Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.128                       Price 1/8p - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        March 1972.

Minister: Rev. Tom Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. Archibald Findlay, Langholm Lodge. Tel. 453.

Clerk to Board: Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Town Hall, Langholm. Tel. 255.

Treasurer: Mr. Donald Lamont, Royal Bank of Scotland, Langholm. Tel. 430.

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. John Scott, 54 William Street.

Text for March, 1972. “Be always joyful; pray continually; give thanks whatever happens.” 1 Thessalonians 5. 16. N.E.B.

Dr. James Denny, a famous Bible scholar in Edinburgh in the last century, called these words The Standing Orders of the Church “Be always joyful; pray continually; give thanks whatever happens.”

While Professor William Barclay in his commentary on this Ecpistle remarks: “These words found in chapter 5 at verse 16 give us the marks of the genuine Church that the members of a genuine Church should be joyful people, that true Christianity is never a depressing thing, that the genuine Christian should find prayer as natural as breathing, and that members of a genuine Church even in the darkest day will always find something to be thankful about."

Be Always joyful. The first of the Christian Standing Orders.

Of course it is not always easy to be joyful in life, especially when things are not going our way. And yet it is a fact that the most joyful people we meet are often the people who have little in their lives to be joyful about St. Paul, when he wrote these words was suffering from a severe affliction which he called “a thorn in the flesh”, a disease which is believed to have caused him terrible headaches. Later he was imprisoned for his bold witness tor Ohrist and yet from his prison cell in Rome he writes to the Philippians, “rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice".

Jesus was a man of joy. He said to his followers: “These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full". Again he said: “Your heart shall rejoice and your joy no man taketh from you”. Even on the way to the Cross he turned to his disciples saying unto them: "in the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world".

Yes, all the best and bravest of God's servants have been joyful people. St. Francis became known as the merry saint. And we have on record from a letter written by Captain Scott to Sir James Barrie, that when his party returning from the South Pole was overcome by the blizzard, he writes: “We are very near the end, but it would do you good to be in our tent and hear our cheery conversation." Professor I. S. Stewart tells us in one of his books of one day in St. Andrews when he was acting as chaplain to a student conference. It was shortly after the end of the last war, and one of the speakers at the conference was the great leader of the Church in Holland, Dr. Hendrik Kraermer who had only recently been released from a German concentration camp. His face was lined with the suffering he had endured. Yet he spoke to the young students at that conference for half an hour about joy. “We Christians” he said, “must get the joy of Christ back into our religion. We are denying Christ by losing it.”

The second requirement of the Christian Standing Order is, Pray Continually.

“Pray continually,” remembering that prayer is strength, a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. Jesus needed to pray and if he needed the help and guidance of prayer, how much more do we?

What is prayer? One of our hymns says: “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed.” Which means that prayer is more than getting down on our knees and muttering a few words about something we are wanting, prayer also includes rising from our knees and engaging in some activity to help God give us the things we are asking. Like Nehemiah as he sought to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem praying to God for deliverance from his enemies who sought to hinder the work. And he tells us: “We made our prayer unto God and set a watch against them day and night.”

“Pray continually,” and remember that even if no answer seems to come that the best answer may be not the granting of our desire but being given strength to cope with ‘circumstances that are inevitable and must be accepted. Like Jesus in Gethsemene praying: “Father if it be possible take this cup from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done.” And so in St. Lukels Gospel we read that after Jesus offered that prayer: “There. appeared an angel from heaven unto him strengthening him.” Which is just a Jewish way of telling us that Jesus was granted special strength for special needs.

“Pray continually.” for response must come if there is a God and if his heart is a father’s heart. In the Heart of Midlothian, Sir Walter Scott tells how Jeannie Deans makes her desperate journey to London to plead with the Queen for her sister’s life. She throws herself upon the pity and mercy of the Queen and is successful. And surely we can do that with an omnipotent God whom Jesus taught us to call “our Father”.

