Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.85                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        MAY1968.

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 May, “He was a good man”. Acts 11. 24.

This was the text of my sermon in the Memorial Service for Robert Johnstone. “He was a good man”. I find this term “good man” occurring twice in the New Testament. It was said of Joseph of Arimathaea, the man who gave Jesus a grave, that “he was a good man”. And here in the 11th chapter of Acts we find the same words used to describe another man called Joseph, Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, the son of encouragement).

Basing my sermon upon this second Joseph, I wish to discuss the question, what is a good man? And to say something about the value and influence of good men and women in modern society; and to refer to the harm done by counterfeit goodness.

First may I say, Joseph was a genuine good man because he was a man who made goodness attractive.

So often this term “good man" is used to describe people who hold narrow, bigoted religious beliefs, and who are condemnatory of others who don’t share their beliefs. The term is often used of miserable people lacking in gaiety and the radiance of the true saints. Oliver Wendall Holmes once said, “I might have been a minister myself, for aught I know, if a certain clergyman had not looked and talked so like an undertaker”. He means he was put off the ideal Of goodness by people who professed religion but who depressed you by their gloom and sadness.

It was said of Barnabas that “he was a good man” because he was generous to the poor in the Early Church; because he befriended a friendless man, Saul of Tarsus, rafter his conversion; because he was always going about encouraging a new cause; and because he stood by a young man who had been a failure, John Mark, and saw to it that he was given a chance to make good.

In February, 1952, The Daily Telegraph, commenting upon the passing of King George V1, said that with the consent of every one in this country and abroad, we could say of the late King that he was a good man. And the late King loved sport and laughter, and was a religious man who believed that the hand of God was guiding the destiny of our nation.

After returning from the Cremation Service of the late Mr. Robert Johnstone, I remarked to a friend that if I had the choosing of an epitaph for Robert Johnstone I would take these words used to describe the character of Barnabas, that “he was a good man”. My friend made this reply, “I don’t know what you mean by Mr. Johnstone being a good man, but I know he was a nice man”. Yes, he was a nice man and this is the most important trait of being good, being nice. A well known story tells of a little girl saying her evening prayers and asking God to make the bad people good, and the good people nice. Goodness is counterfeit unless there goes along with it being nice, being friendly, generous in judgement of others. The late Dean Inge once said “religion is not taught, it is caught”. The same thing might be said of goodness, if a good man or woman is nice, then he makes goodness attractive to the others.

A good man or woman can only be so described in terms of certain Christian qualifies.

Goodness is beyond definition but something you can see in people in the Christ like qualities they display. I do not mean that you cannot be a good man or woman without being a professing Christian. There are good people who adhere to other religions than Christianity, and good people who make no religious profession at all. But in every case they are people who show forth in their lives qualities seen at their highest and best in Jesus Christ. There are some words that were writt-en many years ago by John Stuart Mill, which I think are worth quoting, in this connection. John Stuart Mill was not a Christian, he was a Rationalist. But at the end of his Three Essays on Religion, he says this about Jesus Christ, “Religion cannot be said to have made a bad choice in pitching upon this Man as the ideal Guide and Representative of humanity. Nor, even now, would it be easy for the unbeliever to find a better translation of the Rule of Virtue from the abstract to the concrete than to endeavour so to live that Christ would approve of your life”. To live so that Iesus would approve of your life means that you would need to banish selfishness, cruelty, jealousy and envy. Yes, and people of all creeds or no creeds, people who scorn the Gospel and neglect the Church, still decide what they regard as good or bad according to the standards of the Gospel. Yes, and when the modern pagan, when he wants to describe the character of a person who has been kindly, a good neighbour or a good friend, can find no better Way than by saying “he was a real Christian".

The greatest need of our land, and of the world, is good men and women.

One writer says that goodness is the cement that holds society together. We couldn’t get on in this World without good people. You have got to trust the people you buy from or employ, otherwise life becomes impossible. And when you trust people you are relying upon their goodness.

Today we find people of all classes sneering at goodness, and the consequence is that we are terribly unhappy about the future of our country and the future of the world. What is wanted for the happiness and security of our country and the World is a wider acceptance of those ideals of goodness that we find at the heart of Christianity.

