Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.50                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       March, 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.

Text for March: "Consider the lilies how they grow." - Luke 12, 27.


Dear Fellow-Member,

March has certainly come in like a lion and we can only hope it will go out like a lamb. At any rate my message for March is about springtime which cannot be very far away Springtime came early in Palestine, and it was a season Jesus loved. Just as we are being cheered by the sight of snowdrops in January and February, in Palestine you could see the lilies of the field, the scarlet poppies and anemones growing in profusion in early March. So this means that our text for this month was in all probability spoken by Jesus in March. "Consider the lilies how they grow."

First a word about Jesus the lover of Nature, and the use He made of it in His teaching.

Jesus was country born and brought up, and He loved the open-air life of Galilee. Practically all His parables and teaching was illustrated by scenes of country life. The sower going forth to sow, the shepherd tending his flock, the hen gathering her chickens under her wings, the labourer in the vineyard; He speaks about thistles, wheat and tares, foxes and wolves, oxen, sheep and goats, the sparrow fallen by the wayside, the cock crowing at daybreak and so on. And it was our Lord's love of Nature and insight into its mystery that made Him feel God so real and near. His parables are stories of country life, the clustering vine, the fig tree. And we cannot love Nature as Jesus did without coming to possess something of His certainty in the existence and goodness of God. "Consider the lilies how they grow." When Alfred Tennyson one day over on the Isle of Wight plucked a little flower out of a wall, he wrote, "Little flower, if I could but understand what you are, root and all, and all in all, I would know what God and man is."

In the days of Napoleonic France there is a story of a man named Charney who was thrown into prison because he had offended the Emperor. Left alone in a dark cell, he became embittered and lost his faith in God. So he scribbled on the wall of his cell, "All things come by chance." But one morning he noticed a tiny green speck growing on the floor of his cell, and as it grew it became his companion. He watered it and did all he could to encourage its growth, and it became his friend and teacher. When at last it produced a beautiful white flower he found himself thinking thoughts about God again. And so he rubbed out his previous scribble and wrote in its place, "He who made all things is God." Somehow this came to the knowledge of the Emperor's wife, Josephine. And convinced that a man who loved a flower could not be a criminal, she persuaded Napoleon to release him. Considering a tiny flower changed Charney's life.

But our text is primarily a rebuke to people addicted to needless worry.

This whole passage from which our text is taken was spoken by Jesus to people who were worrying themselves into their graves about where tomorrow's food and raiment would come from. "Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." We are not to take these words as encouraging thriftless, improvident living. We know that even the growing flower has to thrust its roots down into the soil, and withstand drought and storm. But it does all this without distrusting God's care and providence. The point Jesus is making is that much of our worry is needless, and is refusing to take into account all God has done for us in the past. Alistair MacLean in one of his books tells a story of a London doctor who was a real hero. "He was paralysed and bed- ridden, but almost outrageously cheerful, and his smile so brave and radiant that everyone forgot to be sorry for him. His children adored him, and when one of his boys was leaving home to start life's adventure, Dr. Greatheart gave him good advice; "Johnny," he said, "the thing to do, my lad, is to hold your own end up, and to do it like a gentleman, and please remember the biggest troubles you have got to face are those that never come." And of course much of our worry is not only needless, but it sends many people to their graves years earlier than they would if they had laughed more. Professor William Barclay writes that "It is a medical fact that he who laughs most lives longest." The worry that wears out the mind wears out the body along with it We have got to learn to live as the lilies grow, relaxed. I have read about a man, a very nervous worrying type who went up in an aeroplane for the first time. How did you like it? A friend later asked him. Oh, it was alright, he replied, but of course I never put my whole weight down. And that is the way many of us live from day to day, always keyed up and making life a burden. H. E. Bates, the novelist, describes a pilot bringing his bomber back from a raid on Italy. "He had learnt the art of flying relaxed," says Bates. And that is the right way to fly and the right way to live.

"The worried cow

Would have lasted till now If she 'adn't lost her breath

But she thought the hay

Wouldn't last all day,

So she mooed herself to death."

You cannot consider the lilies without being impressed by their incomparable beauty.