And the third requirement of the Christian Standing Orders is, Give Thanks Whatever Happens. We all have an lot to be thankful for but in my experience I find it is the people who have few of the benefits we enjoy who are the most thankful. Lord Inman, for a lomg time Chairman of Charing Cross Hospital in London, has. told about his mother who had as her favourite text words of the Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” He tells how his mother was left a widow with four boys and had to work hard as a washer woman to get all the things needed to bring up her family. Along with this she took on the job as caretaker of the local school and spent her days with a scrubbing brush and broom, as well as taking in washing. But the pay was small and not enough to buy coal in the winter weather. So she took on an additional job of scrubbing the tombstones in the graveyard at two shillings a time and as this work had to be done at night, her boys went with her to hold a lantern and help in other ways. Considering her hard life Philip Inman wondered why his mother never grumbled and had as her favourite text to “forget not all his benefits”, and one day he asked her: “Mother, what are the benefits you haven’t to forget?” She looked very tired as she replied: “I have my health and strength. We have a roof over our heads. And I have you, my children.”

Give thanks whatever happens.” This is what many who have been deprived of health. or friends have learned to do and in doing so they have avoided despair and disillusionment in daily living. Dr.Rathbone Oliver, an American writer, tells about a young doctor friend who met an untimely death. He also knew the young doctor’s charming wife who had been a brilliant student and he said he regarded them as the happiest and best suited couple he knew. The young doctor caught an infection from one of his patients and died very suddenly. Some weeks later he met the young widow, not dressed in mourning as he might have expected and she greeted him cheerfully. He must have looked rather bewildered at her as he stammered for words to speak. Her face was alight with almost a sign of happiness, not a sign of depressing hopelessness, and smiling she said to him: “Ah doctor, you don't understand. I miss Dick, of course I miss him. But I have no room in my heart for anything but thankdulness and gratitude to God. I had Dick’s love for a whole year, a year of perfect happiness. No other woman has had as much as I. If I live to be 80 I shall not have had time to thank God enough. And when I stop living, well Dick and I will be together again.”

“Give thanks whatever happens,” in this we find the secret not only of alvoiding despair in times of sorrow or bereavement but of finding daily happiness in living. As William Law says in his book~“A Serious Call to a Deyout Life” that “if any one would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness, he must tell you to make it a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. For it is certain that Whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you will turn it into a blessing.”

My message might be summed up in this way: “Be always joyful” for this is the plain duty of every professed follower of our Lord Iesus Christ. “Pray continually,” and remember Tennyson’s words that “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” And “Give thanks whatever happens," for as William Law tells us, this is the shortest and surest way to all happiness.


Grant us O Lord the royalty of inward happiness and that joy that comes from living close to thee: that we may ever bear aubuut with us the infection of a goods courage, and meet all life's ills with gallant and high hearted happiness, giving thanks always for all things. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Dear Fellow-Melmber,

Visit of Professor Neil Armstrong to Langholm On Saturday, llth March, we expect to see our Old Parish Church filled to capacity to witness the granting of the Freedom of the Burgh of Langholm to Professor Neil Alden Armstrong. I have read somewhere that in l902 General William Booth visited Langholim and occupied the pulpit of our Old Parish Church and that on that occasion 1700 people were seated in the Church: I expect more than that number may well be seated on Saturday, 11th March. It was in July, 1969 that Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Aldrin blasted off from Cape Kennedy on that 240,000 mile journey, and after a moon walk returned safely to earth, after making the first manned landing on the moon. The flight was made in Apollo 11 called Columbia Eagle.

We congratulate our Provost and Town Clerk and Town Council upon their organisation in inviting the first man to walk upon the moon to visit Langholm and the visit will remain for all time an historical event in the story of Langholm and of our Old Parish Church.

Guild Annual Sale of Work

On the same day of the visit of Professor Neil Armstrong Langholm, our annual Woman’s Guild Sale of Work is to take place. The annual effort enables the Guild to donate to our Church Treasurer £300 towards meeting our assessment to the Church of Scotland in what is now known as the Mission and Service Fund. Otherwise this amount would have to be found out of Church Offerings. The Sale of Work will be opened at 3 p.m. by Dr. Joan Graham. We appeal for generous support in gifts for the various smalls as detailed in this magazine under Woman’s Guild, in attendance and in donations. We also appeal for gifts of sandwiches, cakes and scones for the refreshments.

