Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.96                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        MAY1969.

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 - “Let us not hold aloof from our church meetings, as some do. Let us do all we can to help one another’s faith”. Hebrews 10. verse 25. Phillips.

In the Authorised Version of the Bible this Epistle to the Hebrews is called The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, but it is now generally accepted that Paul didn’t write ta word of it. It is not his style of writing and it is known that Paul's name was not added to it until the beginning of the 4th century, and probably in an effort to give the Epistle greater authority for inclusion in the New Testament. No one knows who wrote it. Origen, one of the early Church Fathers says, “God alone knows for certain who wrote it”. Various fascinating speculations have been made as to its authorship, including the names of Barnabas, Luke, Silas, Apollos and Priscilla.

We do know that it was written about 65 A.D. to Jewish converts to Christianity, most likely those belonging to the Church in Rome, and that it was wrisitten for readers who were exposed to the temptation of giving over their faith, because of the terrible persecution raging against the Christians at that time. It Was written just before the time of Paul’s execution, and a time when an inhuman monster of an Emperor, who had murdered his own mother and at least one of his Wives, was carrying on a campaign to exterminate the Christians. And consequently it took stout hearts to hold on to the faith in face of such brutal threats of being thrown to the flames or the lions in the arena. Very many of those early Christians held on to their faith and withstood the most degrading tortures for their faith, while on the other hand many lost their enthusiasm for a religion that involved them in such danger and were in danger of giving up their faith in Jesus Christ.

So this Epistle was written to plead with those who had fallen away from the faith, or were tempted to give up their allegiance to Christ, to hold fast for the Lord they had vowed to follow and for the cause of His Church and kingdom in the world. And here in our text the writer is pleading for regular weekly worship in keepinig their faith strong and true. “Let us not hold aloof from our church meetings, as some do. Let us do all we can to help one another’s faith”.

This text I have chosen for the month of May might well have been written for today, for we are living in days when people have the same temptation to lose their -religious faith throughneglect of worship, not that they evade Sunday worship today out of fear of persecution but out of competing interests created by modern means of travel, T.V. and radio. In my message for May I Want to stress the importance of worship to the religious faith of the individiual man and woman, its importance for the future of our nation and say something about the diffiiculties confrontinig those who would be regular worshippers.

My first point is that just as in the first century when our text was written, still today it takes a lot of courage and willpower to keep up our habits of regular worship.

In the days of Nero’s persecutions of the Christians people had to worship in hidden places like the Catacombs of Rome, or secretly in each other’s homes, and if betrayed they paid the price with Life itself. Just as the Scottish Covenanters who defied the order of the King to conform to episcopacy were marked men and women if found worshipping in the Presbyterian manner, and we know of many whose names are associated with our own Dumfriesshire who died at the stake for their faith. Margaret Wilson, a young girl of 19, was tied to the stake out in the Solw-ay and lleft to be drowned by the incoming tide because she had courage to stand for the kind of religion she believed was right. Nothing like that happens today. We are free to adopt whatever form of religion we desire, but stilil I believe for many it takes quite a lot of courage to remain faithful to their religion and keep up their regular attendance at Sunday worship. Because there are people in the communiity who look upon religion as an old fashioned superstition, or have no belief of any kind and who are inclined to laugh at their friends who go to church. Probably young people feel this more than older people, when they make friends with nice people who have had no religious training or encouragement at home, and are inclined to make sport of those who have. When Church parades were cancelled at the begining of the last war, and men were left to go voluntarily to the Garrison Church, I have heard men say that it took more courage to walk past barrackroom windows to church than it did to face the withering fire of the battlefield. But it is a fact that those who have the courage to keep the flag of their religion flying are in the end admired for it, most of all by those who once sneered at them. I have seen it happen again and again among soldiers. When a lad, one out of a dozen in: a barrackroorn, went to worship on Sunday, the others poked fun at him. Yet in the end of the day it was found that when any of them had bad news from home or any kind of trouble, the one they confided in and sought understanding from was the lad who had the courage to hold on to his religious faith.

