Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

N0. 22. JUNE, 1962.

Minister: Revd. TOM CALVERT, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Clerk's Office, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. R. A. BLACK, 35 Eskdaill Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. MALLINSON, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Motto Text for June—"Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5, 24.

Letter from the Minister

Dear Fellow-Member,

This man Enoch referred to in our Motto Text lived in the dim dawn of history, somewhere between the time of the Creation and the Flood. Something about the way he lived marked him out a most impressive figure. Of all the great men mentioned in this fifth chapter of Genesis, a chapter covering some thirty centuries in about the same number of verses, all the writer does is to mention their names, when they were born and when they died. But when the writer comes to the name Enoch he finds he cannot dismiss him in that way for there is something about his life and character that can only be explained by saying that "he walked with God." We must not suppose that this means Enoch was a hermit living apart from the temptations and struggles of ordinary life. We know that he was a family man and had a son, and also that he was a man who took a keen part in the business of daily living. And yet there was a spiritual tone about his way of living which showed that while he lived in the world of buying and selling, of enjoyment and sorrow, at the same time he lived in another world of spiritual realities. And this is what the writer means when he says of him that "he walked with God."

What does walking with God mean?

Much the same as walking with a friend along a country road. There will be conversation, and it will not be all one way. Enoch was no stranger to prayer, that is, speaking to God. And he also listened to what God had to say to him, as we may do when we meditate upon the scriptures or listen as the Quakers do, for the "inner voice". And of course you can be with a friend without speaking a word and without your friend saying a word. And in the same way we can enjoy times of quiet in God's presence without speaking. Hazlitt in his essay Winter-Slow tells how the poet Coleridge visited his father and on leaving asked the lad Hazlitt to walk home with him. And he tells how that walk, listening to Coleridge and being with him, changed the whole outlook of his life. It is like that for men and women who know something of the secret of walking with God by weekly worship, by daily prayer and hearing the call of Jesus as from time to time they ponder over the Gospels.

Some years ago I read an article on the life of Enoch which summed up the story of his walk with God by three Cs. Commencement, continuation, culmination.


If you asked the average Christian to say when he or she commenced the walk with God, the answer would probably be when as a little child you were led to know and love and trust the Lord Jesus at your mother's knee; or perhaps later when you became a first communicant of the Church. In the Book of Genesis we are told precisely when Enoch commenced his walk with God. It was at the time of the birth of his son. Enoch was living in a world where the wickedness of man was so great that "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". And no doubt when this little son was born in his home he began to wonder what would happen when the child grew up to manhood, if he would be led to godless evils ways such as were the fashion of the age. Who can tell, he probably concluded, but the best thing I can do to ensure he will grow up to be a good man is to set him a good example. And so he commenced to walk with God on the birth of his son. They are wise parents who act like Enoch, who do more than many today who merely send their child to Sunday School for religious training, but who give their child the example of attending worship. However good our Sunday Schools may be, however well the teachers do their part, we are going to fail in winning the larger percentage of the children for religion unless we get the backing and support of the parents. After the last war when communism seemed like sweeping over the world, the people of America became so alarmed that those with no church connection sent their children to Church Sunday Schools to ensure they have a sound Christian training and be better able to withstand communist propaganda. But the Churches saw at once that they would fail with the vast number of the children unless they had the parents attending worship at the same time as the children attended the junior church. And so the elders visited the homes from which the children came and made the appeal, indeed made it clear that this was the condition upon which the church would accept responsibility for the religious training of the children. This resulted in packed churches in the United States, as they are today, and in many cases they need to hold two services on a Sunday morning, one after the other, in order to accommodate the growing congregations. And of course this is a sure way to win the children for religion and the good life, when as with Enoch the parents give a lead. I can recall while serving as an Army Chaplain, meeting a group of Glasgow lads in a barrack-room in Portsmouth. They had just arrived to commence their national service and were just into uniform. I asked them, about 30 in number, how many of them had been in the habit of attending church on Sundays. Some three hands went up. Then I spoke to a very nice type of lad among them, not one of those who had put his hand up, and asked why he had not ever gone to church in all his life. His frank and honest reply was, "Well padre, my parents never go, and what is good for them is good for me". A man who was hill-climbing with his boy, was once made to think very hard, and to resolve on certain changes in his habits, by a remark which his son flung forward to him as they scaled a steep place in single file. "Take care father," he said. "for I am following in your steps." Enoch knew that his son would be likely to follow in his steps, and that is why he commenced to walk with God.