Annual Meeting of the Congregation

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation will take place after the Morning Service on Sunday, 26th March, when the Financial Statement will be presented by our Church Treasurer, Mr. Donald Lamont. The Clerk to the Board will report on the Church Fabric and in particular upon essential renovation to be carried out on the organ. We will call for reports from the Guild, and from the Sunday School. At this meeting there will be opportunity for members to bring up any matters concerning the progress and welfare of our Church and congregation.

As our Church Treasurer, Mr. Donald Lamont, will be leaving us in the near future, at the Annual Meeting of the Congregation We will have oppontunity of expressing our warm gratitude to him for services rendered over the years and for all he has done in keeping our Church Accounts. Mr. Robert Craig, 5 Rosevale Place, has been appointed by the Congregational Board to take over from Mr. Lamont as our Church Treasurer. Mr. Craig came to us from High Cross Parish Church, Melrose, where he was a member of the Committee of Management. We are glad to have him in this office and also glad to find him a regular member of the choir.

Nomination and Ordination of Additional Elders

In the last issue of our parish magazine it was intimated that on Sunday, 20th February we would be ordaining additional elders. These were to include Mr. John Welsh and Mr. Ian Roebuck. In the meantime I learned of the impending departure of John Welsh from Langholm and delayed the Service of Ordination until we had opportunity of a meeting of the Kirk Session and additional nominations. At a meeting of the Kirk Session on Tuesday last several members were nominated and after I have opportunity of visiting them and obtaining their consent, we will fix a date for an ordination, including Ian Roebuck. We are needing five additional elders to cope with our newly organised elders districts. I am very sorry at the prospect of losing John Welsh who has taken an active part in the Sunday School since the closing of the Langholm Congregational Church in which he was Sunday School Superintendent. We wish him and his family all the best in their move to Blackpool. They will be long remembered for their part in the social services of Langholm and district. The Kirk Session approved the appointment of Mr. Innes Maxwell to be a commissioner along with myself at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, meeting on 23rd May and continuing in session for the following week.

Classes for First Communicants

Classes for young people wishing to become members of the Church will commence on Sunday, 19th March, meeting in the vestry after the evening Service. The classes will continue every Sunday evening until and including Sunday, 23rd April, the Sunday previous to our next Communion.

The Kirk Session acknowledges with thanks the gift of two Communion trays and cups from the former Langhohn Congregational Church.

h6National Petition on Public Decency/h6

A petition calling on the. Government to note public concern at the exploitation of sex, violence and brutality, has been launched by the Moral Welfare Committee of the Church of Scotland. Copies of the petition are in the hands of all ministers of the Church of Scotland and in the case of the Old Parish the petition will lie on the vestibule table for signatures of members and friends of the Church aged 16 and over. Names and addresses must be in the same hand

This petition is being supported by Christians of all denominations. A considerable number of prominent Scottish Church leaders have given the petition their full support, including Cardinal Gray of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and Professor Collins, Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland. It is a national petition to be presented to the Government expressing our concern regarding the increasing commercialisation of sex and violence, and public portrayal of intimate and unnatural sexual behaviour. Get your friends and neighbours, churchgoers or non churchgoers to add their signatures. More copies will be obtained if required.

Guides and Brownies Thinking Day

Owing to the power cut the Guides and Brownies were obliged to cancel their annual attendance to the Old Parish Church in February to observe Thinking Day. Guide Thinking Day is observed on 22nd February each year, being the birthday of Lady Baden Powell, the founder of Guiding.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

On 29th January, Mrs. Henrietta Young, 55 Caroline Street, passed alway in the Thomas Hope Hospital at the age of 86. She is remembered by all who knew iher for her good cheer and kindly disposition. Our sincere sympathy with her son John and his wife Jean and their family Anne and Billy, who surrounded her with so much love and care.

On 29th January, John Black, 39 Eskdaill Street, passed a“-way suddenly at the age of 71.. He was a proud promoter of the K.O.S.B. T.A. regiment and in former years found great delight in the recreational and social interests of the LanghOlm community. Our sincere sympathy in bereavement with Mary Murray, his widow and other relatives.

