Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.124                       Price 1/8p - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        November 1971.

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 November, “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”. 2 Samuel 9. 1.

Many years had passed since the sad day when Saul and Jonathan had been slain upon their high places. David is now firmly established as King of Israel, yet all his advancement and high attainment has not allowed to let him forget a solemn covenant of friendship he had once made with Jonathan. As David sat musing in his royal palace memories of old days came crowding back into his mind, chief among them that of how again and again Jonathan has saved his life. Saul had been insanely jealous of David, and made many attempts to kill him. And doubtless would have succeeded had it not been for his son Jonathan who kept warning David of his father’s murderous plans. There is nothing more beautiful in life than friendship, and few friendships have been more beautiful, steadfast and enduring than the friendship which existed between David and Jonathan, they were boon companions, their friendship didn’t change with changing circumstances, it is said to have surpassed the love of women, and it survived death itself. And now many years after Jonathan’s death, generous thoughts possess David’s mind and he asks, “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”.

David is told of a poor fellow called Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan who was a cripple, and David sends for him to be brought to his royal palace. Years earlier, at the time when Saul and ]onathan were slain in battle, Mephibosheth then a baby, had been taken up by his nurse to be carried away to safety from Saul’s enemies, but the nurse fell in her haste and the baby was injured in both his feet and remained a cripple for the rest of his days. Now David finds him, a crippled man, brings him to his royal court, bestows upon him lands and servants, and gives him an honoured place at his royal table. What a lovely act on David’s part, to honour the dead by helping the living, for Jonathan’s sake.

On Sunday 14th November we gather in the Old Parish Church to remember the jonathans of two world wars who were slain upon their high places.

By Jonathans I mean the men and women who in days of war gave themselves to save us, just as Jonathan saved David’s life again and again. And when I call them Jonathans I see much in their lives akin to the qualities he possessed, friendship, courage and and willingness to sacrifice life and possessions for another. For Jonathan was prepared to set aside his own claims to the throne for the sake of David, prepared to risk his life at the hands of his insane father to prevent the assassination of David. How near to the quality of friendship Jesus spoke about when he said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

That is the quality we remember in the lives of those who died for us in the two world wars, they laid down their lives for their friends. Take an example. In 1915 the V.C. was awarded to Lieutenant Smith from Burnley who died on the Western Front. He was Brigade Bombing Officer, and this is how he died. He had lighted a grenade to throw over into the enemy trench when he slipped on the wet ground, and as he fell the grenade rolled into the trench out of which he had just stepped. At first instinctiveiy he ran for cover then remembering officers and men in the trench who would be killed by the exploding grenade, he rushed back and threw himself over it to save the lives of his comrades at the cost of his own life.

I see something about the courage and sacrifice of Lieut. Smith to be like that of Jesus, who hung upon the Cross his enemies jeeringiy said, “He saved others, himself he cannot save”. Lieut. Smith might have saved himself at the cost of the lives of his friends, and this was true of the majority we remember who died in the two world wars, they died to save others, died to save us.

But I would like you to notice that David not only held Jonathan’s memory in honour, he did something to help and relieve Jonathan’s surviving family.

In wasn’t enough for David to observe a TWO MINUTES Silence in memoryv of Jonathan, he had to do something about it. He asked “Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?. And when he heard of the crippled son he brought him to his palace and bestowed upon him lands and servants and an honoured place at the royal table.

We are given the opportunity to do something like this for the fallen of the two world wars when we contribute to the Earl Haig Fund collection. The Earl Haig Fund was founded by the late Earl Haig after the First World War to help dependant families of the fallen in the war, and to help those who returned to an ungrateful country, many of them to hard times, and many of them badly handicapped and unfitted for employment. The Earl Haig Fund still seeks to help those who gave service to their country in the war days, and their dependants. Ninety seven were remembered by the Langholm Committee last year, people in Langholm, Eskdale, Canonbie, Newcastleton and Kirkpatrick Fleming to a total amount of £550. So remember every contribution to the Fund is doing something along the line as David did when he showed his kindness to Mephibosheth for Jonathan’s sake.

To conclude I want to bring my point down to the understanding of the youngest, David wanted to shew a kindness to someone in return for a kindness received.

We have all had a lot of kindness shewn to us, by our parents when we were tiny and ‘helpless, by those who nursed us when we were ill, and in many other ways. In our text we learn how David passed on the kindness he had received to someone else.

