Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.39                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       MARCH, 1964.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings. Tel. 223

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Hall, 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.

Church Officer: Mr. ARCHIE SMITH, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Motto Text for March: The root of the matter is found in me". Job 19.28.


For March Motto Text I am giving the text of my sermon on the Sunday commencing our recent Kirk Week, which suggests that the solution to most of our problems lies within ourselves. These words come from Job who is described as a man "perfect and upright . . . one that feareth God and escheweth evil". But suddenly calamity fell upon Job, bereavements, material losses and ill health. And when this happened Job kept his faith, didn"t blame anybody, never accused God for allowing these things to happen to him. Because Job knew that the answer to all our problems lies not in becoming embittered but in keeping our faith and hope and fighting back to recovery. This is what he means by our Motto Text: "The root of the matter is found in me." A word about the foolishness of blaming God for our misfortunes.

Some people, particularly people who give God very little place in their thoughts and time, blame Him whenever they meet with misfortune or distress. In his recently published book "No Uncertain Sound" Dr. Leonard Small, Minister of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, tells of a woman living in a Scottish housing scheme who had become an "addict" to the Bingo craze. One evening she had arranged for a fifteen-year-old girl to come and "baby-sit", but the girl had not arrived by the time the mother had to co out for her evening"s entertainment. She took the chance and left her three children, aged seven, five and three, in the house alone. The three-year-old, ready for bed, stumbled against the electric fire and went up in flames. The seven-year-old did the best she could think of and flung a pail of water over the screaming child. The child simply died. At the funeral the mother said to the minister that the tragedy was due to the failure of God"s providence, and didn"t seem to see it was due to the breakdown her own motherly care. "God must be queer," she said, "does not want us to enjoy ourselves." That is the kind of thing we hear so often from people who have so little time for God when everything is going well. Job had the right answer, painful as it may be to acknowledge sometimes, that "the root of the matter is found in me".

A word about blaming other people for our troubles.

I have heard people blame their poor parents and lack of educational opportunities for the poor shape they have made of life. But Professor Sir Henry Jones didn"t, and he was born in a poor cobbler"s home in South Wales and never got the chance of regular school attendance. Yet at the age of fourteen he decided he was going to be a scholar and go to Glasgow University and take his M.A. It was a hard battle but he got there, and eventually became Professor of Moral Philosophy and a beloved teacher of the happiest way to live to many thousands of students. I have known people to blame the war for their fate and health, and this is understandable in many cases. But here is a story of a man who might have blamed the war but didn't. Like Job he saw that the root of the matter is found in me. The story is given by Mr. Newton Baker, Secretary of War in President Wilson"s cabinet. After the war he used to visit in Federal hospitals the worst casualties of the American Army. One of the very worst was a man with both legs gone, one arm gone, both eyes gone, his face terribly mutilated, who was wheeled around the hospital grounds in a perambulator by a nurse, but who still was radiant and full of spirit. Nobody expected him to live. When some time later Mr. Baker met somebody from the hospital he asked: "Did that young man live?" And the answer was: "Did he live? I'll say he did. He married his nurse." Marvelling at the capacity of women to love, Mr. Baker forgot about the matter until a few years later as trustee of John Hopkins University he received a letter from the president. They wished, said the president, to do an unusual thing, to bestow the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon a young man who, though heavily handicapped, had done one of the most brilliant pieces of work ever done in the University. His name was that of the crippled veteran. Mr. Baker being curious if this was the same man made enquiries. And sure enough it was, the man with both legs gone, one arm gone, both eyes gone but still not part of the world"s problem but part of the answer. A man realising, as Job did, that whatever happens to us the root of the matter is found in me.

Apply our Motto Text to the Community, or the local Council, or the Government.

You know how prone we are to criticise the way the country is governed, the local Council or say the Trade Unions are getting under communist influence. But is it not a fact that "the root of the matter is found in me". People who criticise Trade Unions becoming communist should make a point of attending the business meetings and vote the right people in. Mr. G. K. Chesterton was once asked by a newspaper editor to write a letter for publication on what was wrong with the country. His letter read something like this: "Dear sir, What is wrong with the country? I am wrong. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton." Once the people of a country like ours, a country governed on the principles laid down by Abraham Lincoln for U.S.A. "government of the people, by the people, for the people"-are people who really care about the future of their country, and then the few at the top will soon be seen to be the right choice, whatever their political party might be.

Our Motto Text also has application to the Church—to our Church for example.

As I explained in the last Magazine, the word Church comes from the Greek, ecclesia, which means the people. The Church is not ministers and elders alone, but everyone baptised into the name of Jesus and who have come to think of themselves as Christians. Not a building, not a denomination, not a club, but those who profess faith in the Lord Jesus and who have undertaken to share with each other in seeking to establish Christ's kingdom here upon earth.

