Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.83                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        MARCH 1968.

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 March, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 25. 11.

The Bible lays great stress upon the importance of the words we speak. Here in our text Solomon tells us that “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold set in pictures of silver”. In the Book of Job we read “Thy words have set men on their feet.” The Psalmist says, “Set a watch O Lord before my mouth, keep the door of my lips”. St. Paul says, “Let your speech be always with grace”. St. James says, “If any man among you seems to be religious and bridleth not his tongue, that man’s religion is vain.” Again he says, “The tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth”. And Jesus said, “That for every word a man shall speak, he will be called to give an account in the day of judgement”. That “by our words we shall be justified and by our words shall we be condemned.”

The importance of words spoken in season.

A word in season means a word of sympathy and understanding a considered word a word of encouragement. In his autobiography, Dr. Nathaniel Micklem says of his colleague Fearon Halliday, “He had the most remarkable gifts, intellectual, psychic, spiritual. He had studied philosophy and been a gold medallist at Trinity College, Dublin; he had read through Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, as he has told me, thirteen times”. But it is not of these remarkable powers that Dr. Micklem praises in Halliday, but his uncanny power of reading a man’s face and divining the secrets of his heart. “He had a curious sympathy which made all who met him respond to his immediate and affectionate probing, and of their own initiative they would open their troubles to him. His work lay among missionaries on furlough, who are often ‘returned empty’, exhausted, drained of feeling and in desperate need of spiritual help. And no man knows how many Halliday helped to stand upon their feet again.”

To be able to speak the right word when people are passing through times of strain or sorrow is a great gift, for as was said of Job, “your words have set men on their feet”. To have the gift of speaking a word of encouragement and hope when someone is feeling like giving up the struggle, is a great gift. Canon Anthony Dean tells us he was set on the way to become a great writer by a comment one of his prep school masters made at the foot of one of his essay, simply the words, “excellent, read all the good English you can and you will one day be a great writer”. And he goes on to say that “I suppose I should be grateful to those who have down the years given me good advice, but my deepest gratitude is to those who have spoken to me words of praise”. Canon Dick Shepherd who fulfilled a famous ministry in St. Martin’s in the Fields, and was one of the first to broadcast religious Services, tells how as a boy he was discouraged almost to despair by a schoolmaster who insisted on calling him a blockhead, and telling him he would never get anywhere in life. And that it wasn’t until he went to Cambridge and was told by a Don that he had a great future before him, that he really felt life was worth while.

Some words are best unspoken or unrepeated.

The tongue, or our words, says St. James, can be full of deadly poison. With them we may bless God and with them we may curse man. And this is why the tongue needs to be tamed and controlled, why some words are best left unspoken and unrepeated. It is told of a Greek philosopher that he asked his servant to prepare the best dish possible. So the servant prepared a dish of tongue, saying: It is the best of all dishes, because with it we may bless and communicate happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair, cheer the faint-hearted and do a hundred things to uplift mankind. Later the philosopher asked his servant to provide the worst dish he could. A dish of tongue again appeared on the table. The servant said: It is the worst dish because with it we may curse and break human hearts, destroy reputations, promote discord and strife, and set families, communities and nations at war with each other.

He was a wise servant, because the tongue can do all the things he claimed. Many of the words we hear are best never repeated, words of suspicion which are often quite untrue. I have read somewhere that the happiness of David Livingstone was near wrecked by idle words spoken by a famous fellow missionary. Livingstone had gone into the interior to carry on the work upon which he had set his heart, and left his wife Mary Moffat at the coast, because he feared her health could not stand the jungle fevers. Then tongues began to wag, and it was said that the‘ Livingstones didn’t get on and that was why he had left his wife behind. He heard and the evil words stung him and he sent for his wife to join him, and within a fortnight she died of malaria and ever after he deeply regretted he had paid any heed to idle wicked gossip.

And of course words good or bad once spoken, can never be recalled. “Boys flying kites haul in their white winged birds. You can’t do that when you are flying words. Thoughts unexpressed may sometimes fall. back dead. God Himself can’t kill them when they are said”.

