Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.98                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        JUNE 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.

Text for June: “Hear, you who have ears to hear, what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2. 7. N.E.B.

In the Book of Revelation we are given in chapters 2 and 3 the message of the Spirit to the churches in Asia. There is a special message given to each of the seven churches, messages which have had meaning for the churches down through the centuries and which have had special meaning for the churches today of whatever branch or denomination. There can be no doubt that the Spirit is speaking to the churches today, speaking some radical and stirring things, asking some searching questions and calling upon them to repent of their age long and senseless divisions. I believe the Spirit is asking many of our churches today if they know why they exist, and calling upon them to turn away from efforts of self preservation to become vehicles of God for the spread of the Gospel. In a series of lectures entitled “What is a living Church?” J. S. Whale asks, “If the churches were all blotted out and their buildings turned into concert halls or swimming baths, What, if anything, would plain ordinary men miss?” And he expresses the opinion that it would not be a great deal the majority of people would miss, because so many of our churches today are mainly concerned about things that have little to do with the purpose for which they were founded. Pierre Boulle’s successfully filmed novel, The Bridge on the River Kwai, contains a parable that helps us to see what is wrong with many of our churches today. A battalion of British soldiers, prisoners of war of the Japanese in the last war, is compelled to construct a bridge that will facilitate the movement of Japanese troops and supplies against our forces in Burma. For the sake of morale their colonel insists upon the men Working sefficienitly and building a bridge of which they can be proud. He himself becomes so obsessed with the material structure that he loses sight of the whole purpose of the war, and when some British led guerillas move in to destroy the bridge it is he who nearly frustrates the scheme. And as that bridge was to the colonel, so the church is to many Christians, something to be preserved at all costs, a thing of greater importance than the overall campaign of God and becomes in many cases a hinderance and an obstacle to the spread of the Gospel. In the messages of the Spirit to the seven churches in Asia they are each given an individual message which makes them consider why they exist, and in this sermon I propose briefly to note some of these messages which have meaning for us today.

First, the church at Ephesus, to which the Spirit said, “Repent, for you have lost your early love.”

On the face of it there didn’t seem much wrong with the church at Ephesus. It is praised for its hard work for the cause of Christ and for its efforts to silence the voices of those they considered false teachers. But they lacked love and brotherly feeling in the way they sought to maintain orthodoxy, and without love nothing we do is of any worth. I was present at the opening of the General Assembly in Edinburgh and witnessed the uncouth and discourteous display of the followers of the Rev. Ian Paisley against a Roman Catholic observer being welcomed by the Moderator. This would not have taken place if this rather frightening man, Ian Paisley, was possessed with Christian love. How different it was in Hawick on the following Thursday evening when, as Moderator of the Presbytery, I attended the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of the Roman Catholic Parish Church, when the people of Hawick of all denominfations joined in congratulating Gordon J. Grey on his appointment as Cardinal for Scotland. He began his priesthood in Hawick in 1941 and became so loved by the people of all the churches that they have never forgotten his labours amongst them. When Provost Atkinson stood up and offered congratulations and a gift on behalf of the people of Hawick, the humble and delightful new Cardinal said: “I don’t know what to say in reply. All I can say is I love you.”

In his book “The Pattern of Prayer” the late Dr. W. E. Sangster asks, “What is a true and successful church? Is it a church crowded to the door every Sunday How some of us would like that, but this is reserved only for the gifted few. Is it a church in which the sacrament of Holy Communion is regularly and correctly celebrated? That would rule out all the Quakers and Salvationists and Jesus would never do that.” What is a true and successful church? asks Dr. Sangster, and his answer is, “A church filled with love which is the life of God.” He goes on to point out that “a church is a public place. Anyone can come. A malicious gossip might attend and pump the poison of scandal into the fellowship of God’s people, and there would be no easy way to prevent it. But if the central fellowship was filled with the love which is the life of God the poison would be sterilized. The ‘anti-bodies’ of love would master the evil in the gossip and the health of the body would be maintained.”

Second, to the church in Sardis the Spirit says, "Though you have a name for being alive, you are dead.”

What a sad state this church had fallen into, full of nominal Christians in whom the fire of faith had died. Dr. Parkes Cadman, a well known American preacher of former years, was once asked, “Where are the dead?” His reply Was. “I don’t about all of them, but some of them are members of my church.” And isn’t that sadly true of so many of our churches, over 60 per cent. of the members dead so far as the real life of the church goes. I have heard of a boy being asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. His smart answer was “Alive.” And that is what the Spirit Wanted to see and expected of the members of the church in Sardis, to be alive not just physically but spiritually, to be worshipping, praying and caring in the central fellowship of what we call our church.