Here is a true story about a boy who lived in Hayle, Cornwall, about a hundred years ago. He happened to be in Plymouth, whether at school or on holiday, I don’t know, but wanted to get back to Hayle to his home, and the cheapest way was to go by sea. So at Plymouth he went on board a small ship that was taking passengers to Penzance and Hayle. Like other boys he was a bit forgetful and forgot his purse. So when the man on the ship came round to collect the fares. the boy searched his pockets and went very red in the face because he had no money. So he had to go before the captain. The captain asked, “What’s your name?” “Mark Guy Pearce, Sir” he replied. “Where do you live?” “In Hayle Sir". “Is your father the chemist there”, the captain asked. “Yes sir" was the reply. “Well, listen boy,” said the captain, “and I'll tell you something. When I was quite a little chap my mother was very ill and needed medicine. so I was sent to your fathers shop for it, and because I didn't have any money your father said, never mind the money, just take the medicine and I hope your mother soon I gets well. Now my belief is that if we have a kindness shewn we should pass it on to someone else, so I’ll say to you what your fathers once said to me, never mind the moneys son. Later on Mark Guy Pearce became a""famous preacher in London, and; when he told that story to another London minister called Dr. Burton, he set it in poetry in lines that go like this,

“Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on.

Twas not given for thee alone; Pass it on.

Let it travel down the years; Let it dry a.n0ther’s tears;

Till in Heaven the deed appears. Pass it on.”

And alongwith the words of that hymn written by Dr. Burton, I would remind you of some words written by William Penn, founder of the State of Pennsylvania, the famous Quaker, I shall pass this way but bnce, therefore any kind word that I can speak, or any kind action I can do, let me do it now. as I shall not pass this way again?


Dear Fellow Member,

Communion Sunday

On Sunday, 31st October we had the happiest and best attended Communion Services that I have known since I came to Langholm. At the Morning Service 348 partook of the Sacrament and 104 at the 3 p.m. afternoon Service. Many thanks to Mr. Archie Findlay, our Session Clerk, and to all our elders who turned up in full strength and carried out their duties with a reverence and quietness that few Kirk Sessions could match. At the Morning Service we received nine first oommunicants who confirmed their baptism vows before the congregation. Ten additional members were received by certificate of transfer. At the same time I welcomed 121 members oi the Langholm Congregational Church, whose names had been placed upon our Communion Roll by resolution of the Kirk Session in the amalgamation of the Congregational Church with the Old Parish. Our annual return of members in December, l970, was 622, and this with 23 received at the April Com- munion, and 140 at the October Communion, brings the Old Parish Roll of members to 785.

Amalgamation of Langholm Congregational Church with Langholm Old Parish.

The following account of the special Service or amalgamation is taken from Mr. John Elliot’s press report.

Another milestone in the ecclesiastical history of the Burgh of Langholm was reached on Sunday, 7th November when a large congregation attended the morning diet of worship in Langholm Old Parish Church, which took the form of a special service to mark the amalgamation of Langholm Congregational Church with the Old Parish.

The officiating clergymen were the Rev. George B. Urquhart, M.A. of Southdean and Edgerston. Moderator of Hawick Presbytery; the Rev. Tom Cal- vert, minister of the Parish Church, who were assisted by Mr. John Bruce, president. of Langholm Congregational Church; Mr. Tom Lockie, Secretary of the Congregational Church, and Mr. Archie Findlay, Session Clerk of the Old Parish.

Addressing, the congregation after the Service had opened with praise and prayer, Mr. Bruce said that at the Congregational Church meeting held on Wednesday, l5th September, l971, the Langholm Congregational Church decided to seek amalgamation with Langholm Old Parish Church in the knowledge that they were assured of a welcome. Following conversations with the Kirk Session of the Old Parish Church, the decision was promulgated at a church meeting on 26th September. The Rev. Tom Calvert has since visited 121 members of the Congregational Church who have consented to have their names transferred to the Communion Roll of the Old Parish Church and this has now been done by resolution of the Kirk Session. This includes adding names of elders to the Kirk Session; managers to the Congregational Board, and amalgamation of Guilds and Sunday Schools with their leaders. It also includes with the approval of the General Trustees of the Church of Scotland, preservation of all Congregational Church dedicated memorials in the Old Parish Church.

Some of the members of Langholm Congregational Church had preferred to transfer to other churches, mostly to thé Erskine Church. They did so with their blessing and hope that they would find fulfilment in their new allegiance and that they would give strength to the churches accepting them as they did to the Congregational Church.

