Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.91                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        NOVEMBER 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 November, “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar, it shall never go out.” Levicticus 6. 13.

Most of you would see the moving scenes of the closing of the Olympic Games in Mexico on your TV. screen. Among other things you would see the marriage scene of the two Czech contestants. And you must have seen the burning out of the Olympic flame which marked the closing of the games. That flame was lit in late August at Mount Olympus in Greece and carried over land to a waiting ship. Thence to Italy and on to Spain. And you may recall how as that burning torcrh was being carried on foot over Spain by two Spanish athletes, passing through Barcelona they were injured when the torch exploded, owing, it was said, to an accumulaition of gas. Then it was put on board a ship at the Spanish port of Palos, the port from which Christopher Columbus sailed in 1492 to discover the new world of America, and carried over to Mexico. And on the day of the commencement of the Olympic Games in Mexico that burning brand was carried into the stadium by two Mexican girls, as a signal that the games would now begin. It is an ancient tradition of the games that this torch will be carried to the site of the games, and kept burning throughout never allowed to bur low or go out.

Now this torch was kept burning throughout the Olympic Games in Mexico, and it represents keenness and utter devotion. Without keenness and devotion there would be no Olympic Games. The contestants have to be so keen that they will submit themselves to long periods of training before the games begin, at one time ten months training was required with the last month spent in the stadium under the constant eye of the trainer. And it is this keenness and devotion of the contestants that makes the Olympic Games such an impressive and Wonderful occasion.

When the Olympic Games were held in this county in 1948 the torch was carried on foot all the way from Mount Olympus but on the day the games were due to start it was found to the utter dismay of everyone that the flame had gone out. That was a bad start for the games in our oountry twenty years ago, for the flame of keenness is of the greatest importance to success in any department of life as well as sport. It is a bad start for a lad or girl at school who is not keen on lessons. A bad start for anyone getting a job they are not keen on, it is not likely they will achieve any degree of success. On the other hand nothing can stop keen people. Most of you will remember the T.V. programme “This is Your Life” which told the wonderful story of Gladys Aylward. The small Woman, as she is called, being barely five fleet tall, had been brought home to our country from the Far East to be the subject of the evening. She is one of the most remarkable women of our time, possessed With a keenness and determinations to go in spite of every adversity, torture, and hardship of every kind. To begin with she was a London parlour maid, and wished to be a missionary in China, but no Missionary Society would listen to her appeal to train, said she didnt have the education and fitness, Yet on an October day more than thirty years ago she set out for China by an overland route, and on her own account. After surviving many difficulties, she arrived at her destination in the South Shansi district of China where she started the Inn of the Eighth Happiness. Later we read of her quelling, a prison mutiny singlehanded, but her greatest test was when the Japaneses invaded China and bombed and ravaged the country. It was then that Gladys Aylward, although battered by Japanese rifle butts, collected one hundred homeless children and marched them for twelve days over the mountains to the Yellow River and eventually to Fufang a-d safety. Her story reminds us what God can do when He finds keen determined men and women.

At our October Communion we received thirty three additional members upon the Communion Roll of our Old Parish Church, fourteen of them as first communicants. This can count for a lot or nothing according to whether or not the flame of keenness and devotion is burning in our hearts. Many join the Church and the flame of keenness seems to burn low or flicker out right away. They are just so many names on the Communion Roll, forgetting all about the undertaking to share in the worship and service of the church, and support it with their means in so far as the Lord shall prosper them, And this is largely due to the failure of the minister in instructing them .in the meaning of Church membership, and in helping to kindle in their hearts a flame of love and devotion for the Lord Jesus Christ and His service. In my Communion address I mentioned four vital factors to be taken into account in the life of every Church member if they are going to find their faith and religion count for something in their lives.

First, Know Your Bible

It is a huge book to undertake to read. Yet the late George McVittie, who gifted us with the lovely blue carpet for the church aisles read the Bible through from beginning to end five times during his life. And it reswarded him with a faith that was founded upon a rock which nothing could move. I presented each of our young communicants with a copy of St. Mark’s Gospel in the New English Bible translation, and asked them to read from cover to cover three times. It is the shortest and the most original of the Gospels. And I am confidenit that if anyone is prepared to do this, become familiar with this shortest of all the Gospels, they will thereafter be able to give an accout for the faith that is in them. I told the story in church of a French Interpreter in the 1st Battalion of the K.O.S.B. at the beginning of the last war. He was an atheist and loved to argue with me as chaplain against religion. We became close friends and as a favour I asked him to read through St. Mark three times. Then came the invasion of Belgium and after the evacuation from Dunkirk I met him in London, probably two years later. He was now an officer of the K.O.S.B. Regiment, married to an English girl, and a confirmed member of the Church of England.