Thirdly, to the church at Laodicia the Spirit says, “You are neither hot nor cold. I would that you were one or the other.”

This church in Laodicia was a wealthy church, wanting nothing that money could buy, wanting nothing from man or God. But it lacked one thing that money conldn’t buy, the fire of zeal and enthusiasm for the cause of the Kingdom. This church in Laodicia was self satisfied, and we read in Revelation 3, verses 15 and 16, in language far from polite, “Because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, because your religion is tepid, you make me sick." That is what the Spirit had to say to the church at Laodicia, and the same thing could be said to so many of our churches in this land today. “Without enthusiasm,” cried Dr. Ioseph Parker from his City Temple pulpit in London, “without enthusiasm what is the Church? It is Vesuvius without fire, it is Niagara without water. it is the firmament without the sun.”

The Spirit makes it clear to the church at Laodicia that the Risen Lord would prefer it to be cold rather than tepid. “I would that you were cold or‘ hot.” This means that our Lord would rather have us against Him than being indifferent and half-hearted‘ This is the point made by Studdert Kennedy in his lines entitled Indifference:

"When Jesus came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,

They drove great nails through hands and feet? and made a Calvary;

They crowned with a crown of thorns. red were His wounds, and deep,

For those were crude and cruel days. and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham they simply passed Him by.

They never hurt a hair of Him, they only let him die;

For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain.

They only just passed down the street. and left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, “Forgive them, for they know what they do;”

And still it rained the wintry rain that drenched Hirn through and through:

The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,

And Jesus crouched against the wall and cried for Calvary.”

And finally, the message of the Spirit to the church at Philadelphia: “I have set before thee an open door which no man can shut.”

What a happy name this church had, Philadelphia, brotherly love. The city of Philadelphia was named after the king who founded it, a hundred years and more before the birth of Jesus, and what a grand name for a place in which a Christian church should be established. Philadelphia stood at the gateway to the East and commanded one of the greatest highways of the world, a highway that led from Europe to the East along which travellers and traders were constantly passing, and so the church there had great missionary opportunities. This is why the Spirit reminds this church, “I have set before thee an open door which no man can shut.” What the Spirit is actually saying is, you have great opportunities for evangelism, for winning men for the Gospel. And that is equally true for all our churches today in this land, in Scotland, in Langholm, “I have set before thee an open door” for winning those outside for the Gospel. Our job is evangelism. and how should we be going about it? By mass meetings with a preacher like Dr. Billy Graham? This is what most people think of when we speak about evangelism, and it has served the Church well. But there are other ways in which we can all take part. House Church is one, another is industrial mission. The other day at the Assembly I sat down beside a minister from Inverurie and we began talking about churches as we waited the arrival of the Queen. He told me he was industrial chaplain to three factories and spent hours weekly visiting the people at their work and talking with many who never went near churches. I asked if it was helping his church attendance and he replied no, but it was causing a lot of discussion at work about the claims of the Lord Jesus upon us in this modern age. Yes, evangelism is showing concern for those who never go near the church. by visitation or otherwise. Dr William Temple said, “The church primarily exists for those who never go near it.” And the tragedy of so many of our churches is that they are not at all worried about those who never go near. And there is no future for churches that have lost the spirit of evangelism, of caring about those outside.

W. A. Visser’t Hooft, in his Dale Lectures “The Renewal of the Church", tells of two great Churches in the early centuries of the Christian era that passed completely out of existence: the Church of North Africa, which had produced leaders like Tertullian, Cyprian and Augustine; and the Nestorian Church of Central Asia. In each case he traces the cause of death to the same factors nstitutionalism and concern with creeds, lack of evangelism which is going out to those in the community who are unconcerned, and refusing to listen to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. Jesus once said to His followers: “Whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the Gospel’s sake shall keep it unto life eternal.” This surely is a word to the churches today to cease our concern with buildings and carrying on Services in the way that suited former ages, and spend all our efforts in taking the Gospel to those who never come near us, who are unconcerned.

“I have set before thee an open door which no man can shut.” This is true for all the churches in this land today, for our Old Parish Church of Langholm, a door stands wide open before us, and the only people who can shut that door is ourselves, if we have ceased to care, if we have lost our early love. “Hear, you who have ears to hear, what the Spirit says to the churches.”