On behalf of the 121 Congregational Church members who are now on the Communion Roll of the Old Parish Church, he would like to thank them for the warm welcome they had received. This Service now marked the act of amalgamation as complete and he echoed the words of the Congregational Church secretary, Mr. Tom Lockie, when he informed Mr. Calvert, who is now our minister, of the decision to amalgamate: “May our combined Church now go forward to greater strength in this town and district".

Preaohing from the text “And above all things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness" from Collossians 3. l4. the Rev Urquhart, first of all conveyed the greetings and best wishes from the Hawick Presbytery for the success of the amalgamation. This amalgamation of Congregational and Auld Kirkers was a witness to the town of Langholm, and indeed to the Presbytery off Hawick and as far afield as the occasion was known. One of the valuable witnesses made by the Congregational Church was to independence of the Congregation in matters spiritual. Now it was the happy boast of the Church of Scotland that it was united, national and free.

This meant that each parish and congregation had its independent place within the unity of the whole, and that was achieved by the exercise of Christian love and a proper understanding of Christian unity. The first and all important point to notice was that charity or love was a social virtue. It was the way the Christian fellowship worked. Without love there just was no church. Love was not one of the lonely ascetic virtues like self control, patience, endurance, courage or diligence. If they were to exercise love there must be someone to love. The church could not live forever on its past history. No matter how glorious the origins and traditions of the Ohurch of Scotland, the Free Kirk and the Congregational Church might be throughout the length and breadth of Scotland or in this particular‘ parish of Langholm their life of Christian fellowship must contirnually renewed by words and deeds of love.

Moreover, the church did not live by numbers. One hundred an twentyone members of the Congregational Church who had become members on the Communion Roll of Langholm Old Parish Church was a very big increase for any congregation at any one time, but the important point was, surely, that they had joined them in love and they were received in love. They were uniting also in witness to those who did not accept the Christian faith and way of life. Henceforth their witness was towards what the New Testament would call the world. This was not a geographical term. It meant a way of life wherein they had to put on charity. They had to be charitable in their judgment towards the world, especially towards the young folk and they must consider how much of their ways could they allow into churoh life.

Concluding his sermon, the preacher said the great central theme of Christianity was expressed very simply, “Even as Christ forgave, so also do ye”. And so the primary business of the church was not to argue about the behaviour of the young people but to study together in church groups and in family worship how God in the Christian cause could meet their need. “This for those who know it and for those whose hearts are beginning to stir to the need of it is the irreplaceable ground of tolerance and mutual forgiveness in the Church.”

Boys’ Brigade Annual Enrolment Service.

The annual enrolment of the 1st Langholm Company of the Boys’ Brigade takes place at the 11 a.m. Service on Sunday, 21st November. This year the Company with Senior and Junior Sections stands at a record strength of 97 lads and officers. In this organisation lads find every encouragement in growing up into Christian manhood, the example of the officers, and the regular weekly Bible Class and close relationship with the Church. We express our admiration to the Captain, Mr. Ramsay Johnstone, his officers and the Mothers Committee which does so much to strengthen the hands of the officers. At the enrolment Service we will all rejoice to hear the lads sing their favourite hymn, “We have an anchor that keeps the soul Steadfast and sure while the billows roll. Fastened to a rock which cannot move. Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love”.

Visit of Presbytery Superintendence Committee to Langholm Old Parish Church

This year we are due a visit from the Presbytery Superintendence Committee, which takes place in all congregations of the Church of Scotland every five years. The visitation will be conducted by the Rev. Robert McConnell of Roberton and Teviothead on Friday, 10th December. Mr. McConnell with an elder from Presbytery meeting with the Kirk Session at 7 p.m. and with the Congregational Board at 8 p.m. The findings of the Visitation will be communicated to our congregation by Rev. Mr. McConnell when he conducts the Morning Service in our church on Sunday, 12th December.