Cultivate Your Prayer Life.

People who never pray are strangers to God. We need to be methodic about our prayer life. “Pray always in ta certain place” says William Law. And we might add to that, pray every day at a certain time. It doesn’t demand any special parade or use of fine Words. “Prayer is the simplest form of speech that infant’s lips can try; Prayer the sublime strains that reach The majesty on high”. And prayer is more than asking for things, it is first of all thanking God for all that we have and are. And it is because it is natural for man to pray, to lift his face above the clod, that is the surest mark that we are different from the lower animals. As Tennyson put its, “What are men better than sheep or goats that nourish a blind life within the brain, it if knowing God they lift not hands of prayer. For so the whole round earth is every way bound by gold chains about the feet of God”

Be Regular in Worship and Attending Communion.

Oliver Wendell Holmes used to say that he had a little plant called reverence, and that if he didn’t. water that plant at least once a week, it would begin to wither and to die, And the same is true of men and women who become careless about Sunday worship, the flame of love for the Lord Iesus and His matchless service begins to burn low if not go out altogether. Jesus needed to worship God on the Sabbath, “He went as was His custom into the Synagogue on the Sabbath Day”. And if He needed worship to keep the flame burning, how much more do we. And of course we need to worship not only for our own sakes but for the witness to give to the community and to others. No one will deny that the main thing that is wrong in our country today, why people only want for themselves and care nothing what happens to the country, why there is such a shocking growth of violenIce and lack of reverence for the sacredness of human life, is that the masses of the people have ceased to worship God on Sundays. It is not that people do not have time, you can find time for anything you are keen about. It is largely because it is the fashion of a decadent society. As John Ruskin put it long ago, “What greater loss can befall a nation than the loss of worship. Then all things go to day. Genius leaves the Temple and haunts the market or senate. Science becomes cold. The eye of youth is not lighted by hope of other worlds. Society lives for trifles. Age is without honour and when men die we do not mention them”.

And I stress the importance of coming twice a year as in our Old Parish Church, to take the bread and wine in Remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ. If it means nothing more to you than that, makes you recall Him to your thought and affection, then you cannot come without having the flame fanned and revived, and go out from the Service with renewed confidence and faith for the duties of life. At the end of the last war I was serving as a chaplain in North Africa, living in the ancient city of Benghazi. There were soldiers out there at that time on Garrison duty who had been away from their homes for up to four years, and many of them often felt worried about how things were going at home. I have had these men come to see me and talk over their anxieties, and I used to ask have you a photo of your wife, or mother, or child? And as we looked at the photo together, of someone living hundreds of miles away, you could realise a renewed sense of confidence and happiness return; And it is some thing like that that the bread and wine of the Sacrament does for us, helps us to recall the presence and reality of the living Christ who promised His followers long ago, “Lo I am with you always”.

Finally, the Flame of Love for our Lord burns brightest in the lives of those who have found a part and place in His service.

A Sunday School teacher, a Youth leader, a Boys’ Brigade officer, an Elder or Member of the Board; or a regular Sunday Worshipper finds it easier to keep the flame of keenness burning because they realise they are playing an important part in helping to spread the Gospel and forward the cause of the kingdom. For many it isrn’t until they find themselves doing something, finding themseslves wanted and needed for some great cause that the fire of keenn-ess and devotion begins to burn. I have seen many a Church member set on fire with devotion to the Master when h-e or she has been given a responsible part to play in the leadership of some organisation or some office in the Church, The work of Christ’s Church and kingdom counts for less and less, the less and less part we are playing in it. And this also applies to giving. Those who give little normally have little keenness for the Master’s service, while those who give more than we imagine they can afford find themselves fired with increasing zeal for the cause of Christ’s kingdom upon earth.

“The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar, it shall never go out.” This is true for all who hear God speaking to them in His Word, for all who are not strangers to prayer and worship, and for those who are never content unless they are playing some part in Christian service whether in church organisation or in the social services of the commiunity.

Dear Fellow-Member,

I would like to comment upon some of the Church Services of the past month which have been a source of encouragement.

Young Wives Attend Evening Service

The Young Wives Fellowship attended the Evening Service on Sunday, 6th October, when the Lessons were read by Mrs. Mary Steele and Mrs. Rena Liggins, and when the Young Wives as a choir sang the hymn, “Now the day is over”.

