13 Holmwood Drive, t Jean Angela Corrie, Stubholm.


June 23 - Mary Maxwell, 13 Rosevale Street. Age 84

July 8 - William H. Morrison, 13 Henry Street. Age 59

"Because I live ye shall live also." - John 14. 19.