"Not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these." And just as Nature without any obvious effort produces the beauty of the lily, so God has designed that all His creatures and creations should be beautiful. And the beauty He looks for in His creatures is not so much beauty of form as of those inner qualities such as were seen in Jesus. There is a verse in one of the evangelical hymns which goes like this - "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in us". And the beauty of Jesus was beauty of act. ons, words and friendships, in understanding and sympathy of heart. "Beautiful hands are those that do work that is earnest, kind and true. Beautiful feet are those that go on kindly ministry to and fro." When we speak about a beautiful life we mean a person devoid of resentment, a person with a loving understanding heart. Such a person may or may not have physical beauty "for beautiful faces are those that wear whole-souled honesty printed there". When Emerson as an old man, losing his memory and hardly able to hobble along, attended the funeral of his life-long friend Longfellow, he paid him this tribute: "I forget the name of the gentleman we are burying today, but he was a sweet and beautiful soul." The lilies have a God-given beauty like that seen in the face of Jesus, the kind of beauty that can be seen in human lives.

And we cannot consider the lilies without being reminded of the transience of the life we live.

The lilies of the field to which Jesus refers bloomed for one day only, and then they withered and were used for kindling fires by housewives. And yet for that one day of life they showed forth a beauty which enriched and gladdened the life of the world. And our life is like that, it quickly passes. Even though we live our three score years and ten, or more, it is a short span and we soon pass away. And yet so many people spend the short day of human life bickering and hating, stopping speaking to one another, indulging in bad moods, in jealousy and foolish pride, when we might be like the lilies showing forth to the world all the best we can give to gladden and enrich its life. Like the lilies we are here today and gone tomorrow. What an unlovely world this would be if the lilies did with their one day what many people do with their short lives.

And of course we cannot consider the lilies without hearing them speak to us about resurrection.

Because you see, the lilies don't really die, they wither and their outward frame is burnt as the passage from which. our text says, but their life goes down into their roots, and when spring comes again with its rain to moisten, they feel the thrill of new life and expand again. And this is why lilies are asosciated with Easter, why the Altars and Communion Tables of our Cathedrals and Church buildings are adorned with lilies at Eastertide, because they speak to us of resurrection. Every springtime the flowers come forth in new life, and we never say, I wonder if spring, will return next year. We know it will and lilies and grass and new life. And in this passage from which our text comes Jesus says - "If God so clothed the grass which is today in the fields, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more you, 0 ye of little faith."

Springtime will come again for human life just as it does for the lilies, and this is not only the sure promise of God's word but the necessary fulfilment of the spiritual, just as in the natural world. On page 6 of this month's issue "Life and Work" we read what Sir Winston Churchill had to say about what happens when the lilies fade. In his memorial tribute to the Duke of Kent he said - "Only faith in a life after death, in a brighter world where dear ones live again, can bring consolation."' And the lilies assure us that "a brighter world" awaits us, and springtime which will come just as surely as in this month of March we know that in our natural world springtime will soon be here.

Annual Kirk Week Visitation

As was noted in the February issue of our Parish Magazine, the visitation of the congregation by teams of two Office-bearers, as far as possible each team made up of an Elder and a member of the Board, will take place on the week commencing Sunday, 14th March. Last year a similar visitation was well received and did much to strengthen the life and worship of our Old Parish Church. I give the names of visiting teams and districts in this magazine, and I wish to commend the visitors to all our people and ask you to welcome them. The congregation is divided up into eighteen districts for the purpose of the visitation, with some thirty-five Office-bearers taking part. The object of the visitation is twofold, first to enable our Elders and Board members to have experience of meeting with the congregation and feel they are doing some pastoral work for the building up of our church. And secondly to remind our people how much we want their presence at worship, their children at Sunday School, and the young people at the Minister's Bible Class to commence after the summer holidays. We would like to hear through the visitation of any suggestions or criticisms that might or could be used for the strengthening of our church. To hear of any elderly or sick who would like Communion at home. Of any children unable to attend Sunday School because of distance or other reason where the Home Sunday School monthly lessons would be accepted. We are fortunate in having a large body of splendid Office-bearers who put the Church at very high priority in their lives, and I trust that their experience in this visitation will be a real encouragement to them, and a happy occasion for those visited.

