Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.64                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       JUNE, 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.

Message and Text for the month of July, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God". John 3. 5,


Dear Fellow Member,

I was interested to notice in the Scotsman a few weeks ago a two sentence sermon each day for a week on the word "except". This word "except" was frequently upon the lips of Jesus, and was on every occasion used to emphasise some vital aspect of His teaching. By use of this word "except" Jesus makes plain the secret of the beginning of ihe Christian life, the nature and duties of the Christian life, and the secret of finding power to live the Chistian life.

The Secret of the beginning of the Christian life.

It comes in the Gospel story about Nicodemus, the Gospel story which from time immemorial has been the set lesson to be read in Church on the Sunday after Whitsunday. This story tells us about Nicodemus, the Pharisee coming to Jesus by night to ask Him the secret of the Christian life, the secret of living life on the grand scale ]esus did. Our Lord's answer to his question leaves the aging Pharisee somewhat bewildered. "Except a man be born again", says Jesus, but Nicodemus cannot understand how an old man can be born again, and so Jesus explains, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, of whither it goeth. So Is everyone that is born of the Spirit"

There are different interpretations of the way we beqin the Christian life, of being born again. Dr. Billy Graham who begins his second campaign for the conversion of Lon on the very day I write would interpret this to mean making an open and public profession of accepting Jesus Christ as Saviour. This will be his appeal at the close of his meetings at Earls Court where a massed choir of 2,000 voices will have flooded the arena with melodies of revival song. By the way, I often wish I could have a choir of 50 voices in the Old Parish Church, it would make a difference to the power of my efforts to win people for God. I ask you all to pray for the campaign started in London by Dr. Billy Graham, and I am confident many will be moved, and won for a beginning of the Christian life.

The approach of our Church, the Church of Scotland. to bringing people to the beginning of the Christian life is different. We baptise little children with water, and on the faith and promises of the parents we believe that the Spirit acts like "the wind blowing where it listeth" and that if the parents and the local Church through Sunday School and Bible Class does their part, then the time will come when the baptised child now grown to years of understanding and responsibility, will confirm the bapstimal vows. This is what happens when young people are received into the membership of the Church, they take upon themselves vows once taken for them, and are openly and publicly acknowledsed as having commenced the Christian life. And for the vast number this is genuine and true. There will be people at Dr. Billy Graham's meeting in Earls Court who will go forward and profess to accepting Jesus as Saviour who will go away and soon forget their solemn vows, just as there are some who are received into our Church after making vows that they will share dutifully in its worship and service who have regarded it all as a matter of form. But the vast majority mean what they say, and while none find living the Christian life easy they battle on in the good fight of faith.

What I have said about the way people of our Church begin the Christian life is not a claim that this is the only way. As St. John tells us in the Book of Revelation, there are twelve gates into the city of God, "on the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates". Some will come from the gates of the rising sun, some from bitter experiences of the north, a few from happy south, and some from the west where the sun is about to set. What matters is not how but that we come and that we come early. Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, who gave 40 years of wonderful service to Labrador as doctor, missionary and statesman, was converted at a meeting in London under D. L. Moody. He was a young doctor at the time and this experience of the new birth changed the whole direction and pattern of his life. And after a long life of service and now an old man, addressing boys in a London school he said, "the greatest adventure of my life began when I decided to follow Christ, my only regret is that I did not begin sooner".

The secret of a living faith by which we can live with joy and peace in a dangerous world.