Harvest Thanksgiving Services

On Sunday, 20th October we had an abudant response of harvest gifts of flowers, fruit and vegetables. The church was tastefully decorated by the Guild. At the Morning Service the children of the Sunday School brought their gifts which were choice in variety and quality. These with the gifts of the congregation were distributed mostly on the Sunday evening among the sick and aged, hospitals and eventide home, and many thanks to the band of workers who carried out this strenuous task. Also thanks to John Armstrong of Hillhead, who delivered the gifts to Benreay, Lockerbie, the Hospital in Dumfries and Notwen House, Lockerbie At the close of the Morning Service the Cradle Roll annual ceremony took place, attended by a large number of parents with their babies. The names of eighty three babies up to three years, now on the Roll, were read out, and Misses Jean and Lila McVittie were warmly thanked for their most valued work in keeping the Roll and sending out birthday greeting cards as birthdays occur. Also Miss Mary Dalgliesh, Leader of the Sunday School Beginners Departrnent and her helpers were thanked for the wonderful work they do, and all other Sunday School teachers were told how much their services are valued by the congregation.

The Evening Service was attended by the Erskine Young Farmers’ Club when Lessons were read by Miss Irene Hendrie and Mr. Mitchell Rome. After the Service the Young Farmers were the guests of the Young Wives when refreshments were served in the hall, and followed by a talk by Miss Ann Coulthard on a recent visit to Finland.

Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

A report on Admission of new members is given below under Kirk Session Report. Considering prevailing wealther conditions the attendance was good, 350 taking Communion at the Morning Service, and 96 in the afternoon and with a fair attendance at the evening Communion Thanksgiving Service. The first communicants were an exceptionally good lot; of young people and I greatly enjoyed meeting with them in the series of classes.

During the next few weeks I have arrangements to celebrate private Communion to well over 20 in their homes.

Remembrance Day United Service

The Annual Remembrance Day Un-ted Service will be held in the Old Parish Church on Sunday, 10th November at 10.45 a.m., attended by the Langholm Branch British Legion, Provost and Council, and uniformed organisations. The singing will be led by the Langholm Town Band. The Parade will leave Buccleuch Square at 10.20 a.rn. led by the Langholm Pipe Band. The Two Minutes Silence at 11 am. will be preceded by “Flo'ers o’ the Forest” and “Last Post”, and concluded by Reveille in church. After the Service in church wreaths will be laid on the War Memorial in the Buccl-euch Park.

Please note that this year there will be no War Memorial Service at 10.15 a.m. as in previous years. This change is made in the interests of preventing those on Parade having to sit through a Church Service in wet clothes.

As in previous years the Earl Haig Collection will be on retiring from the church, the offering taken up in church being the offering in support of the four congregations sharing in the Service. The address this year will be given by the Revd. Dr. Harry Escott

Boys’ Brigade Enrolment

The 1st Langholm Company of the Boys’ Brigade will parade to the Old Parish Church, led by the Langholm Pipe Band, on Sunday, 17th November for their Annual Enrolment at the Morning Service.

The Evening Service on 17th November will be led by members of the Women’s Guild

On Sunday, 24th November th-e Evening Service will be led by the Young Wives Fellowship.

On Sunday, 1st December the Evening Service will be led by the Boys’ Brigade when some modern tunes will be introduced and The entire Service conducted by members of the Junior Brigade and the Company

Hawick Presbytery Youth Night

On Tuesday, 12th November a Presbytery Youth. Night is being held in St. George’s West Church Hall, Hawick, organised, by the Presbytery Youth Committee. Commencing at 7.15 p.m. with a talk on the content of Bible Class Kit No. 3. by Mr. R. E. Beasley, a member of the staff of the Church of Scotland Youth Committee at 121 George Street, Edinburgh. This will be followed by Mr Beasley demonstrating the use of the kit in meeting a class of young people from Hawick Churches. After discussion and refreshments, a talk will be given by the Rev. Dr. Alek W. Sawyer of Maxton Parish Church, St Boswells. Dr. Sawyer will display the various helps and literature available to help Sunday School teachers and Bible Class leaders. Sunday School teachers and Youth leaders are urged to attend.