Annual Congregational Meeting

The Annual Meeting of our Congregation takes place in the Parish Hall on Thursday, 25th March at 7.30 p.m. The annual financial report will be presented by the Church Treasurer, and reports will be received from the Sunday School, the Women's Guild, the Boys' Brigade, and the Badminton Club. According to the terms of the constitution, "one-third of the serving members of the Board shall retire annually, but they shall be severally eligible for re-election". The order of retirement is on alphabetic rotation. The Board members who retire this year are as follows: A. D. McMillan, D. Murray, Mrs. Osier, Miss Paterson, and Mrs. Telford. There are vacancies in the number of Board members owing to members having been nominated to the eldership. So after the business reports we will proceed to election and if desired re-election of Board members. After business we will have tea and this will be followed by a social evening with singing and music.

I appeal for a good attendance, and for offers of help in organising the social side of the evening.

Special Events and Services

The Women's Guild Sale of Work takes place on Saturday, 13th March, when we are fortunate in having a good friend of the Old Parish Church returning to perform the opening ceremony, in the person of Lady Milne Home of Elibank, Walkerburn. Details of the stalls are given in this magazine, and I hope we will have a good response in giving to the stalls and make the Sale a good success. The Guild donates to the Church Treasurer in the region of £300 a year to meet our liabilities to the Co-Ordinated Schemes of the Church of Scotland of £421, which are obligatory on all parishes. Also it will be seen by the published financial statement that the Guild has financed considerable improvements to the Hall in the past year. This Sale is the climax of efforts covering the whole winter session of the Guild in building up funds to be in a position to continue supporting our Church as in previous years.

You will see from the Church Calendar that on 21st March we are having a United Service in the Old Parish Church of the Erskine and Congregational and Old Parish congregations at the 6 p.m. Evening Service. Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie and Revd. Beatrice Bonnar and myself will share the Service and the praise will be led by the Langholm Town Band.

Classes for First Communicants

Classes for first communicants will commence on Sunday, 21st March, immediately after the evening service. I will welcome young people to attend the classes whether or not they join the Church at this time. Classes will continue until next Communion on Sunday, 25th April.

Sunday Services Next Month

On Sunday, 28th March, I will be at Castleton and Saughtree celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The Revd. A. R. Alexander, M.A. will conduct the Morning Service in the Old Parish, and I will be taking the Evening Service.

On Sunday, 4th April the Morning Service will be conducted by the Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie, and the Evening Service by the Revd. Brydon Maben. Mr. Maben is one of a number of candidates for Castleton and Saughtree, and will be heard by the Vacancy Committee in the Erskine Church at the Morning Service. The reason why the Vacancy Committee wish to hear him preach in Erskine Church is that it is a church of comparable size to their church in Newcastleton. I am away that weekend on the very happy errand of conducting the marriage of Colin Milligan and Leslie Sim, two delightful young people who have given exceptional service to our congregation, Colin in youth work, and Leslie in the Sunday School. I know that the whole congregation joins with me in offering them our warmest congratulations and best wishes. The marriage will take place in Drumblade Parish Church, near Huntly.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

During the past month there have been three bereavements in the parish and in our congregation. John Scott, 6 Wapping Lane, passed away the age of 54 after a period of illness. He was a very much liked man in the town and district, and served his country bravely in the Royal Navy in the last war. Deepest sympathy to his widow and son. Then all so suddenly Mrs. Violet Murray McVittie, 17 Charles Street (New), passed away at the age of 82. Mr. and Mrs. George McVittie have been the most faithful members of our church and beloved to the whole community. I have not known any happier couple in their home and life together We offer George McVittie our tenderest sympathy in his sad loss. Miss Janet Stillie, 23 Eskdale Place, passed away at the age of 80 after a long illness in hospital. She is remembered by many with whom she worked for her fine character and cheerful disposition.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




Districts and Visiting Teams

Visitations planned to take place from Monday, 15th to Saturday, 20th March.