Flowers for the Communion Table

I wish to thank everyone who gifts flowers for the Communion Table week by week throughout the year, and especially Mrs. Mary Armstrong, Marlsyde, (Tel. 295) who has charge of arrangements, and who with our elder Matthew Armstrong distributes the flowers to the sick and elderly. Should any of our friends who have joined us from the Congregational Church wish to have a share in providing flowers, please get in touch with Mrs. Armstrong.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

Our deepest sympathy with Mrs. Lamont, wife of our elder and Church Treasurer, Mr. Donald Lamont, in the passing away of her mother.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.
treasurer's Report



F.W.O. £173 33


£156 20




£57 61

Ordinary £71 22


On Friday, 29th October, at a meeting of the Kirk Session the following were received by certificate. Mrs. Marie Wilson, 48 William Street, from Duns Parish; Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, 48 Townfoot; Mr. and Mrs. E. Ruddick, 43 Townfoot, from Bridgeton Congregational Church; Mr. and Mrs. William Noble, Pilmuir, Eskdaill Street, from Canonbie Parish; Mrs. Kerr, 71 Townfoot, from Douglas Parish; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Craig, 5 Rosevale Place, from High Cross, Melrose; Mr. and Mrs. and Barbara Back, 75 Townfoot.

In addition 121 members of the Langholm Congregational Church were received by resolution of the Kirk Session, and their names added to our Communion Roll.

On Sunday, 31st October at the commencement of the Morning Communion Service the following made profession of their faith and confirmed their baptismal vows before the congregation: Anthony John Wylie, Rosevale Street; Michael James Richard Hislop, 2 Waverley Road; Hildagard Irene Ernst, 16 Waverley Road; Frederick William Ernst, 16 Waverley Road; Graham Robertson, Springfield; Ian James Robertson, Springfield; Graham Cubbon, 8 Elizabeth Street; Michael Robert Cubbon, 8 Elizabeth Street; Doreen Irving, Townhead House.


The meeting on Tuesday, 9t»h November was well attended and much enjoyed, when Mr. W. McMillan and Mr. M. Hotson delighted the audience with a selection of their own slides in a programme entitled “Winter to Winter”. At this meeting 52 pairs of spectacles were received for forwarding to the Missionary Optical Service. With the recent provision of a new heating boiler the hall was comfortable and warm and this was much appreciated. On Friday, l2th November, the annual Guild Jumble Sale takes place.

The next Guild meeting is on Tuesday, 23rd November, when Mr. Angus W. Grossart, from the National Bible Society of Scotland will show films and speak on the world distribution of the Bible in many languages.

The members of our Guild are invited to be the guests of the Erskine Guild at their St. Andrew’s Night on 30th November.

Miss. M. Inglis, General Secretary of the Woman’s Guild, in a letter to our President states, “When I was visiting Kenya last year in every school, hospital, clinic, home, etc., which we visited, Church of Scotland knitted blankets were very much in evidence, and many of them in bad repair. If your members would think of sending them there, this would of course cover the school for deaf children at Kambui which is our Guild Project.

There would seem to be a great demand for knitted squares (about 7 inches) and a collection will be made in March, before the end of the session. The date of the Sale of Work has now been changed to 11th March instead of 18th March, 1972.


November. 14, 10.45 am. Annual Remembrance Day Service. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. William Black, 35a Eskdaill Street.

November 21, 11 a.m. Boys’ Brigade Enrolment. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Mary Dalgliesh, 13 David Street.

November 28, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Harry Erskine, 4 Holmwood Gardens.

December 5, 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs Wod, Potholm.


October 24 James William, and Ronald McLean, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald and Alison Johnstone, 48 Caroline Street.

October 24, James Duncan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Johnstone, 67 Caroline Street.

November 7, Morag Elliot Dalgliesh, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael and Agnes Kyle, 49 Eskclaill Street.


October 9, Anthony Reid, Murray House, High Street, to Margaret Potts Kingstree, 12 Holmwood Crescent.

October 23, David Simpson, Fernie Castle, Reston, to Catherine Gill Milligan, 5 Buccleuch Square.


November 5, Interment of Ashes of Henry Charles Christopher Flint in Langholm cemetery.

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


The Kirk Session is called to, meet on Wednesday, 24th November at 7 p.m. Followed by a meeting of the Congregational Board at 8 p.m.


I have just received a letter from Mrs. Dorothy Fleming, daughter of the late revered Revd. James Buchanan, saying how much she appreciates the splendid article in the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser of 3rd November in reference to the passing away of her father on 23rd October, 1921. The article was beautifully written by Mr. John Elliot and a worthy tribute it was to a great and good man who was minister of our Langholm Old Parish Church from 5th June, 1879 to 23rd October, 1921, when he passed away in his church just as he was about to enter to conduct the Morning Service.