Dear Fellow-MemberGeneral Assembly

Though not a member of Assembly this year, I managed to gain enrtrance and a good seat at the opening of Assembly on the first day, Tuesday, 20th May. It was a really thrilling scene to be present when Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne entered. The scene took me back to earlier years of my ministry when I witnessed the Queen’s father, then Duke of York, and the present Queen Mother enter the Assembly, when he attended as Lord High Commisssioner. The Queen’s speech was eagerly listened to and replied to with praise for her delightful character and example from the new Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Tom Murchison.

Election of Cornet for 1969/70

We all extend to William Laidlaw, 17 Holmwood Crescent, our warmest congratulations on his election. as Cornet with 462 votes. Willliam is a member of the Old Parish Church, and we will look forward to him with his Right and Left Hand Men attending church on the Sunday previous to the Common Riding. William Laidlaw has long experience in riding in the Common Riding, and we are confident he will set a high staadard in his conduct and leadership in his year of office.

Presbytery of Hawick to Meet in Langholm

The Presbytery ovf Hawick meets in our Old Parish Hall on Wednesday, 24th June at 2 p.m. On this occasion I am inviting the ladies of the Guild to provide and serve refreshments to Presbytery members at the close of the meeting, this will be just after 4 p.m. This meeting will take into account the retiral of the Rev. Andrew W. Farms, B.D., as minister of Canonbie, and after 45 years in the ministry of the Church of Scotland, 39 of those years as minister of Canonbie. For some years Mr. Farms has also carried the responstibility of Longtown charge of the Church of Scotland. Both Mr. and Mrs. Farms have given grand service to the people of Canonbie and Longtown and are greatly loved for all they have been to the people for many years. As you know Mr. Farms has outstanding musical gif-s, keen wit and good humour. He has been a faithful pastor to one of the "largest landward parishes in the lowlands of Scotland. He has been a close and good friend to me since my coming to Langholm, and l am glad Mr. and Mrs. Farms are to settle locally, in Longtown. May they enjoy a long and happy retiral surrounded by many friends.

The Presbytery in Langholm also marks the last official meeting of my year as Moderator. It has been an easy and uneventful year, and I have enjoyed taking office as Moderator for the third time in my ministery, previously as Moderator of the Presbytery of the South Coast in the Presbyterian Church of England; and in 1949 as Moderator of the Presbytery of the Church of Scotland in England, during the closing years of my service as an Army Chaplain.

Special Services in June

On Sunday, 1st June we commence an experiment in holding an early Service at 9.30 a.m. to last half an hour, and for the benefit of people planning to go out of to town for the day, and for people spending the Saturday night in Langholm district in caravans or hotels. The gallery will be closed for this early Service and people are asked to sit in the centre of the church, and well forward so as to enjoy singing. We hope that people will come along in whatever kind of clothing they would be wearing for the day, and feel at home. This is an effort to encourage more and more people to begin the new week with prayer and praise. This early Service does not in any way effect the regular Services at 11 a.m. and 6 pm. At the 11 a.m. Service on Sunday, 1st June we will ordain and admit to the Kirk Session three additional elders, namely, Thomas Campbell Beattie, 8 Holmwood Gardens, Archibald Charles Findlay, Langholm Lodge, and Donald Arthur Lamont, 3 Rosevale Street. The appointment orf additional elders became necessary with the recent removal from Langholm of Mr. J. W. Wood, and we were at the same time one elder short to cover the elders districts.

On Sunday, 22nd June we will hold the annual Sunday School Flower Service and Prize Giving at 11 a.m. The Sunday School chiildren and Staff will lead this ervice. The flowers or gifts from the children will be distributed among the sick and elderly, hospital and Eventide Home. I am hoping on this same Sunday to have a quartette from the Langlholm Town; Band to lead the evening Service.

Sunday School Outings

The senior children of the Sunday School are to hold their outing on Saturday, 21st to Whitley Bay. It will be a pleasant coach run, and we hope they will be blessed with good weather. The primary children's outing will be on the following Saturday, and the destination will be intimated later.

I have no definite plans yet for holidays, but will be away from Friday 11th Iuly rto Saturday, 19th July attending the Air Training Corps camp at Finningley R.A.F. Station, near Doncaster. I also plan to take two or three weeks holiday in August.

Guild News

Many thanks to the ladies of the Guild for providling refreshments for those attending the Overseas Consultation meeting in the hall on Thursday, 1st May.