To begin neglecting worship is the first step to deserting as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whether we begin holdiing ourselves aloof from our Church and regular worship out of prevention by the demands of our work, or out of conflicting demands of other interests, it often marks the first step to decline in our religlious life. People begin by saying, “ I can be just as good a Christian whether I go to Church or not.” And it may well be that this is true. But without the help of worship, the atmosphere of prayer and Bible reading, our spiritual life is sure to be impoverished. The modern excuse is that business demands leave no time. Dr. Leslie Weatherhead tells in one of his books of visiting a very ill man in a London hospital. A man of 81 years and when Dr. Weatherhead spoke to him about prayer, the man replied “I have been a busy businessman all my life and never had time for religion. Yet he had lived for four thousand and two hundred Sundays, and never had time to worship, and now things like prayer and the spiritual life had absolutely no meaning for him. How different with busy men like Lord Kelvin in the field of electrical invention as well as Professor of natural philosophy in Glasgow University, being consulted by scientists from all over the world, yet never absent from his pew in a Glasgow church every Sunday. Or the late President Kennedy of U.S.A., a devoted Catholic, who in state visits abroad insisted upon arrangements for him attending his Church wherever he went to be made with the same care and same importance as meeting heads of State. Jesus went as was his custom to the Synagogue every Sabbath Day, and if He needed the help of weekly worship, how much more do we. I have noticed that first communicants who do not keep up regular attendance at church usually finish up as lapsed members.

Married people who neglect regular Sunday worship are not giving their children the example they deserve.

We get large attendances at Sunday School, but from 13 upwards we have a big wastage. Young people slip out of the hold of the Church from this age onwards, and the reason is that they are just following their parents example. I remember once meeting an intake of National Servicemen in Hillsea Barracks, Portsmouth. They were mostly from Glasgow, about thirty lads. I asked how many were members of the Church or had attended Church, and out of thirty, two hands went up. I asked one lad why he had never been in a church, and his answer was that his parents never went and what they did was good enough for him.

People who neglect habits of worship are contributing more than any other force to the eventual collapse of our national greatness.

Burns recognised this. .Depicting the Scottish family at worship in his “Cottar’s Saturday Night” he says, “From scenes like these, old Scotia’s grandeur springs, that makes her loved at home, rever’d abroad.”

“What greater loss can befall a nation than the loss of Worship” writes John Ruskin, “then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the Temple and haunts the market or senate. Literature becomes frivolous, sciences cold. The eye of youth is not lighted with hope of other worlds, and age is without honour. Society lives for trifles, and when men die we do not mention them.” Yes, the men and women who made our country a place oi freedom and security were men and women of strong Christian faith and vision, and they kept their faith and visions by weekly worship. William Blake was one of them, and from his Bible reading and time spent in worship he caught the inspiration to write his great hymn about building Jerusalem among the dark satanic mills. “Bring me my bow of burning gold, Bring me my arrows of desire, Bring me my spear, O clouds unfold. Bring me my chariot of fire. I shall not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land.”

In these present days when the masses of the people never darken the doors of a place of worship we are witnessing a rapid decline in morals, the nation is becoming the breeding ground of violence and lawlessness, so that our prisons and borstal institutions are not able to cope with young offenders. In the year 1953 the late Dr. W. E. Sangster preached a sermon in Westminster Central Hall, London, which hit the headlines of Fleet Street. It was entitled ‘This Britain’, and in it he claimed that a revival of Worship among our people would disinfect the theatre, reduce juvenile crime, lessen the prison population, improve the quality and increase the output of work, restore to the nation a sense of high destiny, make us as a people invincible in the war of ideas, and bring happiness and peace to our people.

Another point, by not holding ourselves aloof from worshinp we are making ourselves grand witnesses for our Lord, and His Church.

The Risen Christ said to His disciples, “Ye shall be my witnesses”. And we witness for Christ and the cause of His kingdom without being preachers or missionaries, but by going often to God’s house with those who keep Holy Day. Lord Montgornery gave a great lead to the men of the 8th Army by his example of a man who read his Bible, said his prayers and made time for worship. And men who made no religious profession respected him for it, and very many of them followed his example and were happier for it. What a wonderful witness an overcrowded Old Parish Church in Langholm would be for the people in this border district of Scotland.


Dear Fellow-Member,

The great event of the month of May in Scotland is the Meeting of the General Assembly on Tuesday, 20th May. The Moderator-Designate is the Rev. Dr. Thomas Murchison from St. Columba Summertown, Govan. Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh will attend the Assembly this year. The Queen will attend the Woman’s Guild Meeting in the Usher Hall on the afternoon of Tuesday, 20th when the Very Rev. Dr. Leonard Small, O.B.E., Her Majesty the Queen and Rt. Rev. the Moderator will visit the Meeting. Our delegate to this meeting will be "Miss Mary Graham of Whita Cottage. I am not a member of Assembly this year but will most probably attend the opening meeting.


