Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine


Minister: The Rev. J. L. COTTER, B.D., The Manse. Telephone No. 56.

Session Clerk: Mr J. LAUDER LOW, Hopsrigg. Telephone No. Bentpath 39.

Organist and Choirmaster Mr A. C. MALLINSON, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 56 Henry Street.

Church Officer: Mr WILLIAM COWAN, The Meikleholm.


The Sacrament of Baptism will be administered in the Church on first Sunday of month and also at close of that service. Parents wishing Baptism for their children should give notice to the Minister.


The members meet on the first Sunday of each month in the Vestry after morning service. Subscriptions for the Schemes of the Church and towards expenses connected with the organ are called for monthly by the Lay Collectors, who distribute also copies of the "Life and Work" Magazine with local Supplement in the various districts.

The Lady Visitors are:


"Life and Work; The Record of the Church of Scotland."

The price is 3d per copy. It is much to be desired that members of the church order copies.


A class for first communicants in preparation for the November Communion meets in the Vestry on Sunday, October 6th, at 5 p.m. Subsequent meetings of the class will take place on the following two Sundays in the same place and at the same hour. All who desire to join the full membership of the Church by profession of faith at this time should enrol in and attend this class. The Minister will take names after any of the Sunday services or at the first meeting of the class. If attendance at the class cannot be undertaken for any reason, the Minister will be willing to make other arrangements. He will be glad to hear also from any who wish to join the membership of the Church by certificate.


Holy Communion will be celebrated in the Church as usual on the first Sunday of November—3rd November—at 11.45 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. The Thanksgiving Service at 6 o'clock will be conducted on this occasion by the Rev. Robert Burnside, M.A., Erskine Church.


The ingathering of the harvest is likely to be late this year and therefore the Harvest Thanksgiving Services have been postponed until October 27th, when it is hoped a change in the weather will have enabled the farmers in the district to salvage the most of their damaged crops. The Church will be open all day on Saturday, October 26th, for the reception of gifts of fruit, flowers, dairy produce, eggs, vegetables, etc. These will afterwards be distributed to the sick and needy.

While it is hard to be joyful over this year's harvest, it is good to remember the Lord's mercy in past bountiful years and to look forward with an assurance born of His promise; "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter and day and night shall not cease."


Because it is a glorious day

They would much rather go away;

Because the day is much too wet

They might a chill or influenza get;

Because the wind is blowing strong,

They missed the bus-the road is long;

Because the church is hot and stuffy,

Which makes them feel a trifle puffy.

Because the sermon is too dry

And to keep awake in vain they try;

Because the singing's not too great

Or the clock is slow and they'd be late.

Because the organ's not in tune;

The night is dark and there's no moon;

Because they cannot talk and titter,

And others cannot hear the vicar.

But we should go to church to pray.

In worship our duty to God to pay;

One hour a week is not much to ask,

And we'd be abler for the daily task.


An American pastor has just placed on record five reasons why he does not go to the cinema.

This is turning the tables with a vengeance!

—The Ancient Mariner

"A Sunday well spent makes a week of content?


O most holy and most merciful Father, Who of Thy goodness hast provided for us in this place a House set apart for Thy worship and service; dispose our hearts to reverence Thy sanctuary. Vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, to be in the midst of us when we meet within Thy Courts. Pardon all our unworthiness, and enable us to present ourselves, our souls and bodies, a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Thee,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(From the Right Rev. the Moderator of the General Assembly).

Edinburgh, September 1946


The General Assembly have instructed me to issue a Pastoral Letter calling the Church "to seek, under the leading of the Spirit, a revival of Christian faith both at home and abroad." In doing so I wish to draw the attention of every member of the Church to the Statement on Evangelism issued by authority of the Assembly, and published under the title, "Into All the World." I trust that during the coming months it may be studied intensively in every congregation.

"Thou hast made us for Thyself; and our hearts find no rest until we rest in Thee." So wrote St. Augustine over fifteen centuries ago. When men fall away from God they inevitably suffer both in their individual and in their common life. We live in days in which there has been a great falling away from Him and from His ways, and in which there is much suffering and much anxiety. There never was a time in which the need for the liberating and healing and strengthening power of the Gospel was more apparent. We need to be reminded that this power is available in all its fulness if men will but open their hearts to receive it.

In this Call I am primarily addressing people who, as members of the Church, have publicly committed themselves to the Christian faith and to Christian ways of life. We must begin by seeking a renewal of our own spiritual life; for I believe that revival will come in the Church only according as we, ministers and people alike, give to the professions of faith which we have made, and to the solemn vows which we have taken, the place which they ought to have in our daily lives.