Dr. Stanley Jones tells in one of his books of a Questionnaire that was sent out a few years before the last war, to five thousand engineers, asking, “What is the greatest qualification of a successful engineer?” The replies were 25 per cent. technical skill and knowledge, 75 per cent. character. You see, these men of science can clearly see, as Thomas Edison saw, that what matters most is not so much technical skill and knowledge but what is behind it. Technical skill and knowledge could blast the world or bless it. As Christina Wordsworth puts it,

If all the good people were clever,

If all the clever people were good,

The world would be nicer than ever

We thought that it possibly could.

Put behind technical skill and knowledge that goodness that lies at the heart of Christianity and you put before it the goal of the Kingdom of God upon earth, and the bringing in of an age of unimaginable plenty in which all humanity would share. Yes, it is good people the country and the world needs first hand foremost, good scientisits, good statesmen, good people in the whole order of humanity

And finally would like to say that the good life is the only really satisfying life in the end of the day.

Sir Henry Jones, at one time professor of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow University, used to tell his students again and again that “the whole universe is behind the life that is good”. Yes, the men and women who have their hearts set upon goodness find life to be a thing of beauty and a joy forever‘ While on the other hand a man who lives in a way he knows is contrary to God's commandments, can only reap disappointment and regrets. For as St. Paul says “The wages of sin is death but the gift of Go-d is eternal life". Horatius Bonar has put it well in one of his hymns,

He liveth long who livest well;

All other life is short and vain;

He livest longest who can tell

Of living most for heavenly gain.

He liveth long who livest well:

All else is being flung away;

He liveth longest who can tell

Of true things truly done each day.

Sow truth if thou the truth wouldst reap

Who sows the false shall reap in vain.

Upright and sound the conscience keep,

From hollow words and deeds refrain.

And when the call comes to us at last to leave this world, goodness alone will afford us any satisfaction and peace. Withlout it we may find peace through the love of a forgiving Christ, but we will have our regrets. We are told of Sir Walter Scott that just before he passed into unconsciousness as he lay dying, he said to his son-in-law Lockhart, “Lockhart, I may have but a minute to speak to you. Be a good man, be virtuous, be religious, be a good man. Nothing else will give you any comfort when you come to lie where I do now”.

That was the dying confession of the great Scottish novelist,Be a good man, that is the only thing that affords us any comfort and satisfaction when we come to the end of the Way in this World.


Dear Fellow-Merniber, I wish to commence my letter with comments on events in April.

The Most Memorable Event: The opening of Greenbank Eventide Home

On Wednesday, 24th April, Greenbank was Opened and Dedicated at a Service held in the Erskine Church. The Rev. Harry Ricketts, an old friend of College days, and now Convener of the Church of Scotland Committee on Social Service, presided. The dedication ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Denis Leadbeater, Moderator of Hawick Presbytery. A very happy item in the programme was Mrs. Margaret Smith’s Junior Choir, delighting everyone present with the singing of “The Lord’s My Shepherd”, and “Butterfly”. After this Service a ceremony was held in Greenbank when I had the privilege of being asked by Mrs. Paterson to receive and dedicate a Plaque she has given in remembrance oi her Sister Lilian and her brother James.

I will here repeat what I said in response to being invited to receive and dedicate the plaque:

"Before receiving and dedicating this plaque, wish first to say on behalf of Mrs. Rita Paterson how proud and happy she is in seeing her former home of Greenbank today opened as a Church of Scotland Eventide Home, and that her earnest prayer is that God’s blessing will rest upon the Matron, staff, and all who will come here to spend the evening of their days. Also I wish to say a word about Miss Lilian McGeorge. About a year before she passed away she told me that with the warm approval of her relatives she was bequesting Greenbank to the Church of Scotland for use as an Eventide Home. I can well remember how at the time this seemed to me to be just typical of her whole life, always wanting to do something for the good of others. In the days of the First World War she had not been satisfied with serving in the Voluntary Nursing Service, but went to London and trained in special work in helping the injured and wounded, and became a member of the Almeric Paget Massage Corps. Afterwards she served in military camps in Lancashire and Northumberland. After the war, stiil eager to give service to others, she mastered Braille, and for years afterwards spent laborious days translating books and magazines into Braille, to help the blind to get more out of life. And giving Greenbank as a home of the aged was just another, and the last act of her life in thinking of and helping others. Miss Lilian often talked to me about her brother James about his service for his country in the First World War serving with the rank of "Major in the 1st Company of the 5th Battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers in Gallipoli, Palestine and on the Western Front. And after the war returned to live with her in Greenbank. And it is appropriate and fitting that his name should be remembered along with Lilian’s name on this Plaque."

