Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.135                       Price 1/8p - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        November 1972.

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. Robert C. Craig, 5 Rosevale Place, Langholm

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 shew 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, and yet all his advancement wasn't allowed to let him forget a solemn covenant of friendship he had once made with Jonathan. As David sits musing in his royal palace memories of old days come crowding back into his mind, chief among them that again and again Jonathan had saved his life. Saul had been insanely jealous of David, and made many attempts to kill him. And doubtless would have succeeded in slaying him 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 true friendship, and few friendships have been more beautiful and enduring than that which existed between David and Jonathan. And now many years after Jonathan's death happy 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?" And 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 before, at the time when Saul and Jonathan were slain in battle, Mephibosheth then a baby had been picked up by his nurse to be carried to safety from Saul's enemies, but the nurse in her haste fell, and the baby was injured in both his feet and remained a cripple for the rest of his life. And now David finds him, a crippled young man, and brings him to his royal palace, and bestows upon him lands and servants and gives him the most honoured place at his royal table. It was a lovely act on David's part, to honour the dead by helping the living, "for Jonathan's sake".

On Sunday, 12th November, we will gather in our Old Parish Church in Langholm to remember the Jonathans of two world wars, and those in the present violence in Northern Ireland, who were slain in 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 that was akin to the grand qualities of Jonathan. Jonathan possessed the quality of friendship and courage and spirit of self-sacrifice they possessed, for Jonathan was prepared to set aside his own claims to the throne of Israel for the sake of David, was prepared to risk death at the hands of his insane father to prevent the assassination of David. How like the quality of love we read about in St. John 15, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends".

And that is what many of those we remember at this time did, laid down their lives for their friends. Let me give you two examples of what I mean. In the First World War the V.C. was awarded to Lieut. Smith from Burnley, who in 1915 died on the Western Front. He was Brigade bombing officer, and this is how he died. He had taken the pin out of a grenade to throw over into the nearby enemy trench, when he slipped on the wet ground, and as he fell the grenade rolled back into the trench out of which he had just stepped. At first instinctively he ran for cover, then remembering the officers and men in the trench who would be killed and wounded by the exploding grenade rushed back and threw himself over it, and saved the lives of his comrades at the cost of his own. Or take a different kind of example, this time chaplains. They were on board H.M.S. Dorchester, which was carrying American troops coming to our aid in the battle in Europe. It was on 5th February, 1943 at 1.15 a.m. in iceberg waters when the great ship was torpedoed and sank in minutes. There were four chaplains on board, one Jewish, one R.C., one Anglican and Clark Poling, a Baptist. In the confusion of the moment many soldiers had lost their lifebelts, and these four chaplains gave up theirs, helped to fit them on others, and went on helping men out of the ship's hold and the last that was seen of these chaplains was the four of them standing on the bridge hand in hand, still with words of encouragement and hope and prayer for the men; that they might be saved, and the ship rolled over into the sea and they were seen no more. That kind of self-sacrifice reminds us of some words the enemies of Jesus spoke to Him as he hung upon the cross, "He saved others, himself He cannot save".

And of the men and women we remember at this time, some from our own town and district, some of us have vivid memories. I can think of a brave young chaplain, Bobby MacPherson, nephew of Mrs. Graham of Holmwood House, who laid down his life in the battle in Italy, because he refused to take cover from machine gun fire from the air while with others he was conducting burial services after a battle. Many of you can remember men and women of your own kith and kin who stood ready to save others but not themselves. High up in the hills dividing India and Burma there are some words written of the men of the Forgotten Army, "For your tomorrow, we gave our today". And these are the kind of men and women we remember on the Sunday nearest the 11th day of the 11th month and at the 11th hour.

Now 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.

For David, it wasn't enough just to observe two minutes silence in memory of our saviours, 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 crippled Mephibosheth he had him brought to his palace and bestowed upon him lands and servants and gave him the most honoured seat at the royal table.

And when we leave our church on Remembrance Sunday we will have opportunity of doing something like that, doing an act of kindness for Jonathan's sake. The Collection taken up on retiring is on behalf of the Earl Haig Fund, a Fund founded by the late Earl Haig after the First World War, not simply to give financial assistance to ex-service men and their dependents, but to help those who returned to an ungrateful country to know that their service was not altogether forgotten. The Earl Haig Fund continues to operate in helping ex-service people to know they have not been forgotten. Ninety seven men and women were given small grants towards coal or electricity in Eskdale and Canonbie and Newcastleton in the past twelve months. So in contributing to the Earl Haig Fund Collection, you are doing something along the line of David, when he shewed kindness to Mephibosheth for Jonathan's sake.