It lies in words spoken by Jesus to His disciples when they were quarreling about promotion, the big jobs, seats at the top table. In Matthew 18 we read, "Except ye turn and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven". To enter upon a real and living faith we need to become like little chjldren in trustfulness and simplicity. Faith is natural to a little child, he has no more difficulty in believing in fairies than in believing in his parents. A little child doesn't worry about tomorrow. A little child has no tendency to evil. He lives in perfect trust and has as yet to learn distrust and evil ways from people who consider they are wiser. There are people all around us like Sir Jake Hardcastle who take a delight in destroying the natural faith we inherit when we come into this world. He had a son called Harry. He set him on the table and standing back heid out his arms and asked Harry to jump, saying he would catch him. Harry jumped but his father withdrew his arms and the child went sprawling on the floor. Why did you do that? screamed his wife. To teach him to trust no one, not even his father, was Sir Jake's reply. Jesus took a little child and set him up in the midst as an example of the greatest in His kingdom, because a little child believes without question. Aad that is how God made us. As Wordsworth says, "Not in entire forgetfulness and not in utter nakedness do we come from God, who is our home. Heaven lies about us in our infancy". And we all need to recover the faith and simplicity of the little child if we would know what it is to live as Jesus did, life on a grand scale. Hilaire Belloc has a poem to a little child which gives a prayer we all need.

"Your little hands were made to take

The better things and leave the worse ones.

They also may be used to shake

The massive paw of Elder Persons.

And when your prayers complete the day

Darling, your little tiny hands

Were also made, I think, to pray

For men that lose their fairylands."

I cannot think of anything this dangerous world of ours needs more than for men and nations to come to have a little child's faith in each other. I believe that if a nation could have faith in its neighbour nation it would create that faith in the other whether it was there already or not. And the same thing is true with people. It is only those who believe the best in men who get the best from them. It is said of Thomas Arnold, the famous Head Master of Rugby, "A fellow cannot tell Arnold a lie, because he always believes what you say".

Jesus also uses this word "escape" to make plain the nature and duties of the Christian life.

It comes in His Sermon of the Mount where He says, "Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven". These Scribes and Pharisees were good religious men, but only, concerned with fulfilling the letter of the law of Moses, and consequently their religion was a formal negative thing. They were concerned about keeping the Ten Commandments and they added to them rules that made them impossible to keep. Jesus told them they had made religion a burden grievous to be borne, He told them that it was not enough to love God and love our neighbour, that we must love our enemies. We cannot say we love God if there is hate in our hearts towards anyone. This is what Nurse Edith Cavell emphasised as she went before the German firing squad in Brussels in the First World War. She turned and said "I am proud to have done my duty to my country by helping our soldiers to escape, but I realise this, that duty to my own country is not enough, I must have no bitterness in my heart towards anyone, even the Germans." In Palestine in our Lord's earthly day the Romans occupied and ruled the land, and they had a law that any Jew in Palestine might be compelled to carry a Roman soldier or official's burden for one mile. Jesus said, "Whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain". And of course life would be a poor thing for us in our homes 'if when we fall ill people around us would only go the one mile of duty. It is the extra mile that makes life possible then. And this extra that Jesus asks for in the Christian life has nothing to do wiih religious observances or saying prayers but with loving and adventurous acts of service. For Jesus religion was not observing rules but what we do with our lives for the good of others and for His sake. The late Bishop Crotty used to tell a story about a girl he used to visit in a London Hospital. Her mother had died when she was 9, and left three younger children. The father was unemployed and they lived in a wretched unsanitary slum. The girl after her mother's death took on the duties of mother in the home, made the meals, tried to keep the place clean and cared for the younger children. After a few years she developed T.B. as the result of underfeeding and hard living and working. Now she was in hospital just skin and bones, slowly dying. Bishop Crotty says there came a lady visitor one day to her ward, a Christian visitor of the old strict type, whose visits generally did more harm than good. She went up to this girl's bed and tried to engage her in conversation. She asked her, have you been confirmed? The poor girl shook her head, she didn't know what that meant. Then have you been baptised? Again she shook her head. Then have you gone to Sunday School? And again the girl shook her head, she never had time, looking after three hungry children on a mere pittance. Then asked this lady visitor. you have not been confirmed, not been baptised, 'never gone to Sunday, School, what are you going to say to God when you appear before Him? All the little girl could do was to take her little boney hands out below the blankets, hold them up and say, "I will show Him these". You see that little dying woman had done something far better than fulfil a lot of religious rules, she had given herself just as Jesus did on Calvary, and that,is a sacrifice that God will honour and reward far and above keeping the Ten Commandments.