“So I now on behalf of the Church of Scotland accept this Plaque and undertake we will guard it reverently in honour of the lives in whose remembrance it has been given."

Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

At the Morning Service we received eight first communicants into full membership, and received four additional members by certificate of transfer. We very greatly appreciated having the Rev. Dr. Iohn Kennedy sharing with me in the Service, and his address on the Sacrament of the Towel and the Basin left a deep impression upon us all. 364 partook of the elements of Communion at the Morning Service. and 59 at the Afternoon Service. During the next two weeks I am visiting the homes of the elderly to celebrate the Sacrament in their homes.

Meeting of the General Assembly

The General Assembly meets in Edinburgh on Tuesday, 21st May, and I have been appointed a commissioner. Mr. Iarnes Maxwell is our representative Elder. Matters of special interest coming before the Assembly this year include the Church and Nation Committee resolution calling for the early appoint- ment of a Royal Commission to enable the people of -Scotland to choose the form of self-government best suited to the natilon’s well-being, the admission of Women to the ministry, and union with the Congregational Church in Scotland. The Right Reverend J. B. Longmuir, T.D., D.D., is Moderator Elect.

The Women's Guild meetings in the Usher Hail, have given tickets for two representatives from the Old Parish Church of Langholm. Tuesday, 21st: The Annual Meeting; and Friday, 24th May, the Women’s Committee on Social and Moral Wetlfare. Should there be any lady of our congregation free and interested in attending one or both of these meetings, please let me know and I will supply tickets and all details.

Women’s Guild News

On Thursday, 25th April, members of our Guild were the guests of the Arthuret Parish Women’s Union at Longtown. The Rector, Rev. Geoffrey Hill, gave a warm welcome to our ladies. A Choir from Wigton Road Methodist Church, Carlisle, provided a programme of songs, and the evening concluded with refreshments. This is the kind of interchange of visits that does more good than talks about closer union of the Churches, when the ladies of a Church of Scotland and a Church of England meet in Christian fellowship and share each other’s hospitality.

On Wednesday, 8th May, the Hawick Presbyterial Council Annual Spring Rally takes place in the Longtown Church of Scotland Hall. The Speaker will be Mr. Douglas Allan of the Church of Scotland Social and Moral Welfare Committee. Tea will be provi-ded by the ladies of the Longtown Church of Scotland congregation. A coach leaves David Street at 2.15 p.m. and the meeting at Longtown commences at 3 p.m.

Guild Summer Outing

The outing will take place on Wednesday, 22nd May to Carberry Tower, Musselburgh. Carberry Tower is a large country house taken over by the Church of Scotland for accommodating large gatherings of Church workers, particularly youth, for conferences and courses. The Warden receives Women’s Guild parties in the month of May and conducts them over the premises. Later they are provided with lunch by the house catering establishment. The arrangements for the outing on the 22nd May are, leaving David Street at 8.30 am. Coffee at the Abbotsford Hotel, Galashiels. Arrive Carberry Tower at 11 a.m. and after being conducted over premises have lunch at 12 noon. Afternoon in Edinburgh and returning for High Tea in Black Bull Hotel, Lauder at 6 p.m. The cost including meals and coach is 30/-. Will all interested in going please hand in names and payment of 30/- to Mrs. Wood by Sunday, 12th May to enable her to confirm numbers for catering.

Boys’ Brigade

The Boys’ Brigade is holding a Jumble Sale in the hall on Friday, 10th May, and a Sale of Work on 15th June. These efforts of the Parents Committee are in favour of raising funds to support the Company Camp and other needs.

Over 60 Club Outing

Details will be given at the Over 60 Club weekly meetings of an outing to Berwick on Tweed to take place on Tuesday, 28th May.