Enoch continued his walk with God down the years. When he came to the end of the earthly journey he could have said as Paul said in his last letter from his prison in Rome, "I have fought the good fight; I have finished my course, I have kept the faith". So many begin the religious life with great songs of promise, and then somehow their worship becomes less regular, their prayer life begins to be neglected, and so often those on whom the Church of Jesus Christ was depending for future leaders allow the vision to fade and grow dim, and leave off following Christ. General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, whom I understand once occupied the pulpit of Langholm Old Parish Church, used to say that "we can only keep company with God by running at full speed." He didn't believe that in the religious life we should ever consider retiring or leaving-off, and he was credited to have said, "it is better to wear out than to rust out in the service of God".


In the 11th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews we are told that "Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God". "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him". At the end of his earthly life God gently translated his servant from the material world to the spiritual world, from the temporal to the eternal, and my friends that is what has happened to our dear departed ones who have passed away from us. There is a grave in London where Dr. Joseph Parker laid the earthly remains of his wife. When he was preparing the epitaph he could not bring himself to write the word "died". Instead he wrote "ascended". And later when he himself passed away his friend remembered his chosen word and used it of himself. And so this is what you may read on his grave stone—"Joseph Parker, born April 9th, 1830. Ascended, November 28th, l902". And it was something like that with Enoch. "He walked with God, and he was not for God took him." And that is what Jesus promised will happen for each one of us. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also."

Report on Visit to General Assembly.

Along with Mr. James Maxwell I duly attended the opening of the Assembly, and on certain other days. Outstanding personalities speaking in the Assembly in addition to the new and the Ex-Moderators were on the opening day the Lord High Commissioner, the Earl of Mansfield; and on Thursday an eloquent speech by the Duchess of Hamilton; both touching directly on the problems of Africa. My wife and I attended the Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and while we had a delayed and exciting journey into Edinburgh by being involved in a motor collision, we were able to be present and were presented to the Countess of Mansfield. The Assembly business was well reported in the public press. The closing address of the new Moderator, the Right Revd. Dr. Nevile Davidson made a strong appeal for three things—the keeping open of our church doors on week-days—the release of parish ministers from regular visitation of church members so that they could find time to visit the churchless, the indifferent and the hostile—and some effort to be made so that we will find a means of communicating the Gospel in the direct language of the teenager, the shipyard worker and the journalist. In speaking of the keeping open of church doors, Dr, Davidson said "the great majority of churches in Scotland kept the doors closed and barred on weekdays in the belief that no one building was more sacred than another, and that those who desired to pray could do so in their own homes. But this ignores both social and psychological realities. There are a great many homes in both towns and countryside, where no quiet or privacy can be secured for prayer and meditation, and where conditions of family life are such that silence is almost unknown. Apart from the multifarious necessary domestic activities in thousands of homes today, the wireless or television set fills the air with the sound of voices or music from early afternoon until night. In such circumstances a church can provide one of the few places in our noise-haunted modern world where an atmosphere of peace is to be found. It is a building in which probably for generations, possibly for centuries, men and women have come to honour God and lift up their minds to eternal realities."

Election of Cornet

We all take great pleasure in the election of William H. Harkness, 58 Holmwood Dr., as the young man whom Langholm is to honour to carry the burgh flag round the Marches at this year's Common Riding. William Harkness is a member of the Old Parish, and we all join in congratulating him on his election with a majority of 411 votes over two opponents, and extend to him very best wishes for a happy year.