There are times when we perhaps need to speak angry biting words when someone has let us down badly or done us an injury. Here I recommend Abraham Lincoln’s policy. If a man acts stupidly, lets you down badly, deeply annoys you, write him a letter in the strongest terms giving him a real piece of your mind, and after reading the letter over tear it up and commit it to the flames. In so doing you have got the matter off your chest and that is really all that matters. Over sixty years ago Edward Benson was Archbishop of Canterbury, and he was a man of very fine qualities of character. After his death his son found a drawer in his desk labelled LETTERS, and inside the drawer a notice which read “Not to answer for 24 hours any letters which on any account make my heart beat faster”. People in his position often get biting letters of criticism, and he knew if he replied immediately to that kind of letter he would often show anger and resentment. And so. his rule was to wait twenty four hours before writing a reply and then forget to post it.

Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver is true of kind words, forgiving Words, words of praise and appreciation, words of faith and hope and confidence.

We are told that “kind words never die”. I have read about Lord Collingwood, who was one of Nelson’s most capable admirals, that he used to do something rather odd whenever he went ashore. He would fill his pockets with acorns and go for a walk in the country, and whenever hepassed a good piece of land would drop one or two below the soil. It was because in those days our battleships were built of oak, and he wanted to make sure that England would always have enough oak trees to build all the ships she needed. Acorns cost nothing but in time they can produce great oak trees. So with kind words, they cost nothing but by them hearts are cheered and wounded spirits find healing.

And words of praise and appreciation.

The late Dr. Archibald Alexander, for many years minister of St. John’s Wood Presbyterian Church, London, has an essay in one of the many books he published, on the duty of praising people. In it he says that everyone feels better and tries to do better after a word of praise. That even a dog will Wag his tail with delight if he thinks he has pleased you. And, we all find this true. Dr. Alexander, quoting from James Lane Allen’s “The Choir Invisible”, says “You remember the woman who broke the alabaster box for the feet of our Saviour while He was living, that most beautiful of all the appreciations? And you know what we do, let our fellows carry their crosses to their calvaries, and, after each has suffered his agony and entered into his peace, we go out to him and break our alabaster boxes above his stiff cold feet. I have always hoped that my religion might enable me to break my casket for the living who alone can need it, and who always do need it”.

Yes, this is true not only for simple ordinary folk, but also for great leaders of the nation, words oi praise can do much to spur them on when they have a difficult task to face. Drawbell, in his book, Dorothy Thomson’s English journey tells the vivid story of Winston Churchill leading our nation in the dark days of 1940, when after Dunkirk we stood alone against the whole weight, of the Nazi attack. At that time Dorothy Thomson broadcast from America, telling us what the Americans thought of the brave stand our people were making, and the wonderful leadership we had in Winston Churchill. She praised Churchill for his valiant stand and leadership. Churchill didn’t hear the broadcast as at the time he was engaged at some important meeting, But when he heard about it later he expressed regret that he had missed it. A few days later he was spending a weekend in the country with some close friends. The strain of his office was beginning to tell upon him, and that weekend the courage he had shown to the public seemed to have deserted him him. His eyes were clouded and he was silent. Then someone said, Would you like to hear the American woman Dorothy Thomson? He was interested. Yes, he replied, heard about the broadcast but that was several days ago. We have a recording of it, his friends replied. And so they played it over and the little group listened in silence. When it was over an obvious change had come over the Prime Minister, his eyes were shining, he sat up erect and alert, saying, Do people really feel like that about me? In the dark hours of 1940 our great" leader was cheered and sustained by a word of, by the thought that people in America were praising him for his stands and his leadership, believed in him and were praying for him.

And finally, words of faith and hope and Confidence.

I shall remember to the end of my days what a few words of faith and hope and confidence meant to me in a very trying moment in 1940. I was Chaplain to the 1st Bn. K.O.-S.LB. and the evacuation from Dunkirk was in process. On the beaches of Le Panne where thousands of troops were waiting evacuation, I felt not a little afraid. The men of the regiment were disciplined regular soldiers and kept the wonderful humour of our soldiers in times of danger. But I cannot say that I felt brave or in any mood for laughter. It seemed to me that this was final defeat and that few of us would ever see the friendly shores of Kent. At that time I was called over to a very senior army officer standing in the sand dunes, a Brigadier of the R.A.S.C., elderly, and wearing a monocle. He chatted to me for five minutes about the great success of the evacuation, about the thousands of troops we were getting home to fight another day, indeed I came away from him with the feeling that we were winning a great victory, at any rate that victory would be ours in the end of the day.