What is wrong with the Church today? What is wrong with our Old Parish Church in Langholm today? I am sure that many people could tell me what is wrong, and yet how many of them will be at our Annual Congregational Meeting on Thursday, 26th March, at 7 p.m. to speak up and make known their views? It is just as G. K. Chesterton said about the country-what is wrong with the Church? I am wrong. For "the root of the matter is found in me". If the attendance is poor, the singing a bit miserable, the sermon rather heavy going-may it not be that I have been absent, or not much in the mood for worship or prayer and was no help. For "the root of the matter is found in me" nearly always.

And we could go on and apply our text to Home Life, to Health, Friendship, and our Personal Happiness.

When there is disharmony at home, may it not be that the root of the matter is found in me? At any rate it is a fact that there are always faults on both sides. And what a large part we play in controlling our own health. If we begin to think about disease or illness we actually may induce such a condition. But think of health and long life and happy days and this condition will be ours. For as the Bible tells us: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." Or as our text says: "The root of the matter is found in me." This is particularly true in the matter of human friendship. There is nothing more wonderful in the world than human friendship. Robert Louis Stevenson said: "A true friend is better than the wealth of the world, for your wealth you leave behind you, but your friend goes with you beyond the sunset." The famous Dr. Johnson once 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." And yet for many people their friendships mean little, they complain that people are unfriendly and that "I have not a friend in the world". And they forget that as Job said, the root of the matter is found in me. For as the Book of Proverbs puts it: "He that hath friends must show himself friendly." Or as Emerson, the American essayist puts it: "To have a friend we must be a friend."

Report on Kirk Week

I am not yet in a position to give an adequate report on the visitation of the eighteen teams who visited all our members recently. I hope to do this later. All I want to say now is a word of warmest thanks first to the Office-Bearers of our Church who gallantly undertook this duty, and the some 800 or more of our members who received and responded to this visitation with hospitality and cordiality. I can say with full confidence that this visitation has warmed the hearts of our Office-Bearers and has gone a long way to putting our Church in a position that sets us on our feet financially. I have gained the impression that our Langholm Old Parish Church people have got their hearts in the right place so far as the real work of the Church is concerned, and that we have good days ahead of us in going forward to capture our community for the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. I like the tolerance and good humour of our people in all the approaches we have found it necessary to make in the past few years. I have not heard a single grumble or objection, and the reason is, I am sure, that you know very well that what we are after is nothing concerning any personal interests, but the biggest thing in the world, the claiming of lads and girls, of men and women, of the country and the world for the family of God, and the bringing in of the day when "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ".

The Annual Congregational Meeting

According to the constitution of our Church we are required to hold an Annual Meeting of the Congregation on a date not later than 31st March of each year, the date of the meeting to be fixed by the Kirk Session--when all members of the Church will be notified by pulpit intimation on the two preceding Sundays. For this year 1964 the date has been fixed for THURSDAY, 26th MARCH, at 7 p.m. in the Church Hall.

At this Meeting one third of the Members of the Board retire by alphabetic rotation, but are eligible for re-election. At this Meeting the Congregational Treasurer presents the Church Accounts, and the Treasurers of all organisations connected with the Church are called upon to present audited accounts. The Clerk of the Board reports on the work of the past year and any special business at present in hand; and the Session Clerk reports on the work of the Kirk Session, and the number of names on the Communion Roll. After the reports an opportunity is given for any member to make any proposal or criticism on matters concerning the welfare of the congregation.

I trust that we will have a good representation of the congregation present, and that members will not feel backward in raising any matter for discussion that they hold views about.

Congratulations to Langholm Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society

It gave me the greatest pleasure and delight to attend one evening when the Society presented The Gondoliers, and to see such a large number of our Old Parish people taking a leading part. I think Langholm people are to be congratulated upon maintaining such a live and gifted Society, and particularly upon the excellent performance this year.

"0 blest communion, fellowship divine.
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine."

During the past month three well known friends have passed away from us. First Miss Maggie Wilson, at 4 Buccleuch Square on 4th February. The call came very suddenly and after a short illness. Miss Wilson was a very faithful member of our Church and is sadly missed by her many friends. Second, William Young, at 55 Caroline Street on 9th February. Mr. Young had been in failing health for some time. He was well known in South Scotland and Northern England as an auctioneer, and greatly loved for his kindly and quiet humour, and in the market for his love of a fair deal and a just reward. And thirdly, Miss Mary McVittie Milligan, at 64 Caroline Street on 17th February. Though she had not been in good health her sudden passing came as a shock to us all, perhaps because she was so well loved by all who knew her. One of the most faithful and devoted members of our Church, and one who always had an encouraging word for the minister. Our deepest sympathy to the relatives of our departed friends.