Boys' Brigade Display and Inspection

The fourth annual inspection and display by the boys of the 1st Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade was held in the Buccleuch Hall on Friday evening 4th May. There was a good attendance of parents and friends. The Inspecting Officer was Col. D. H. M. Gibson of the R.A.O.C. We were all very sorry that Mr. R. T. Robertson. Captain of the Company, was absent on unavoidable duties. His place was taken by Mr. J. MacIntosh, Lieut. of the Company, who did his part very well. He mentioned that the Company would be going back to Spittal to their annual camp this year, on the first week of August. At the close of the very attractive display awards, badges and certificates were presented by Mrs. Calvert. Thanks were expressed to the Mothers' Committee, Mr. Nelson Millar, Dr. Leslie, Mr. Matt Armstrong and all others who had helped during the session, with special mention to Mrs. Barker for presiding at the piano during the evening.

Sunday School Annual Outing

The Sunday School Outing takes place on Saturday, 30th June, to Silloth. leaving Langholm by train at 9-10 a.m., and arriving at Silloth at 11-32 a.m. On arrival we will occupy Christ Church Mission Hall, as a centre where the children will be served meals, and be able to leave coats if desired, The hall is about two minutes away from the main front street. The return time of the train is 7-50 p.m. leaving Silloth, and arriving at Langholm 9-22 p.m. Fares 4/11 children, and 9/9 adults.

Annual Flower Service

The present Sunday School session will close on Sunday, 1st July, with a Flower Service at 6 p.m. when the children are invited to bring flowers which will be received at the beginning of the Service. The Service will be led by the children in reading special lessons and singing appropriate hymns and solos. Following the Flower Service the Sunday School is on holiday until the beginning of September.

Sympathy in Bereavement

During the past month an old member of the Old Parish Church passed away on 19th May, namely George Thomson Hogg, late of Skipperscleuch. He was 79. Also a near neighbour of the Manse, Mrs. Martha Park, the Becks, at the grand age of 84. We express sympathy with the bereaved and thanks to God for happy memories of our dear departed.

With warm greetings to all our people,

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Youth Club

So far the Youth Club activities have been restricted to Saturday evenings, and as there have been almost regular dance activities in the Buccleuch Hall during the present year, we have not been able to function, The aim of the club is to obtain an allocation of the hall near mid-week and provide a real club with dancing activities at the minimum. This has been tried during recent weeks and found to fill a real need for many who do not dance. During June the Youth Club is holding a barbecue at Glendinning Farm, through the kindness of Mr. George Masheter of Georgefield. We expect to take about 40 out for an evening among the hills between Westerkirk and Eskdalemuir, where we are to enjoy our party.

The Youth Club and Youth Fellowship have now joined into one organisation with John Scott, 14 Henry Street, Secretary, and Arthur Willis, Sorbie Farm, Leader and with Colin Milligan and Grace Brown serving as joint Treasurers. A programme for Sunday evenings from September to March is being planned.

Church Calendar


17th—11a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers Mrs David Hendrie. Cleuchfoot Farm. Elders: A. Smith, R. K. Neill, J. Maxwell, D. Anderson, R. N. B. Noble and D. Hendrie Evening: J. Tyman and R. Black.

24th—11a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd, Tom Calvert. Flowers; Mrs. James Pattie, The Schoolhouse. Elders: Morning: Douglas. J. W. Wood, M. Armstrong. J. Pattie, R. Douglas and L. Ewart. Evening: D. Anderson and A, Smith.


1st—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Annual Children's Flower Service at 6 p.m. — Flowers: Mrs. L. Ewart, Parliament Square, Elders: Morning: W. Hosie, W. Smith, R. T, Robertson. T. McKail, J. W. Wood and R. Black. Evening: M. Armstrong and J. Tyman.


May 20th—Joseph Kenneth, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Donaldson, 44 West Street.

May 20th—Maureen Liddell, at Upper Caulfield.

In Memoriam

May l9th—George Thomson Hogg, late of Skipperscleuch, age 79.

May 31st—Funeral of Mrs. Martha Park, The Becks, age 84,

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

The Congregational Board meets in the Church Hall on Thursday, 28th June, at 7-30 p.m.