Special W0men’s Guild Night

On Tuesday, 12th November, our Guild entertains yhe Guilds of Erskine, Newcastleton, Canonbie and Longtown Churches, when the speaker will be the Rev. W. Mc.Roberts, M.A., Deputy Head of the Boys Reform School near Biggar. Before going to Biggar Mr. McRobert was on the staff of Edmond Castle Boys Reform School, near Brampton. He is a man with an exceptiona gift of understanding and making friends with difficult problem boys. He began his ministry in Ruchill Parish, Glasgow, when this ministry of working among lads who need help and friendship first got hold of him. He is a very pleasing personality and I am sure the Guild members will be delighted with this opportunity of meeting and “hearing Mr, McRoberts speak about his Work.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,




The following were received into the full membership of the Old Parish Chtrrch at the Morning Communion Service on Sun day, 20th October.

First Communicants: Miss Gillian Morrison, 23 High Street; Miss Isabella Calvert, Crawsknowe; Miss Irene Hendrie, Cleughfoot; Miss Ethel Reid, 3 Eskdaill Street; Mrs. Larraine Little, Drove Road; Mr. Robert Johnstone, 7 Douglas Terrace; Mr. John Reid, 3 Eskdaill Street; Miss Mary Smith, 44 High Street; Miss Pauline Reid, 3 Eskdaill Street; Miss Margaret Little, 23 West Street; Miss Janice Cook, 15 Charles Street: New; Mr. Douglas Cameron, 16 Holmwood Drive; Mrs. Christine Irving, Mr. James Irving, Townhead House.

By Certificate: Mr. and Mrs. J. Paterson, Perterburn; Mr. and Mrs. W. Beattie, 12 Holmwood Drive; Mr. and Mrs. G. Maxwell, 8 Wauchope Place, Mr. and Mrs Michael Hogg, 50 Henry Street; Mrs. Mary Zemla, Extonall, Market Place; Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Findlay, Langholm Lodge; Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Oliphant, Police Station; Mr. and Mrs. Adam Moffat, 14 Meikleholm; Mr. Ian Anderson, 75 Caroline Street; Mrs. Glendinning, 13 Eskdale Place; Miss Alma House, Clinthead; Mrs. Gwendoline Grant, Academy Place.


The Guild held its opening meeting on Tuesday, 8th October, commencing with the annual business meeting. The resignation of Mrs. Jean Goodfellow as treasurer was accepted with much regret, Mrs. Goodfellow having held this office for several years with exceptional ability. Mrs. Lawrence, Arkinholm Terrace, takes over from Mrs. Goodfellow. Following the business meeting Mr. Matthew Ewart delighted the ladies with coloured slides of own taking on the Langholm Common Riding, and prize gardens.

The second Guild meeting was on Tuesday, 22nd October when there was a largely increased attendance, Mr. R. A. Thomson showing a film and speaking of the work of the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh. Being a man of great humour Mr. Thomson made a rather sad subject an inspiration and pa very happy evening. The Guild collection for the evening of £5 was given to Mr. Thomson towards the work of the Royal Blind School.

The next meeting is on 12th November when the Guilds of Erskine, Newcastleton, Canonbie and Longtown will be guests, and the speaker will be Rev. W. McRoberts of the Boys Reform School near Biggar.


November 10 - 10.45 a.m. United Annual Remembrance Day Service when two minutes silence will be observed at 11 a.m. in church. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Flowers, Mrs. W. Elliot, 3 Buccleuch Terrace

November 17 - 11 a.m. Boys’ Brigade Enrolment Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. 6 p.m. Evening Service led by Women’s Guild, Flowers, Mrs. W. Black, 35a Eskdaill Street.

November 24 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Mary Dalgliesh, 13 David Street. The Young Wives Fello-wship will lead the Evening Service.

December 1 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Wood, National and Commercial Bank House.

The Evening Service will be conducted by the Boys’ Brigade.


October 6 - Alan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hall, Whitlawside Farm.

October 6 - Aileen Kerr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Calvert, 14 Charlotte Street.

October 13 - Stephen, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Ellwood, 38 Waverley Road.

October 13 - Deborah, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adam Scott Armstrong, 1 Braehead.

October 20 - Roy Stewart, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Ferguson, 44 Bongate, Jedburgh.


October 5 - Charles McGaw Earsman, Tail House, Canonbie, to Judith Violet Anne Graham, South Lodge.

October 19 - Michael Joseph Ryan, 18 Albert Street, Longtown, to Moira Elizabeth Black, 35a Eskdaill Street.

October 26 - Michael John Kidd, Fairview, Crosby Moore, Crosby on Eden, to Margaret Ann Pace, 34 Holmwood Drive.