With best wishes to all our people for a very happy Easter and that coming Springtime may bring new life and happiness for us all.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


Collections for February: F.W.O. £71 17 9 : Ordinary £20 6 9

Annual envelopes: £1 10 0 : Donation £ 1 0 0


Last month we issued a copv of the local magazine to each member, and I would like to appeal to all our people not taking the magazine monthly to consider doing so. It does help to keep in touch with all our Church is doing and in hearing something of the wider activities of the Church.

Since we commenced printing the monthly magazine the work has been done by Messrs. Howe of Brampton who have done a great service to us in printing the 38 issues up to date. As Mr. Bowman Little has recently purchased new printing equipment and is appealing for the support of the the local Churches and industries, we have decided to give him the contract as from this month. For this month the picture of the Old Parish Church will not appear on the front page until we have made arrangements for securing either the old block from Mr. Howe or producing a new one. Here I wish to express our best thanks to Mr. Howe of Brampton for his good services, and to congratulate Mr. Bowman Little upon his effort to develop his printing business and express our best wishes in giving him our support.


The Guild meetings in March are as follows: On 10th March the Revd. Andrew Farms, B.D., Minister of Canonbie, will give a Song Lecture. We hope for a good attendance. On 24th March the Revd. James Keillor, of Mouswald and Torthorwald Parishes, will be the speaker. Mr. Keillor followed my late brother, the Revd. George Calvert, as Minister at Mouswald. He was for some time the Scots Minister at Amsterdam and has a very interesting story to tell of his experiences in Holland.

The Guild Summer Outing will take place in June, date to be intimated soon, and the destination will be Ayr. All wishing to go please hand in names as soon as possible either to Mrs. Wood, National Commercial Bank, or to Mrs. Carter, or any member of Committee.

Annual Guild Sale of Work

The Sale takes place in the Church Hall on Saturday, 14th March, to be opened at 2.30 p.m. by Mrs. J. Thomlinson of Longtown. Mrs. Thomlinson's husband, Jacob, is well known throughout the Border country as a popular auctioneer, and I am glad to say he will also be present at the Sale.

There will be the usual stalls of work, produce, baking, confectionary, etc., and we invite gifts for the stalls. The Hall will be open on the Saturday morning from 10 to 11.30 a.m. to receive goods of any description for the Sale. As we will have a well known auctioneer present we invite gifts of saleable articles or livestock and will ask Mr. Jacob Thomlinson to offer these to the highest bidder at 3.30 p.m. The Guild gives an annual donation to Church Funds of £200, and this year would like to increase this to help in meeting the extra expenditure on the Church boiler and heating scheme. We appeal for wide support in gifts and attendance.


On Wednesday, 25th March, the Guides and Brownies are sponsoring a meeting in the Church Hall with the Pathfinder Film, telling of the work of Group Captain Cheshire in establishing Homes for invalids will be shown, and Miss Brown, Matron of Carnsalloch Home, Dumfries, will speak of the good work. Mrs. M. S. Paterson, The Cottage, Terrona, is the local representative and will introduce Miss Brown. The film tells a thrilling story of work in many parts of the country and is being shown by Messrs. Byers of Dumfries. We are inviting our Guild members, the Erskine Guild, the Congregational Guild, members of the local W.R.I. and all others interested. A silver collection will be taken


Classes for young people wishing to become Church members will be held immediately after the Evening Services from Sunday, 22nd March, until next Communion. I will welcome young people who are interested and would like to say that attendance at the classes does not carry obligation to join at this time. Older people wishing to join by private classes, transfer certificate or restoration, please let me have your names and I will be pleased to call.


6th February-Funeral of Miss Margaret Wilson, 4 Buccleuch Square, at age of 66.

11th February-Funeral of William Young, 55 Caroline Street, at age of 75.

19th February-Funeral of Miss Mary McVittie Milligan, 64 Caroline Street, at age of 76.

Note printing error in last issue of magazine-Funeral of Miss Sybella Hunter Elliot, not Reid as printed, aged 93.

"I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." John 11.25.



11 a.m. and 6 p.m.-Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. W. Kay, 22 Caroline Street.

8 p.m. Youth Fellowship, when Allan Dinwoodie will show coloured slides of his own taking on Cyprus. Open to all interested of any age.


11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Scott Morrison, 49 Henry Street. Evening Service united with Erskine held in Old Parish and with Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie preaching.

8 p.m. Youth Fellowship, annual business meeting.


11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Miss Burnet, Holm Cottage.

7 p.m. Class for First Communicants.

29th-Easter Sunday

11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd.Tom Calvert. Flowers: Miss Burnet, Holm Cottage.

7 p.m.-Class for First Communicants.



11 a.m. and 6 p.m.-Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. J. E. Kyle, Kyleakin, Wauchope Place.

7 p.m. Class for First Communicants.


The Kirk Session meets on Thursday, 12th March at 7.30 p.m.

The Annual Congregational Meeting on Thursday 26th March, at 7 p.m. in the Church Hall.