The coffee morning and bring and buy sale at the Manse on Saturday, 10th was a very happy social occasion, and realised the sum of £28 16s 0d. My wife wishes to thank everyone who helped by donations, gifts, help on stalls and serving coffee, and Mr. McKail and Mr. Maclntosh for bringing people up from town with their cars.

The Guild outing on Saturday, 14 June to North Berwick is rather a source of anxiety at the present, as to date only 11 names have been given in, and it will take 40 Io make it possible at the estimated cost. The plan is for the coach to leave Langholm at 9 a.m. stopping at St. Boswells for morning coffee, lunch in North Berwick, and high tea at Chirnside on the return journey. With a full coach we can meet ‘the cost of all meals and coach at 34/-. I have put a notice in the local press asking if any people not members of the Guild would care to come in to make up the number. I appeal to our people to make an effort to go on this outlng and make it la success as planned.

We wish to thank Miss Mary Graham and Mrs. Douglas Anderson for representing the Guild at the Assembly meetings in the Usher Hall, and the Guild will look forward to hearing their reports next session.

The Young Wives Fellowship continues to meet throughout the year, on Tuesday, 17th June in the hall at 8 p.m. no meetings in July and August, and commencing the new session on Tuesdsay, 16th September.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

Ellen Wilson Thomson, 5 Meikleholm, passed away in the Hope Hospital on 6th May at the age of 81. She was ca devoted member and supporter of the Old Parish Church. Ellen Thomson began her work as cook in the Thomas Hope Hospital, and after some years as cook with different families in Cumberland, became cook for Misses Scott at Erkinholme. She was blessed with kind and caring neighbours in her last years, in particular by the help of Mrs. Walter Jackson. It is nice to think that she was nursed and cared for in the Hope Hospital in her last days, where she began her life’s work.

In my Letter in last month’s Parish Magazine referred to the passing away of Maragaret Marchington better known as Peggy Paterson of Terrona. Margaret was baptised in Langholm Old Parish Church by the Rev. James Buchanan on 28th October, 1918, and was received into membership of our Church in later years. She was well known and loved in Langholm and the farming community. At the begining of the last war she joined up in the Fannys and served until her Company was disbanded, when she transferred to the A.T.S. she served in various military stations the South of England and at Edinbrurgch, and later was commissioned and appointed in charge of the A.T.S. in the Military Camp at Halleaths, Lochmaben. From Halleaths she was posted to the large Camp at Dundonald, Troon, and it was here that Peggy met her future husband, Tony Marchington, an Officer-in the R.N.V.R. They were married in the Langholm Old Parish Church in 1944 and after takinig discharge from H.M. Forces entered upon a Hotel career, first at Ken Bridge, New Galloway, and later at Llwyngwair Manor, Newport, Pembrokeshire. Peggy and Tony were blessed with a daughter Anne and a son Harry.

After some months of illness Peggy passed away on 2nd April. Her funeral Service took place in the beautiful 6th Century Church of St. Brynach, Nevern, Pembrokeshire. Peggy was the elder daughter of the late J. J. Paterson and of Rita Paterson, The Cottage, Terrona, and we express to her bereaved husband Tony, to Anne and Harry, to her mother Rita Paterson, and to her brother John and sister Barbara our tender sympathy in their bereavement and loss.

With warm regards to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.



£66 5 7


£25 7 2


June 8 - 9.30 a.m. Short Service fr people going out of town for the day. 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. D. Hendrie, Cleuchfoot Farm.

June 15 - 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. James Pattie, Schoolhouse.

June 22 - 9.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Flower and Sunday School Prize Giving Service. 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. L. Ewart, Henry Street.

June 29 - 9.30 a.m. 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Jean Goodfellow, 8 Buccleuch Terrace.

July 6 - 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 pm. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Jean Ferguson, Neidpath, Walter Street.


May 25 - Alan James, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Corrie, 12 Eskdaill Street.

June 1 - Andrew Alexander, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mervyn Burnett, 28 John Street.


May 17 - Denis Raymond Male, 10 George Street, to Sheila McDowall, Hilltop, Gretna.

May 24 - William James Barbour, The Burn, Westerkirk, to Jean Cowan Faulder, Oak Bank, Longtown. In Kirkandrews-on-Esk.

May 31 - David John Paterson, Kirkton Farm, Lockerbie, to Christina Alison McMurdo, 26 John Street.


May 6 - In Thomas Hope Hospital - Ellen Wilson Thomson, 5 Meikleholm, 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”. St. John 11. 25/26.


The Congregational Board is called to meet in the Vestry at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 10th June.