Special Services in May

On Sunday, 19th May the Services will be conducted by the Rev. Dr. John Kennedy. I am returning to my former charge of St. George’s Presbyterian Church, Blackburn, that weekend to preach at the Centenary Service of the Congregation. a On Sunday, 26th May I expect to have a visit from the Rev. Harry Ricketts, B.D., Convener of the Church of Scotland Social Service Committee. Mr. Ricketts was chairman at the opening of Greenbank and made a very good impression by his friendly and cheerful disposition. As he is a member of the Assembly and will be in Edinburgh that week, he has offered to come down and give the sermon at the Morning Service.

The Evening Service on 26th May will be attended Thy the members of the Eskdale Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. The Worthy Matron this year is Mrs. Grierson from Longtown.

Sympathy With The Bereaved

Mrs. Martha Ann Bell passed away in the Dumfries Hospital on 5th April, after a long and happy life. Our sym-pathy with her daughter Mrs. Telford and son Mr. Alfred Bell and other relatives.

I also wish to express sympathy in bereavement with Mrs. Beattie Meek, and Mrs. James Gray in the passing of their father.

With warm greetings to all our people.

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Treasurer's Report

F. W. O.

April £155 14 0


£53 7 5


The following were received into membership at the Morning Communion Service on Sunday, 28th April.

First Communicants: John Hogg, 36 Holmwood Drive; Allan Samuel McGimpsey, The Diamonds, Rowanburn; Eileen Mary Hawthorn, 5 Albert Place; Esther Irving, 20 Charles Street New; Wilma Hotson, 12 Holrmwood Gardens; Jacqueline Herries, 19 Holmwood Drive; Sylvia Ferguson Little, Becks Cottage; Margaret Pace, 34 Holmwood Drive.

By Certificate: Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Wylie, 9 Holmwood Gardens, from Ewes Parish; Mrs. Margaret Bruce, Police Station, from Crossmichael; Mrs. Betsy Irving, 6 Charlotte Street.

At a meeting of the Kirk Session on Friday, 26th April, Mr. James Maxwell was re-appointed acting Elder of the Old Parish Congregation to represent our Church in the Presbytery of Hawick for the year ensuing 30th June, 1968.


The Board is called to meet in the church Vestry on Wednesday, 8th May at 7.30 p.m. Business, to consider estimates for the rebuilding of the church wall, and other matters relating to the fabric.


May 12 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. M. Douglas, The Parsonage.

May 19 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Dr. John Kennedy. Flowers, Mrs. A. Cowing, 9 Wauchope Place.

May 26 - 11 a.m. Rev. Tom Calvert and Rev. Harry Ricketts, B.D., from Craigiebuckler Parish Church, Aberdeen.

6 pm. Service attended by the members of the Eslcdale Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. Flowers, Mrs. R. Douglas, Westwater.

June 2 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. A. Paisley, Struan.


The Rev. Dr. J. B. Longmuir, Moderator-Designate of the General Assembly, and formerly of Chirnside, shared at Chirnside with the minister, the Rev. Gibson K. Boath, in conducting the funeral Service for Jim Clark, the world champion racing driver, killed in a racing accident in Germany. In his address Dr. Longmuir recalled how he prepared Jim Clark for his first Communion and when at home he never failed to attend the public Worship of God. “Skilful brave and greatly daring”, he said, “world champion and none greater in his field of the Grand Prix, yet he never failed to acknowledge the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.”


The Roll of the Congregation as at 31st December, 1967 is as follows:—

At 31st December, 1966 the number of Communicants on the Roll totalled 921.

During 1967 there were removed from the Roll

(a) By Death 17

(b) By Certificate 12

c) To Supplementary Roll 55

Total Removed 84

Number admitted and added to Roll

(a) By Profession 19

(b) By Certificate 32

Total Added 51

Making the total on the Roll as at 31st December, 1967, 888.

It is pleasing to see that we have had an increase of 7 young persons coming forward to become members of the church during the last year.

There were 37 baptisms during the year of which l was an adult. No divorced persons were remarried in the Church during the year.

No new Elders were ordained, their number remaining at 27.

The number of Members who communicated at least once during the year numbered 540.