Finally, the "except" of Jesus which gives us the secret of power to live the Christian life.

It comes in John 15 in the picture of the Vine and its Branches. "As the branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in Me". The secret of power and fruitfulness as Christian men and women lies in abiding in Christ. Now what does this mean, to abide in Christ? I suggest two ways this can be done, the deeper mystical way, and the simple way of keeping Him in our thoughts.

First, abiding in Christ in the mystical sense. St Paul could say "I live yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Professor James S. Stewart has a scholarly book on the life of Paul which is entitled "A Man in Christ". And it was this deep mystical sense of abiding in Christ that made Paul's life so fruitful as a missionary and great pioneer of the early Church. I can think of another man nearer to our own day whose whole life was a constant abiding in Christ. I refer to Bishop Phillips Brooks of Boston. He gave us the delightful Christmas carol "O little town of Bethlehem", written on his return from a visit to Palestine. As a young man Phillips Brooks resisted joining the Church because in his day Christian people were narrow and biggoted and frowned upon simple pleasures like the theatre or dancing. Later he became a minister af the American Episcopal Church and Bishop of Boston, and lived such a happy radiant life that he showed the world that the Christ of the New Testament who was his daily companion could share in social festivity and joyous living. When he died they put a statue to his memory outside Trinity Church where he used to preach in Boston. On that statue stands the figure of Phillips Brooks gowned and in the very act of preaching, and behind him the figure of Jesus with His hand on the preacher's shoulder. And this was what made Phillips Brooks such a mighty preacher and radiant person, because in his inner life he was abiding in Christ all the time.

Some of us may not feel we can live in this deep mystical sense of abiding in Christ, as did St. Paul or Phillips Brooks. We are busy people concerned with the affairs of farm or factory or office or shop, and have neither the time or inclination for the deep devotional life. Nonetheless we abide in Christ in a simpler but very real way by keeping Him in our thoughts by the help of Sunday worship, private prayer and regularly attending Holy Communion. In this way we cultivate the daily friendship of ]esus, a close iriendship which produces in us some of the fruits of the Spirit about which I spoke on Whit sunday, "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, self-conttol". But a living friendship with Jesus like a human friendship needs watching over. As Dr. Samuel Johnson said to Sir Joshua Reynolds, "If a man does not make new friendships as he goes through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man sir, should keep his friendships in constant repair". We keep our friendship with Jesus in repair by any means that helps to bring Him back into our thoughts and affections, like Sunday worship, private prayer and perhaps best of all regular attendance at the Sacrement of the Lord's Supper.

Historic General Assembly

The General Assembly of May, 1966 is said to have found a place in the history of the Church of Scotland as the Assembly at which women were admitted to the eldership. The Moderator, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Leonard Small, closed the Assembly with a rousing address on the subject, Stewards of God. He said he thought it unfortunate that the Church of Scotland entered upon campaigns of Christian Stewardship at exactiy the same time when it had to face the demands for increased financial support. "It is both a pity and a shame that a great exciting and rewarding principle like Christian stewardship should have become tied to the raising of money. We in the Church, especialiy those of us who are parents of teenagers, as they make their choices which determine not only what they will do for a living, but what they will do with life, are we reminding them that the priority consideration is, where can I get the best pay for doing the least work? Or where can I render the best service, contribute most to the corner of the world in which I am set, and bring to myself the greatest enrichment in usefulness"?

Congratulations to Cornet Ronald Hudson

Ronald Hudson, 5 Henry Street, a member of the Old Parish Church, was on Friday, 13th May elected Cornet for the 1965 festival. We extend to him our warmest congratulations and best wishes for another good day for the Common Riding. We are inviting Ronald, along with his Right and Left Hand Men, the Common Riding Comrnittee, and the Provost and Town Council, to attend the Old Parish Church on Sunday, 24th July for a United Service as last year.