A man who can talk with hope and confidence when surrounded by signs of disaster is worthy of all the medals a country can award. And we need men and women like that in our land and in our Churches today, for we have far too many people going about stealing the morale of our people by the way they speak about the future of our nation and of the cause of Christ in the world.

“A word‘ fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”


Dear Fellow-Member,

This letter comes too late to inform the people of Langholm who have memories of the late Rev. James Buchanan and his family that Barry Buchanan will play with the Langholm R.F.C. on Saturday, 2nd March, and that he will take part in the Morning Service on Sunday, 3rd March. It is nice to think of a member of the Buchanan family being associated with a Church Service in the Old Parish Church of Langholm, to which Rev. James Buchanan was inducted in 1879. I would like here to thank the Langholm R.F.C. Committee, Mr. Howarth, and the player who stands down to make a place for Barry. for their kind co-operation in arranging this visit.

Arrangements for Garden Fete

The special Committee set up to organise a Garden Fete to raise funds for present fabric demands finds no date in Iune clear of other special efiorts in the district. With Iuly and August being holiday months it has been decided to hold the Fete on Saturday. l4th September, and an exciting programme of activities is being planned for that day. In the meantime I invite all organisations connected with the Old Parish Church and Hall to prepare for taking a stall at the Fete. It helps if an organisation willing to take a part commences small efforts in the meantime so that by the time of the Fete they have some funds in hand.

Presentation to Mr. Robert Black

On behalf of the Congregation, Kirk Session and Board, I recently called on Mr. Robert Black and presented him with a Bible with Hymnary in French Morocco as a token of our gratitude for 15 years service as Church Treasurer. With it we express our warmest good wishes for many happy years. Mr. Black dislikes ceremony and preferred this presentation to be made in this way.

Comment on Special Activities and Services

First, the visit of our Guild to the Carlisle Church of Scotland Guild on Monday, 5th February. Approximately 30 of our ladies travelled by coach to the Richmond Halls, Fisher Street, Carlisle, and greatly enjoyed the visit. They were all very much impressed with the. address given by the Rev. William McRoberts, M.A., on his work among lads in a reform school. The Carlisle ladies made our ladies very welcome and served a good supper. The Guild meeting on Tuesday, 13th February, was much enjoyed when the Young Wives Fellowship provided the programme. This consisted of an amusing play well acted, and choir items. The meeting on Tuesday, 27th February, took the form of a Coffee Evening with Bring and Buy Stall, and was well supported. The funds raised were in aid of the Greenbank Eventide Home funds. The sum of over £35 was raised. On Sunday, 18th February, we greatly appreciated the visit of the Langholm Town Band to lead the Evening Service. Popular hymns chosen by the Band were sung with great delight, especially “Stand up, stand up for Jesus" when a Band quartet sang the second and third verses. This was followed by Ian Rodger singing “Bless This House”. Lessons were read by Bandsmen Walter Brown and Richard Hill. We were glad to see Bandmaster Chapman fully recovered from his recent illness.

On Sunday, 25th February, we again welcomed the Guides and Brownies for their Church Service in observation of Thinking Day. The Guides and Brownies were smartly turned out in good numbers and we express our thanks to Guide Captain Mary Dalgliesh, Guide Lieutenant Jean McVittie, with Brown Owl Mary Armstrong and Tawny Owl Jenny Hall for their good work in giving leadership to this splendid organisation for girls. Lessons were read by Sally Hill for the Guides and Christine Grieve for the Brownies. At the close of the Service the Guides and Brownies renewed their promises on the call of their leaders.

On Sunday, 10th March, the Morning Service will observe memorial of the late Mr. John Bell, White Knowe, Penton. The Evening Service that day will be a hymn singing Service led by a special choir. We hope to have many old, well known hymns and I invite requests for any favourites.

The Young Wives Fellowship hold two meetings in March, first on Wednesday the 6th being an afternoon meeting. The programme will be a talk by Mrs. Jackson on Articles made with Foam Rubber. Then on Tuesday, 19th March, the meeting will be in the evening when the Hawick Young Wives Fellowship will be guests.