To conclude, I would like to try and bring this sermon right down to the understanding of the youngest child who might be in church on Remembrance Sunday. David wanted to shew a kindness in return for a kindness received.

We have all had a lot of kindnesses 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. And this sermon is about King David wanting to shew a kindness to someone in return for the kindness he had received from Jonathan.

Here is a simple story which will help to illustrate the point I am trying to drive home. It 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 the boy wanted to get back to Hayle, and in those days the cheapest way was by sea. So at Plymouth he went on board a small ship that was taking passengers to Penzance and Hayle. He was a rather forgetful boy and had forgotten his purse. So when the man on the boat came round to collect the fares, the boy searched his pockets and then became very red in the face, because he had to confess he had no money, so he had to go before the captain. The Captain asked, what is your name? "Mark Guy Pearce, sir," he replied. "Where do you live?" he was then asked and replied "In Hayle Sir". "Is your father the chemist there?" asked the captain. "Yes sir" was the reply. "Well, listen" 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 was sent to your father's shop for it, and because I didn't have enough money, your father said, never mind the money, take the medicine, and I hope your mother gets well soon. Now my belief is that if we have had kindness shewn us, we should pass it on to someone else. So I'll say to you what your father once said to me, never mind the money son".

Later Mark Guy Pearce became a famous preacher in London, and he told that story to another minister friend called Dr. Burton, who was very poetical and set the story into 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 another's tears.
Till in heaven the deed appears,
Pass it on."

Well that is what David did. He had a great kindness shewn him by Jonathan, and long after Jonathan's death he passed that kindness on to Jonathan's crippled son. And as at this time we remember all who have helped us In our lives, not only those who died in the war days, but those in our homes - or perhaps in a hospital when we were ill, our teachers in Day and Sunday School - people who have spoken kindly and encouraging words to us, we have the duty not to keep that kindness to ourselves, like David to pass it on to someone else. Kindness such as David did is a big part of religion, and it has got to do not only with our looks and thoughts. It means being slow to condemn anyone, and if we must speak let it be a kind word. I have known a lot of good people do a lot of harm by being unkind, while I have known a lot of people far from being good doing a lot of good by being kind.

"Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" As we go out of church on Remembrance Sunday, keep asking yourself this question of our text, and remember you have the duty to pass on the kindness you have received to someone else, whether it be in word or thought or look or deed. And do it without delay before you forget the sermon. As William Penn, founder of the State of Pennsylvania, the great Quaker, once wrote -

"I shall pass this way but once, 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

The Communion Services on Sunday, 29th October were well attended. The church looked very lovely with the pews covered with white linen cloths, symbolising our people seated at one table, I was impressed and encouraged in seeing a large percentage of young people in the congregation. The attendance at the 11 a.m. Service was 365 and 88 at the 3 p.m. second table, making a total attendance of 453, an increase of 79 on the April Communion. I would like specially to thank the Session Clerk, Mr. Archie Findlay for his careful preparation of details and Mr. and Mrs. Billy Elliot, for the amount of work they did and always do in preparation of the communion elements and linen, and all our elders for the reverent and quiet way in which they carried out their part in distribution of the Communion elements.

I have arrangements to visit several homes to celebrate Private Communion, and hope to fulfil this very pleasant duty in the next two or three weeks. Celebrating Communion with the sick and house bound in their homes reminds me of what happened in the early Church before church buildings appeared when the Church was in the House, as we read in Paul's letters.

Ordination of Elders

On Sunday, 22nd October we ordained and admitted to the Kirk Session two additional elders, namely Ian Roebuck and William Beverley. We welcome them and I know they are both men who are deeply concerned for the good of the work of our congregation. Ian Roebuck has over the years played a leading part in the Sunday School as a teacher, was for years an office bearer in the Youth Club, and has along with his mother given me invaluable help in conducting the short Services on Sunday afternoons in the hospital and Eventide Homes.