Women's Guild Outings

The Guild outing to Dunfermline and St. Andrew's on Saturday, 21st May was very much enioyed. Excellent meals and perfect arrangements carried through by Mrs. Wood, the Secretary, have been much spoken of.

An afternoon outing is fixed for Wednesday,22nd June to Thornhill, Drumlanrig Castle and Durisdeer. The coach leaves David Street at 1.15 p.m. and the charge will be 10/-. Names should be given in to either Mrs. Anderson, 65 Caroline Street, or Mrs. Morrison, Commercial Cafe, High Street.

Sunday School Outings and Flower Service

The Primary School outing takes place on Saturday, llth June to Allonby, Cumberland. The coach leaves at 1 p.m. and the charge will be 2/-. The Junior and Senior Sunday School outing takes place on Saturday, 18th June to Prestwick, coach leaving David Street at 9 a.m. The charge will be 5/-. We hope the warm weather will continue for both these outings.

The annual Flower Service and Prize Giving takes place at the Morning Service on Sunday, 26th June. Children as in previous years will enter the church in procession during the opening hymn and present gift's of flowers which will later be taken to sick, aged and hospitals.

Young Wives Fellowship

The Young Wives Fellowship have an outing arranged for Wednesday, 15th ]une, details to be intimited. On behalf of the Young Wives Fellowship I acknowledge with warm thanks a gift of most acceptable toys from Mrs. Marion Wardas.

Kirk Session decision on Evening Services for Summer

At a meeting of the Kirk Session on Wednesday evening it was agreed that we continue Evening Services throughout the summer with the exception of the first two Sundays in August. On Sundays, 7th and 14th August we will be uniting with the Erskine Church, the "Services being in the Erskine Church, Otherwise the Old Parish will have Morning and Evening Services throughout the, year. During the months" of July and August I intend making the Evening Service shorter, and when possible of a special nature.

With warm regards to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




Collections for May 1966

F.W.O £78 19 0

Ordinary £19 4 6

By Deed of Covenant £27 10 0

Income Tax Refund on Covenants £163 9 11

By Collecting Boxes £1 0 0


On Saturday, 14th Mav at Jedburgh the Langholm Boys' Brigade took part in the Border Division Annual Athletic Sports. At the end of some excellent running the second prize medal for juniors was, awarded to Pte. Ian Glendinning, who all afternoon ran exceptionally well. The overall result of the Sports was Jedburgh 1st, Galashiels 2nd, Langholm 3rd. The event wass held under ideal conditions on a beautiful afternoon.


The Church of Scotland wili run a Rest Room at the Highland Show at Ingliston, near Edinburgh, from June 21st to 24th. The site is centrally situated and staffed continually throughout the show. An invitation is extended to any of our people visiting the show to use the Church of Scotland Rest Room as a meeting place with friends. The stand is No. 266.


June 12; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. D Hendrie, Cleuchfoot, Wauchope.

June 19; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. James Pattie, The Schoolhouse. We hope to have the Town Band leading the Evening praise.

June 26; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. L. Ewart, High Street. The Morning Service will be attended and led by the Sunday School children and staff. Children are invited to bring gifts of flowers which will be received at the commencement of the Service.

July 3; 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Jean Goodfellow, 8 Buccleuch Terrace,


May 8 Sonia Anne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ritchie, 26 John Street.

May 15 Susan Ann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Irving, 2 Mary Street.

May 19 Lilian Macdonald, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. N. Johnstone, Fasgadh, Ha'Path.

May 25 Dawn Louise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D. Norden, 10 Rosevale Street.

May 25 William Johnstone-Ferguson, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Ewart, 126 Station Buildings.


May 12 William Murray Adamson, 5 North Hermitage Street, Newcastleton, and Elizabeth Carmichael, 73 Caroline Street.

May 27 William James Irving Carson, Blinkbonny, Canonbie, and Rosemarie Anderson, 23 Henry Street.

June 4 Norman Nelson Allan, 18 John Street, and Margaret McKinnell Little, Skipperscieuch.

"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it'. Psalm 127.