The attendance at the Morning, and Afternoon Communion Services last Sunday was 419, which is a decrease of 4 on the April Communion last year. Twelve first communicants were received into full Church membersihip, and 7 were received by certificate of transfer. I wish to congratulate the Session Clerk and the elders on the reverent and quiet manner of the distribution of the bread and wine. During the next few Weeks I will be celebrating Private Communion the homes of sick and aged where requested.

At the meeting of the Kirk Session previous to Communion it was resolved to elect additional elders, and the ordinayion as admission to take place on Trinity Sunday, 1st June.

Additional Sunday Service

For some time I have had suggestions that during the summer months an early Sunday Service would serve a good purpose, especially for those going out of Langholm for the day. It has been agreed by the Kirk Session that commencing 1st June we will have a half-hour Service at 9.30 a.m. when people are invited to attend in whatever kind of travellrng or work-a-day clothing they are wearing for the day. The congregation will be asked to be seated in the centre front of the church, and the singing led by the youth either using the piano or guitar. I am hoping we may get the young men and women of the congregation out to this Service, and they will be encouraged to take part in leading the Service. This does not alter our present arrangement of a Morning Service at 11 a.m. and Evening Service at 6 p.m. It is intended to make the Evening Service shorter during the summer, and have well known and easily sung hymns.

Woman’s Guild Activities

The Spring Rally of the Hawick Presbyrterial council takes place in Castleton Church, Newcastleton, on Wednesday, 7th May at 3 p.m. The speaker is Miss E. Walls, M.A., and her subject is the Overseas Work of our Church. A coach will leave David Street that afternoon at 2.15 p.m.

The Guild Summer Outing takes place on Saturday, 14th June to North Berwick. Details of time of leaving Langholm and cost will be intimated from the pullpit but meantime I can say that the meals will include Morning Coffee on the outward journey, lunch in North Berwick, and High Tea at Chirnside on the return journey.

Coffee Morning at the Manse

There will be a Coffee Morning with Bring and Buy Stall at the Manse on Saturday, 10th May, from 10 a.m. onwards. This effort is on behalf of Guild Funds and we hope there will be a good response.

Hawick Presbytery to Meet in Old Parish Hall

On Wednesday, 24th June the Presbytery of Hawick holds its meeting in Langholm at 2 p.m. The meeting will be in the Old Parish Hall, and I again appeal to the ladies of the Guild to be the hosts of the Presbytery and provide refeshmensts. This has always been so well done in previous years that the annual Presbytery Meeting in Langholm is probably the best attended and most enjoyed throurghout the year.

Eskdale Old Peple’s Welfare Committee

The Welfare Cornmittee has organised the summer outing for the older people of Langholm and Eskdale to take place to Silloth on Tuesday, 10th June, coaches leaving Langholm at 12.30 p.m. There is no charge, and high tea will be in ‘the Silloth Cafe. Names of those wishing to attend should be handed in to one of the Lady Visitors or to myself.

Special Services

On Sunday, 20th April the Langholm Town Band again led the Evening Service when there was a very good congregation. Lessons were read by Bandsrnen Walter Brown and Michael Cubbon. A band quartette consisting of Basndsmen D. Calvert, J. Little, Ian Rodger and Michael Turk sang “The Old Rugged Cross”. It was a most impressive Service. My short address was a tribute to John Thomas Elliot, better known locally as Jock Tom, who passed away on 18th April at the age of 82. He was President and a generous benefactor to the Langholm Town Band. On Sunday, 4th May we are to have the Star of Eskdale Chapter No. 550 with Worthy Matron Elizabeth Borthwick at the Evening Service, when lessons will be read by John Irving and James Bell. On Sunday, 11th May we will observe remembrance iof the Work of the National Deaf Children’s Society at the commencement of the Morning Service. The Society asks that the month of May be the time when We ask everybody to Make Friends With A Deaf Child, and offer in church the Deaf Children’s Prayer,

“Dear Lord We pray Let Your Light shine on all children who are deaf, that they may be led from the loneliness of perpetual silence to the joy of understanding, through man's oornpassion, and Your Divine Love.”

Let us all be present and join in repeating this beautiful prayer with the minister.