1. Caroline Street - Mr. R. Robertson and Miss Mary Dalgliesh.

2. Buccleuch Terrace and Buccleuch Crescent and Eskdale Place - Mr. Matt Armstrong and Mrs. Hogg.

3. Meikleholm and Wauchope district - The Minister and Miss Barbara Paterson.

4. Eskdaill Street and Douglas Terrace - Mr. David Calvert and Mrs. Little.

5. Wauchope Place, Wauchope Street and Walter Street--Mr. Ian Macintosh and Miss Mary Graham.

6. Henry Street, even numbers--Mr. David Hendrie and Mrs. Nan Bell.

7. Henry Street, odd numbers - Mr. Archie Smith and Mr. A. Mothersole.

8. Charles Street (New), Mary Street, Buccleuch Square and Elizabeth Street - Mr. James Pattie and Mr. David Murray.

10. Holmwood Crescent, Gardens and Breahead - Mr. Douglas Anderson and Mrs. Mina Carter.

11. High Street - Mr. William Smith and Mr. William Elliot

12. John Street, David Street, George Street and Charles Street (Old) - Mr. T. McKail and Mr. A. Cowing.

13. Rosevale Street, Riverside Bungalows and West Street - Mr. Kenneth Neill and Mr. J. Kyle.

14. Waverlev Road, Charlotte Street and Maxwell Place - Mr. John Scott and Mrs. Telford.

15. Drove Road, Kirkwynd and Arkinholm Terrace - Mr. Robert Douglas and Mrs. Armitage.

16. Holmhead, Terrona, Sorbie, Potholm. Effgill, The Burn and Middlemoss--Mr. J. Wood and Mr. J. Maxwell.

17. St. Thorwalds area, Tarras, Cronksbank, Perterburn and Penton - Mr. M. Douglas and Mr. L. Ewart.

18. Skippers Bridge south to Canonbie - Mr. W. Hosie and another person available.

The remaining, office-bearers - Mr. J. Tyman, Session Clerk; Mr. Robert Black, Treasurer; Mr. William Stuart, Senior Elder; Mr. Edward C. Armstrong, Clerk to Board, form a Committee responsible for producing visiting lists and any required administration in connection with the visitaton.


The Guild wish to thank all who supported the Coffee Evening, and Mrs. Carter, the President, for her delightful talk and slides on Nigeria. The effort raised £9 10s 0d towards Guild funds. Also all who gifted jumble and those who helped in running the sale, and the Boys' Brigade for their cooperation and help. The effort raised £17 10s 0d for Guild funds.

The next meeting, on Tuesday, 9th March, will take the form of a Concert Party provided by Mr. McGee of Lochmaben. This will be an open meeting for men and women of all ages.

The Guild Sale of Work is on Saturday, 13th March, to be opened at 3 p.m. by Lady Milne Home of Elibank, Walkerburn. Stalls will include Cakes, Work, Produce, Candy, Bran Tub and a Sunday School stall. The Guild invited Elders's wives to run a stall. Gifts are invited for the various stalls. Tea will be served and tea tickets available at the door. The hall will be open on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to receive gifts for for stalls.

There will be a Guild meeting on Tuesday 16th when Mr. Peter Fothergill will show films and give a talk on "Living in Norway".

On Tuesday 23rd a Guild meeting will be held when the Minister will give a talk appropriate to the season cf Lent when we remember our Lord's suffering.

The closing meeting for the session on Tuesday 30th will be a business meeting. At this meeting the date and destination of the Summer Outing will be discussed and ideas invited for the next session's syllabus.


February 21 - Magnus Walter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Magnus Neill, Rosevale Street.

February 17 - Catrione Mhairi, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Johnstone, Fasgadh, Langholm.

February 19 - Stephen John, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Tweddle, Tarras Tile Works.


February 16 - Alan Andrew Phillips, Kilncleuch, to Peggie Crabtree.

February 20 - Brian Reive, 4 Burnside Gardens, Ecclefechan, to Vivian Hawthorn, 5 Albert Place.


On 4th February - John Scott, 6 Wapping Lane, aged 54.

On 22nd February - Violet Murray McVittie, 17 Charles Street (New), aged 82.

On 24th February - Janet Stillie, 23 Eskdale Place,. aged 80.

"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him."-1 Cor. 2, 9.


March 11 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs. Scott Morrison, 49 Henry Street.

March 21 - 11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Miss Burnet, Holm Cottage. 6 p.m. United Service with Erskine and Congregational in Old Parish. Music led by Langholm Town Band. Class for First Communicants after Evening. Service.

March 28 - 11 a.m. Revd. A. R. Alexander, M.A. Flowers: Miss Burnet, Holm Cottage. 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Class for First Communicants after Evening Service.

April 4 - 11 a.m. Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie. Flowers:- Mrs. J. E. Kyle, Kyleakin. 6 p.m. Revd. Bryden Maben.

Special attention is drawn to to the article on page 2 in the March issue of "Life and Work".