Guild Sale of Work

The Guild annual Sale of Work will be held on Saturday, 23rd March, to be opened at 3 p.m. by Mrs. Margaret Smith, Clifton, Langholm. As the Guild contributes Well over £200 each year to the Church Treasurer and has in past years contributed generously to Hall decoration and purchase of chairs I hope this Sale will be widely supported by the congregation. Stalls for which we invite gifts are as below: Produce: Mrs. Nan Bell and Mrs. Lottie Douglas with others. Work: Mrs. McVittie, Mrs. Donaldson, Mrs. Pattie, Mrs. Hosie, and others. Cake: Mrs. Woolnough, Mrs. Morrison, Mrs. Hotson, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Ewart, and others. Tombola: Miss Ella Glendinning and Mrs. K. Neill. Candy: Misses Jenny and Mary Graham, Mrs. Armstrong, Drove Road, and Mrs. Hill. Sunday School Stall: Miss Mary Dalgliesh, and others. Teas: Mrs. Ella Calvert, Mrs. Steel, Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Anderson, and others. Mrs. Goodfellow in charge of admission at charges of 2/- Adults and 1/- Children.

A further piece of Guild news, on Tuesday, 12th March, the Guild will receive approximately 30 guests from the Carlisle Church of Scotland Guild. On this occasion we invite our Guild members to do all they can to welcome the guests and to kindly contribute to the refreshments. The programme for the evening will be a talk by the Rev. John Kennedy, D.D., on Travels in the Near East, illustrated with coloured slides.

Boys’ Brigade

Here I would like to remind you that the Boys” Brigade annual Display and Inspection will take place in the Buccleuch Hall on Friday, 5th April. We hope for a large attendance and invite all interested.

Effort for Greenbank Eventide Home Commended

On Wednesday, 3rd April, Mrs. Lunn of the Ashley Bank Hotel is holding a Coffee Evening with Bring and Buy Stall in aid of the funds for the further extension of Greenbank. The Coffee Evening commences at 7.30 p.m. and I wish to commend this effort to our people.

Sympathy With the Bereaved

Mrs. Christina Ross Campbell, aunt of Miss Jessie Maxwell, 10 Charles Street New, passed away on 1st February at the age of 88. Our sympathy in bereavement with Miss Maxwell who was devoted to her aunt’s welfare and comfort.

Mr. John Bell, White Knowe, Penton, passed away on 19th February at the age of 88 after a happy and good life. He was born in Eskdalemuir and as a young man worked on Potholm Farm. Later he moved to manage the Home Farm for Capt. Holt at Kingfield, Penton, and subsequently purchased the farm. He was a man of delightful character and well known in the Border district. His wife Esther made his home a happy and hospitable place. On many occasions along with Mr. Maxwell I have visited John and Esther Bell to celebrate private Communion and I have very happy memories of these visits. Our deepest sympathy with his wife, formerly Esther Steel, and his nephew, William Smith, who has helped him on the farm for many years.

With warm regards to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


F. W. O.

February £81 19 3


February £15 16 5


March 10 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert Flowers: Mrs Scott Morrison, 49 Henry Street.

March 17 - 11 am. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert Flowers: Misses Burnett, Holm Cottage.

March 24 - 11 am. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert Flowers: Mrs; Ritchie Hyslop, Waverley Road.

March 31 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert Flowers: Mrs. J. E. Kyle, Kyleakin, Wauchope Pl.

April 7 - 11 a.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers: Mrs Robertson, Springfield, Townfoot.

6 pm. United Service in Congregational Church


February 18 - Suzanne Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Boyd, 12 Holmwood Gardens, Langholm.

February 18 - Amanda Elizabeth, daughter of Wilma Hotson, 12 Holmwood Gardens, Langholm.

February 18 - Carol Margaret, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Steele, 8 Galaside, Langholm.

February 25 - Derek Andrew, son of Mr. and Mrs. Brian Reive, 10a Eden Place, Annan.

In Memoriam

February 1 - Christina Ross Campbell, 10 Charles Street New. Age 88.

February 19 John Bell, White Knowe, Penton. Age 88.

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14.13.


The fourth British Conference of Christian Youth will be held in Edinburgh from 26th Iuly to 2nd August, when 1000 young people from the churches in the British Isles and beyond will meet to discuss the world in which they live.

Entitled “Living ’68 Style”, the conference will have only one main speaker, the Rev. Albert van den Heuvel, Director of the Division of Information, World Council of Churches, who will deliver two speeches, the rest of the time being taken up with a network of groups, workshops and teach ins. Mr. John Scott, 54 William Street, will attend, representing the Presbytery of Hawick.