Harvest Thanksgiving
I wish to thank all who sent in gifts for the church decoration at the harvest thanksgiving, and the Guild members who gave of their time and skill in decorating the church. I wish to thank Mrs. Catherine Douglas, the Sunday School Leader, for the thoughtful preparation of the Morning Service led by the Sunday School. We are indeed fortunate in having the benefit of her experience, gifts and training in this important work.

Organ Overhaul

Our magnificent pipe organ is shortly to be given a complete overhaul. The work will commence in January and will be executed by Soloway Organs Ltd. This will be the first major work done on the organ since its installation in September, 1893. Previous to the installation of the organ the praise in the Old Parish Church was led by Mr. Irving as Precentor. The opening ceremony on a Thursday evening was attended by a large company of people, among them the Duchess of Buccleuch and Lady Catherine and Constance Scott. Mr. Metcalfe that evening commenced his duties as organist, and Mr. Irving was thanked for some 40 years service as Precentor and presented with a cheque for sixty guineas. The late Revered Rev. James Buchanan, minister of that day, intimated that the cost of the organ installation was between £1180 and £1200 and that subscriptions up to that date amounted to £1024.1.0. This organ as it stands today could not be built and installed for under £20,000.

The overhaul which after replacing a number of pipes and revoicing will cost £2,500 and this amount will have to be raised by the congregation over a period of time. We have a special Ways and Means Committee set up by the Congregational Board which will shortly be reporting on plans for meeting the cost this overhaul involves. During the past twelve years our congregation has been magnificent in supporting major repairs, the re-roofing of the church, new heating installation, new wiring and lighting, and re-decoration. And I am confident we will get the support and meet the high cost of preserving our organ.

Removal of Oil Storage Tanks from Boiler House

Another expenditure to be undertaken by the Board at this time is the removal of the oil storage tanks from the Boilerhouse and placing them in a prepared housing outside the church. This has become necessary owing to the position of the tanks inside the Boilerhouse preventing regular clearance of the boiler flue. We are satisfied that the tanks can be placed outside in such a manner that they will in no way seem unsightly.

Special Services in November

On Sunday, 12th November we hold Annual Remembrance Day Service, which as in previous years will be a United Service of the Langholm Churches. This Service will be attended by the Langholm Branch of the British Legion, by members of the Red Cross, Air Training Corps, Royal Observer Corps, the Boys' Brigade, Guides and Brownies. The Service as last year will commence at 10.45 a.m., observing the two minutes silence in church, and leaving the wreaths on the Communion Table during the Service. After the Service wreath bearers will lay them on the War Memorial. The Offering taken up in the Service is the Weekly Offering of the congregations in the Service for the support of their respective churches. The Earl Haig Fund collection is taken at the church door on retiring from the church.

Boys' Brigade Enrolment

The First Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade will attend the Morning Service on Sunday, 19th October for the annual enrolment of new recruits and renewal of promises by serving boys and officers. During the Service the boys will sing their hymn, ''Will Your Anchor Hold?".

Appeal for Help in Hospital and Eventide Home Choir
I am very fortunate in having the services of Mrs. Gladys Roebuck as organist for the short Service held fortnightly in Greenbank Eventide Home, and the Thomas Hope Hospital - and monthly in St Francis Home. As these Services are fof elderly people, the most valuable feature is singing two or three well known hymns. Owing to problems of eyesight and other infirmities many of the elderly people cannot sing easily and the Services are in great need of a choir to help lead the singing. A faithful few have stood by me during the past two years, but the need of additional helpers is very urgent. Any man or woman, lad or girl willing to lend a hand in this work should not hesitate to come along, or give me their names so that from time to time we might meet for a practice of some of the hymns the elderly love to hear sung.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

On 31st October, James L. Reid, 2a Henry Street, passed suddenly away, and his passing came as a great shock to the people of Langholm. He was one of the most highly respected and loved members of the Langholm community, and we express our heart-felt sympathy with his widow Frances Reid.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.



1972 £979.98
1971 £914.92


1972 £469.51
1971 £463.49


1972 £158.15
1971 £145.15


1972 £409.45
1971 £392.00

Collection boxes

1972 £23.75
1971 £13.65


1972 £2040.84
1971 £1929.21

Overall increase: £ 111.63

Benevolent Fund (two communions)

1972 £45.32
1971 £51.13


On Sunday, 29th October the following were added to the Communion Roll of our Old Parish Church.

By Profession of Faith:

Mr. Robert Scott Nixon, The Cooms.

