Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.74                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       MAY 1967.

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. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill 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 May "He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy”. St. Luke 24. 51-52

You will notice in the Diary for this week Ascension Day, the day of the year when the Christian Church remembers our Lord being parted from His disciples in physical form, so that He might return and dwell with them in spirit. Before this momentous event took place Jesus told His disciples, “it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come to you”. The historical account of the Ascension in the New Testament is very meagre. The Gospel writers only make brief reference to it, but the consequences of the Ascension are continually stressed by the later New Testament writers. It was emphasised by the early Christians in their preaching, and stressed in the first two chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. You find it in St. Paul’s great Epistles, and the Epistle to the Hebrews is so full of it that it has sometimes been called the Gospel of the Ascension. In the second chapter of the Acts, Peter says, “This Jesus whom God raised up, therefore being at the right hand of God exalted”. Again in Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians he says of Jesus, “When he had ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”. While in the Epistle to the Hebrews we are told, “We have a high priest who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God”.

Underlying all these references to the Ascension is the faith that Iesus is alive and in possession of supreme power, This is implied inathe words, “at God’s right hand". The story of the Ascension is most beautifully told by St. Luke in these words of our Tent for May. Jesus, he says, “led them out as far as Bethany”, that place of loving memory for them all, and there “ He was parted from them. And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy”. What a wonderful parting, no note of sadness. It was not like someone going off to a distant land whom we feel we will never see again. No, these disciples on parting from Jesus returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And that is how all our partings with our dear ones should be for Christian men and women. John Wesley has told in his journal of his mother’s death. He says, “When the soul was set at liberty from the body, we all stood around the bed and fulfilled her last wish “children, as soon as I am released, sing a psalm of praise to God”. And the parting of Jesus from His disciples was like that, and yet it was a final parting in -the flesh, it was a long last farewell. We should have expected tears and sadness but no they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. The disciples never mourned for Jesus as we would for a lost dear friend, because the Ascension was not a “good-bye”. They knew it was expedient He should go away in order that He might be with them always and everywhere forever.

I know of course that many find the Ascension story very difficult to understand and accept and that it has little meaning for them. This is because it is told in the picture form of a past age. It speaks about disappearance in a cloud, about being carried up into heaven. The wording of the story is all coloured by Jewish cosmology, but this makes no difference to the spiritual truths that the story sets out to tell us.

The story of the Ascension teaches us that Jesus like God is to be known by faith and not by sight.

You remember how after the Resurrection Thornas would not believe He was risen until he saw Him in the ilesh. “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, l will not believe”. That is what an agnostic woman said to a factory chaplain, that she couldn’t believe in God unless He would come and stand before her like a human person. But if faith is always to be bolstered up by some miraculous appearance such as Thomas asked for, it is going to be a very feeble and ineffective thing, Those early disciples learned to live by faith, learned to trust when they couldn't see, and the consequence was that they came to possess a faith that darkness and sorrow couldn’t overthrow. And that is the kind of faith Jesus commended to Thomas; He gave him the opportunity to do just what he asked, to put his finger into the print of the nails and thrust his hand into His side;c and then Jesus said to him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me ‘thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”.

The Ascension teaches that it was necessary that Jesus should pass into the unseen in order to be truly preent with us.

Jesus had promised, “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world". But that promise could not have been fulfilled if He had continued to reside in a human body. A human body is a very limiting factor. We all at times have had the experience of wanting to be in two places at one and the same time, but it cannot be done. Neither could Jesus in the days before the Ascension. When He was in Galilee He couldn't at the same time be in Jerusalem. When in His risen body, He was with the two travellers on the road to Emmaus, He couldn’t at the same time be with the disciples assembled in the Upper Room. During His earthly ministry Jesus was limited by the restrictions of a human body. But by what the Bible calls the Ascension, those restrictions were removed,and now He was able to be with His people everywhere and at the same time. Now it was possible for the promise to be fulfilled, “wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst”. No matter whether they were gathered‘ together in Palestine or Britain, in Africa or in the open prairies of America. And so centuries later David Livingstone was able to say, “I go through the jungles of Africa and Jesus Christ is by my side.