On Sunday, 1st June we will ordain and admit to office a number of additional elders.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

On 2nd April, Peggy, beloved wife of Tony Marchington, Llwyngwair Manor, Newport, Pembrokeshire, and eldest daughrter of the late J. J. Paterson and of Rita Paterson, The Cottage, Terrona, passed away after a short illness. Our deepest sympathy with her family, and with her mother and Barbara and John.

On 18th April, John Thomas Elliot passed away at his home in London at the age of 82. Our sincere sympathy with his widow May Elliot and his relatives in Langholm.

With warm regards to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


F. W. O. £197 17 5

Ordinary £52 12 5


At the morning Communion Service on Sunday, 27th April the following were received into membership of the Old Parish Church.

First Communicants

Miss Moira Elizabeth Bell, 19 Braehead.

Miss Margaret Jean Harrison, Castle View, Caroline Street.

Miss Diane Beryl Porteous, 7 Holmwood Gardens.

Miss Violet Laidlaw, 2 Wauchope Place.

Miss Carol Johnstone, 16 West Street.

Miss Agnes MacDiarnmid, 33 Petrol Street, Harraby, Carlisle.

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Beattie, 14 Holmwood Drive.

Michael Bell, Holmwood House.

Anthony Edward Fisher, Skipperscleuch.

Dennis Edward Barker, 41 Eskdaill Street.

Niall Weatherstone, Birkwood, Langholm.

Neil David Dalgliesh Kyle, Kyleakin, Langholm.

By Certificate

Mrs. Janet Burnett, 6a Buccleuch Terrace, from Dunfermline U.F. Church.

Mrs. Jean Hodge Tinning, Douglenbrae, Westerkirk, from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Notttingham.

Mrs. Mary Ann Bell Roddick, 11 David Street, from Melrose Parish Church.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Lockhart, 10 Galaside, from Dryfesdale Parish Church, Lockerbie.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Grant, Skipperscleuch, fome Ettrick and Bucceuch.


At a meeting of the Board on Sunday, 20th April it was decided to have the Old Parish Church decorated in the immediate future. It is not expected that this will mean closing the church and using the hall, as the contractor plans to decorate the gallery area first, and this part of the church can be used when the ground floor area is being decorated.

The Eleventh Annual Inspection and Display took place in the Buccleuch Hall on Friday, 11th April, under the chairmanship of Bailie James Harkness. In his opening remarks he referred to the loss of the late Mr. John Tyman, previous president, and thanked the Captain and officers for inviting him to become president. The Inspecting Officer was Group Captain E. G. P. Hill. Officer Commanding R.A.F. Carlisle, and in his remarks after the inspection expressed delights at being asked for the first time to inspect a Company of the Boys’ Brigade, an organisation he admired for its insistence upon religious as well as physical trainring. Captain James Kyle in his annual report thanked Lieutenants Ramsay Johnstone, John Wallace and Gavin Graham for their keen interest and loyalty. He also thanked the Parents Committee for considerable financial support; Nelson Miller for his invaluabtle service at summer camps, and all who had taken special classes throughout the past session. Special thanks Were expressed to the leaders of the Junior Brigade, Lieutenants Maxwell and Murphy for good leadership and Welcomed Mrs. Erst who is now training to become an officer. The presentation of badges and awards was made by Mrs. Doris Graham, who in turn was presented with a bouquet of spring flowers.

Rev. Tom Calvert, Chaplain of the Company, conducted the opening and closing Services of the evening, and later thanked the ladies who provided a splendid tea for the visitors and officials.


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

May 18 - 11 a.m. and- 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. A. Cowing, 9 Wauchope Place.

May 25 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Douglas, Westwater.

June 1 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Billy Elliot, 3 Bucceuch Terrace.


April 6 - Karen Margaret, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Bell, 25 Loganbarns Crescent, Dumfries.

April 18 - Sarah Ann Turner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Smith, 34 Heyford Hill Lane, Littlemore, Oxford.

April 20 - Derrick John, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Strong, David Street, Langholm.

May 4 - Macdonald, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Green, 33 Ancrum Court, Glenrothes, Fife.

May 4 - James Edward, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Wright, 54 Holmwood Drive, Langholm.

May 4 - John, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hogg, Claygate, Canonbie.


April 12 - Marcello Ferri, 1 Huston Road, Hamilton to Elizabeth Fawcett McVittie, 5 Wauchope Place.


April 2 - Peggy Marchington, Llwyngwalr Manor, Newport, Pembrokeshire.

April 18 - John Thomas Elliot, at his home in London. Age 82.

“I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8. 38 / 39.