By Certificate:

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Stevenson, 108 Townfoot, from Greenknowe St. Andrew's, Annan; Mrs. Allan Beattie, 91 Townfoot, from Erskine Parish; Mrs. J. Reid, 31 Rosevale Street, from Dalry Haymarket, Edinburgh; Mrs. Anne Elliot, 6 Buccleuch Crescent, from United Church of Canada, Montreal; Mr. and Mrs.Gilbert Irving, Glenelg, Walter Street, from Crawford Parish; Miss Eileen Irving, 73 Townfoot, from Langholm Congregational Roll; Mr. Robert Beattie Wilson and Mrs. Oriole Wilson, 59 Townfoot from Langholm Congregational Roll; Mr and Mrs. W. Forster, 77 Townfoot.

These were all warmly welcomed into the friendship of our congregation at our Communion Services on Sunday, 29th October.


The Guild year has started well under the leadership of Mrs. Lowry Ewart and her office-bearers, all of whom give their services so willingly, ably and regularly. We are also indebted to Guild members, who whether in office or not, always give their help so readily whenever they are needed. We give a special welcome to members who have joined us for the first time this year, and who are already proving to be a help among us.

Our opening meeting, a Cafe Chantant, was much enjoyed. With Cecil Carmichael to accompany them, a good variety of songs was given by Eddie Armstrong, Jim Morrison, Ian Rodger, Mr. and Mrs. Alec Pool, and Mrs. Jean Young, members of the Langholm Operatic Company.

On Saturday, 7th October, the Guild ladies were at the church to receive gifts of produce with which to decorate the church for the harvest festival, and we would like to thank those who contributed with gifts, and those who stayed late on the Sunday evening to help in the distribution.

Our next Guild meeting was a visit to the Newcastleton Guild, when we were most hospitably received by Rev. and Mrs. Mabon and the ladies of their Guild. An excellent programme on the work of the Church was provided by Mr. Mabon, and our own elder Mr. Ian MacIntosh, and by Mr. and and Mrs. Ingles, and a Sunday School class, and by the contribution of posters, made by Primary 7 of Newcastleton school, a different and very interesting evening that was enjoyed by all.

Mrs. Sinclair of Hawick came on 24th October. She showed slides and spoke about her work in India as a teacher in a Mission School. We were also greatly indebted to Mr. McMillan coming at short notice to project the slides.

We would like to remind everyone that we are holding a Jumble Sale at 5 p.m. on Friday, 10th November and will be glad to receive gifts for the sale.

On 15th November we look forward to our visit to Canonbie Guild. Anyone who would like to go should give their names to our Guild Secretary Mrs. MacLachlan, 71 Townfoot, to make sure of a seat on the coach.

Several of our Guild members attended the Saturday evening Service in Canonbie Church to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the present building, when we enjoyed listening to the Rev. George Duncan of St. George's Tron, Glasgow giving an excellent evangelic sermon, on the text, "O me to live is Christ". The hospitality of the Manse and the Guild ladies was much appreciated and it was altogether a memorable day.

Coming Guild meetings include a visit from the Orpheus Singers from Carlisle on 28th November; and the Christmas Social on 12th December, and to both of these we welcome all who would like to come. A very good programme of meetings has been arranged for the New Year, finishing with our Sale of Work on 31st March.


November 7: Handiwork and a chat.

November 21: Mrs. Jessie Martin speaking on Makeup and Facials.

December 5: Handiwork and a chat.

The Kirk Session will meet on Wednesday, 29th November at 7 p.m. followed by a meeting of the Congregational Board at 8 p.m.


November 12 - 10.45 a.m. Remembrance Day Service. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Flowers, Mrs. Mary Armstrong, Marlsyde.

November 19 - 11 a.m. Boys' Brigade Enrolment Service. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Ella Glendinning, 54 Caroline Street.

November 26 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. St. Andrews Day Services. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Wood, Potholm.

December 3 - 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Johnstone, 8 Charles Street Old.


October 22 - Debbie Lisa, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph (Brent) Thomlinson, 66 Townfoot.

October 22 - Christopher Douglas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ian Rodger, 11 Charlotte Street.

October 22 - Martin, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Graham, 26 Townfoot.


October 31 - James L. Reid, 2a Henry Street. Age 62.

"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. 38/9.