The Ascension was necessary so that the early disciples might come to a sense of responsibility for the carrying on of the work of the kingdom.

As long as Jesus was with them in the flesh they lacked any sense of responsibility and adventure. But after the Ascension they became as the body of the departed Lord. As St. Paul puts it in his Epistle, “Now ye are the body of Christ, and severally members thereof”. And if the Master hadn’t passed into the unseen world this challenging conception of the Church could never have come to men. It would never have occurred to them to think of themselves as His hands, His feet and His voice in carrying on His work in the world. Back in 1953 I attended the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of England in Newcastle. The Moderator that year was the late Professor T. W. Manson of Manchester University, and I shall never forget his powerful address at the opening of the Assembly, on the theme, The Continuing Ministry of Jesus Christ. He urged that we should see all our work and worship in the Church as part of the continuing ministry of the Ascended Lord And one of the points he stressed was that no congregation of the Church has any right to exist unless it exists to continue that blessed saving ministry in the world.

The main teaching of the Ascension is that Jesus now ascended to God’s right hand, is set to rule the world.

Writing about the Ascension St. Paul says, “Wherfore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father".

We know of course that it doesn't look very much like as though Jesus was ruling the world today. Christianity has been at work in the world for nineteen centuries, and the world leaves much to be desired before we can think in terrns of Christ's kingdom coming upon earth. But the Christian faith holds that the victory of love other hate was won when Christ overcame the world at Calvary, and the Ascension proclaims that He is now on the throne se to rule. Fighting goes on long after a campaign is lost. Napoleon’s hopes of world conquest really ended in 1805 at Trafalgar. He didn't give up till 1815, at Waterloo. The Germans lost the war in September, 1940, at the Battle of Britain. It was never in serious dispute after El Alamein and Stalingrad. But there was much bitter fighting still to endure.

Grim though may be the appearances of evil forces at work in the world today, the message of the Ascension is that the devii has lost on this planet. Christ is on the throne and set to rule, and as St. Paul says, “He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet." This is the note of our Ascension hymn.

His Kingdom cannot fail;

He rules o’er earth and heaven

The keys of death and hell

Are to our Jesus given.

He sits sat God’s right hand.

Till all His foes submit,

And bow to His commands.

And fall beneath His feet.”

Ascension also teaches that when the spirit or soul of Jesus passed from the hedy, He continued in me, and that we can hope the same fer ear dear nnes whose earthly bodies we have laid in a grave.

Ascension means not going up into space like our brave astronauts, it means passing from earth to heaven, from time to eternity, or as John Bunyan pictures the end of the pilgrims journey, passing over the river to the celestial city. This was the faith of a famous London preacher of the last century, Dr, Joseph Parker. When his wife died andm he was preparing the inscription for her headstone, he found he couldn’t write the word “died” sn he chose the word “ascended”. Born on such and such a date, ascended on such and such a date. And when he himself died his friends remembered his chosen Word, and on his gravestone wrote Joseph Parker born April, 1830, Ascended November 28, 1902. And that is what has happened to our dear departed ones, they are not resting in peace, as we sometimes say, they have ascended, that is, passed from time tn eternity, from this wandering earthly pilgrimage to the Father's House in which there are many abiding places.

And one last thought,Ascension reminds ns that on the other side of death, we have a known and dear Friend, the Lord Iesus.

We all fear the thought of death but Ascension helps us to overcome this dread, knowing that we have a Friend on the other side. I am told that the Hawaiian Islands are almost perfect for holiday makers. Even the rain is called “liquid sunshine”. There is a story told of an English lad of eleven who lost both parents in a motor accident and resolved to go to Honolulu. He knew of its lovely climate, but it wasn’t that which pulled him across the wide ocean. Indeed he dreaded the journey, but when someone asked him why the was undertaking the long journey, his reply was, “Oh, don’t you know? My elder brother is there”. And we have an Elder Brother on the other side. As the Scottish Paraphrase has it, “Though now ascended up on high. He bends on earth a brother’s eye”. He has gone on ahead and said He would prepare a place for us. whatever that may mean. When we depart this life. Ascension "assures us that there is a dear Friend/ Waiting to greet us on the other side.