On 14th Febnuary, Mrs. Grace A. Armstrong, 18 Maxwell place, passed away suddenly at the age of 72. She was a keen member of the Over 60 Club to which she brought at grand spirit of friendship. Our sincere sympathy with her daughters Myra and Cathie and Myra’s husband Peter Laidlaw and their daughters Janice and Fiona who brought her so much loving care.

On 19th February, Mr. David Corrie of Skippers Cottage, passed asway suddenly at Stulbholm at the age of 76. He was well known for his knowledge of farm and stock and was a man who made many friends. Our sincere sympathy with his sons George and William and their families who were so very devoted to him.

On 19th February, Miss Ioanna Scott Thomson, 16 Charles Street, passed away at the age of 73. Though she never enjoyed robus-t health she was always cheerfiul and thankful. Very much missed by her sister Elizabeth Steele who was her close companion in latter years. Our sympathy with her and other relatives.

On 20th February, John Telford passed arway in the Thomas Hope Hospital after five years of illness, at the age of 70. John was well known and loved by a large circle of friends. We remember him for his brave struggle and hope to regain his health in his last years. Our deepest sympathy with his widow Anne Miller, his daughter Elizabeth and her family, Harry and their sons Charles, James and Allan who loved their grandfather.

On 24th February, John Matthew Mitchell, passed away after some months of illness at Cronksbank Farm at the age of 73. He was a great lover oi horses, sheep dogs and sheep dog trials, and promoter of guide dogs for the blind. He was always ready to help a good cause and is remembered by members of the Castle Craigs Club for his encouragement in the fell race to his farm at Cronksbank, which brings delight to so many of our young riders. Our sincere symipathy with his widow Mary Elizabeth Nicholson and her family, Isolbella, Florence, Eric and Nancy.

With warm regards to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




F.W.O. £75 98


£94 19




£25 36

Ordinary £71 22


At a meeting on Tuesday evening the position of the Hall and caretaker's duties was discussed. A Hall Committee was appointed consisting of Messrs. W. Smith, I. Maclntosh and James Maxiwell with the duties of meeting all Hall users and get their support in the maintenance of the Hall and to draw up the druties that fall to the caretaker. Mr. William Smith was appointed Hall convener, to whom all future requests for the use of the Hall are to be made.


During February the Guild held meetings on the 8th and 22nd, with good attendances and interesting programmes.

The Guild Sale of Work takes place on Saturday, llth, to be opened at 3 p.m. by Dr. Joan Graham. The following is a list of the various stalls for which we invite gifts: WORK, Mrs. Jean Goodsfellow; PRODUCE, Mrs. Little and Mrs. Dalgliesh; CAKE, MRS. Morrison and Mrs. Woolnough; CANDY, Miss Mary Graham; TOYS AND BOOKS, Mrs. Cairns and Mrs. Porteous; SUNDAY SCHOOL, Miss Mary Dalgliesh and scholars of the Sunday School; TOMBOLA, Mrs. Erskine and Mrs. Lamont; TEAS, Mrs. D. Anderson.

Admission, including tea: advults l2½p children 5p.

The next meeting of the Guild is on Tuesday, 14th March, wwhen the programme on Current Questions will be conducted by the minister.


February 13, Elaine Louise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Wallace, 8 Charlotte Street.

February 13, Gary James, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Middlemas, 59 Henry Street.


January 29, Mrs. Henrietta Young, 55 Caroline Street.

January 29, John Black, 39 Eskdaill Street.

February 14, Mrs. Grace Armstrong, 13 Maxwell Place.

Febraury 19, Mr. David Corrie, Skippers Cottage.

February 19, Miss Ioanna Scott Thomson, 16 Charles Street Old.

Febnuary 20, John Telford, 21 Thomas Telford Road.

February 24, John Matthew Mitchell, Cronksbank.

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands.” 2 Corinthians 5. 1.


March 12, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. James Morrison, “Pathways”.

March l9, 11 a.m. and 6 p.»m. Rev. Tom Calivert. Flowers, Mrs. Ritchie Hyslop, Waverley Road.

March 26, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Robertson, Springfield.

April 2, Easter Sunday, 11 am. and 6 pm. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. J. Kyle, Kyleakin, Wauchope Place.