Dear Fellow-Member,

During April We have had much encouragement in the good attendances at Sunday worship and at Communion, and meetings of special interest have been held.

Greenbank Eventide Home.

A special meeting of the Promotion Committee was held on Wednesday, 29th March when we learned that Church of Scotland Social Services Committee is now proceeding with the conversion of the premises to accommodate eight persons. There is a generous response to the appeal to raise £4,009 towards the conversion cost and we trust this will continue. We hope in the near future to see the Home opened, possibly within the next six months. Already I have in hand seven applications and by the time the Home is opened I expect there will be several others. The more applications for admission from Langholm people, the more the Social Services Committee will be encouraged to consider extending the premises to provide increased accommodation.

Coffee Morning at Old Manse

The Coffee Morning which my wife organised at the Old Manse on Saturday, 8th April, on behalf of Church Funds, was well supported and a very happy social occasion. We wish to thank the many friends who helped, attended and supported by donations and gifts. The total amount realised to date was £50 3s 6d.

Boys’ Brigade Annual Inspection and Display

The 1st Langholm Company of the Boys’ Brigade Ninth Annual Inspection and Display was held on Friday, 14th April, when there was a large attendance of parents and friends. It was evident that the Iunior and Senior sections of the B.B. Company is in very good health and abounding with enthusiasm. The Inspection and Display was fully reported in the Eskdale Advertiser, but here I would mention our indebtness to Mr. James Kyle, the Captain, and all his Officers, non Commissioned Officers and the splendid Parents Committee in making the Company so strong and happy. An interesting event during the Display was a presentation to Mr. R. Robertson of a clock inscribed from “the Chaplain, Officers and Boys of the lst Langholm Company”, in recognition and appreciation of his splendid work as the founder Captain of the Company nine years ago. The presentation was made by Sgt. Brian Porteous, and at the same time Mrs. J Kyle presented spring flowers to Mrs. Robertson.

Celebration of the Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper

Ten first cornmunicants were received into full membership at the Morning Communion Service, and twenty by certificate of transfer. The attendance was 357 at the Morning, and M at the Afternoon Table, a total of 431. A year ago the attendance was 34O at the Morning and 98 at the Afternoon Table. a total of 438. This shows a decreased attendance of seven this year, and this I think is accounted for by many of the farming community being in the middle of the hill lambing season. I have arrangements in hand to celebrate Private Communion to many, who through age or illness were unable to attend the Communion Service in our Church. I am much indebted to the Rev. Dr. John Kennedy for assisting me in the Afternoon Communion Service in giving an inspiring address on the origin of the Lord's Supperin the Upper Room. By A strange coincidence I had chosen the same text for the morning commumion address.

Members of Eastern Star Attend 01d Parish Church

We were pleased to have the members of the Star of Eskdale Order No. 550 of the Eastern Star attending the Old Parish Church on Sunday, 23rd April, for their Annual Service. There was a record attendance this year. The members were led into church by the Worthy Matron Mrs. Brenda Irving, from Long-town. The subject for the Service chosen by the Worthy Matron was “Esther”. The 4th chapter of the Book of Esther was read by Mr. John R. Millican, and the 13th chapter of lst Corinthians from the New English Bible was read by Mr. John Irving. The hymn, “O love that wilt not let me go” was beautifully sung by Mrs. Violet Borthwick.

Baptism Water from the River Jordan

Remembering that John the Baptist baptised our Lord Jesus in the River Jordan, it is a matter of special interest that last Sunday at the baptism of Jane Mary Ewart, and next Sunday at the baptism of David James McIntosh Stobie, Scott Ernest Corrie and Grant Thomas Fletcher, the water in the Font has actually come from the River Jordan. The father of Mr. David Stobie, who is an Elder in Dunfermline, has recently returned from a visit to the Holy Land, and brought back with him a bottle of lordan water for the baptism of his grandson.

Sympathy in Bereavement

During the past month we lost one of our most faithful members of the Old Parish Church in the passing of Mr. James Veitch in the Longtown Hospital on 31st March. Jim Veitch was a man of fine character and took a keen interest and place in the social life of Langholm. He was a regular member of the Choir and his passing -has left an empty place, which saddens me every time I look from the pulpit down at the choir seats. His good cheer and quiet humour made him a friend to many who enjoyed his conversation. Our sincere sympathy with his relatives.

With Warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


Collections for April, 1967

F. W. O. £169 10 6

Ordinary £48 5 5

By Collecting boxes £4 15 6

By Annual Envelopes £49 12 6

(Covenants) Income Tax Refund £191 11 8


At the Morning Service of the April Communion the following were received into full membership

First Communicants

Kenneth Hart, 13 Braehead, Robert Alexander James Trussler, l Newton Square, Springfield, Gretna; Sheila Thorburn, St. Thorwalds Cottage; Jean Roxburgh Earsman and Charles McGaw Earsman, 3 Claygate; Judith Violet Anne Graham and William Knox Graham, South Lodge; Janette Scott Fleming and Anne Crawford Fleming and John Alexander Fleming, Crown Hotel.

By Certificate of Transfer

Mrs. Ethel Murray, Charles Street (New); Mrs. Margaret Ellwood, Rosevale Street; Mrs. Janet Ewart, Station Buildings; Mrs. John McCall, West Street; Mrs. Wands, Mary Street; Mrs. Jean Graham, Greystones, Eskdaiill Street; Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Alexander, Rosevale Street; Mrs. Tom Beattie, Middleholm; Mrs. Gibson, John Street; Mrs. Irene Corrie, Caroline Street; Mr. and Mrs. Gavin Fleming, Crown Hotel; Mrs. Isabella Roebuck, Wauchope Place; Mr. and Mrs. Iain Macdonald, Eskdale Hotel; and Mrs. L. B. Martin, High Street; Colonel and Mrs. Foreman, Wauchope Place.


The Guild Committee is called to meet on Tuesday, 16th May in the vestry at 7.30 p.m., to discuss the syllabus for next session.

The Guild Outing to the Lake District takes place on Saturday, 20th May, coach leaving Langholm at 9 a.m. The coach will stop for morning coffee on the outward journey, and lunch in a hotel in Keswick at l p.m. Afternoon high tea at Windermere. Total charge including coach and meals 35 / -. In order to help Mrs. Wood, the Guild Secretary, confirm numbers for catering, would all wishing to go on the outing hand in their names not later than Sunday, 14th May.


The Boys’ Brigade Camp will be at Borgue from 1st to 8th July, parents visiting day on Wednesday, 5th July.


The Sunday School Outing this year will be to Edinburgh for Primary and Juniors and Seniors. The Primary will be taken directly to the Zoo, Where they will spend the day and have meals. The older children will visit the Castle and later join the Primary at the Zoo. The Annual Flower Service will be on Sunday 25th June and will close the present Sunday School session.


May 14, Whit Sunday. 11 am. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. M. Douglas, The Parsonage. The Evening Service will be led by the Langholm Town Band.

May 21, 11a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. A. Cowing, Wauchope Place.

May 28,11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Douglas, Westwater.

June 4, 11 a.m. and 6 pm. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. A. Paisley, Struan.


April 4, Stewart Alexander Foster, son of and Mrs. James Graham, Tripoli, Libya.

April, Catherine Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T. Beattie, Middleholm.

April 9, Joseph Bailie Taylor, son of Mrs. T. Beattie by previous marriage.

April 9, Ewen James Taylor, son of Mrs. T. Beattie by previous marriage.

April 8, David Michael, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Ewart, 126 Station Buildings.

April 16, Karen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Iohn Hotson, 33 Holmwood Drive.

April 23, William Iohn, son of Mr. and Mrs. ‘Gordon Cartner, 11 David Street

April 23, Jacqueline Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Strong, 3 David Street.

April 23, Laura Ann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alec Robertson, 2 Thornwood Park, Hawick. April 30, Jane Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Ewart, 15 Selby Walk, Corby.

May 7, David James McIntosh, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Stobie, 21 Rosevale Street.

May 7, Scott Ernest, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Corrie, 52 Caroline Street.

May 7, Grant Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Fletcher, 11 Holmwood Drive.


March 31, James Veitch, 58 Caroline Street. Age 66. “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple, and He that sitteth on the Throne shall dwell among them”. Rev. 7. 15.