On our admission to full communion we promised "To use diligently the means of grace." Are we doing this? In the midst of the distractions which would lead us away from the Eternal, have we made a sure place for the daily practice of the presence of God through Bible study and prayer? We promised "to share dutifully in the worship and service of the Church." Are we in our places in Church Sunday by Sunday, worshipping God and helping to enrich the fellowship of the Church for others? Are we putting our strength into the service of the Church, and are we giving to the world some service which we would not be giving if Christ had not touched our hearts ? We promised "to give of our substance as the Lord may prosper us for the advancement of His Kingdom throughout the world." Does our giving for this purpose bear any true proportion to our expenditure on selfish ends? Those of us who have children promised at their Baptism "to teach them the truths and duties of the Christian faith, and by prayer, precept and example, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and in the ways of the Church of God." Have we realised how solemn is the trust that has been laid upon us, and how powerful are the influences which we exert through our fulfilment or neglect of it?

I fear that many people who have never formally broken with the Church must answer "No" to some of these questions. To them I would say: "Begin now the life of regular private devotion, of public worship and of service; begin now to give to your children what in the past you have denied them. To all practising Christians l would say: Let us give more time and thought to our devotional life and let us be more faithful in our service of God in the home, in the Church, and in the world. Christian living is the best witness to Christ, and there is no limit to the influence that it may have, even if it be a silent witness. But it will not always be silent if we are true to our profession. We are not called upon to go about talking piously, but if we really hold the Christian faith we shall be as little ashamed to declare it as is the godless man to declare his disbelief, we shall find ourselves under compulsion to declare it.

We cannot plan for a revival of religion, for we cannot control the Spirit of God. But we can put ourselves under His control. If we do so we may leave the rest in His hands. We need to be delivered from the anxiety and depression which are clouding the lives of so many Christian people as they survey the sin which is working such havoc in the world. Anxiety and depression are disabling things; they are a negation of Christian faith; and they stand under the condemnation of our Lord. The Christian's supreme concern is that his own life should be in line with the high purposes of God. God has His great purposes for Scotland and for the world, and for ourselves, ministers and people alike, in the service of them. Let us claim the privilege of being labourers together with Him in their fulfilment.—l am, Yours in the service of Christ and His Church,

JOHN M'KENZlE, Moderator


The Primary and Sunday School re-opened for the winter session on Sunday, 8th September, in the Church Hall, at 10 a.m, Mr William Stuart, Superintendent, welcomed a good attendance of pupils. Unfortunately, there was a lack of sufficient teachers to cope with the number of pupils present, and in spite of pulpit appeals for volunteers to take up this important service in the Church, this dearth has continued to handicap the work of the Sunday School.

There is no more important piece of Christian service than that done among the young, and an earnest appeal is made for teachers to come forward and offer their services. A welcome addition to the staff is Mr Ian Macpherson, Holmwood, and it is hoped that his example will be followed by others. The Primary department is the largest it has yet been while the Sunday School numbers compare favourably with former years. The pity is that the words of the children's hymn should be so appropriate to their own case, "The fields are all white but the labourers are few."

A side of the Sunday School children's activities that will not be forgotten this winter is their concert and show. Miss Bella Ewart has very kindly agreed to undertake the work of training the children, and she is looking forward to support from the children and assistance from those who formerly helped Mrs Carter. Plans have not definitely been made yet, as to what will be undertaken, but due intimation will be made in the Sunday School in October and the hours for rehearsals fixed.


The Minister's Bible Class re-starts for its six months winter session on Sunday, October 6th, meeting in the Church Hall at 10 a.m. This class is designed to meet the need for religious education of young men and women between the ages of 14 and 18, and parents are urgently requested to encourage those of their families in this age group to attend. This is the vital period in the life of the Young, and too often there is a gap between the Sunday School and the Church during which the adolescent loses touch with the House of God. So far, girls have been readier to come forward than boys, and it is hoped that those with youths in their care will do their utmost to get them to attend the Bible Class.

The course of study this winter is the Rev. George M. Dryburgh's text book, "The Making of a Christian." No more appropriate series of topics could be dealt with. The subjects will include:- Money, Work, Leisure, Ambition, Friends, Suffering, Words, Mind, Body, Home, World Outlook, Temptation, Prayer, Sunday, New Beginnings, and Church.

During the winter, it is hoped to run one or two social events in connection with the Bible Class, beginning with a Hallowe'en Party at the end of October.


A meeting of the Women's Guild committee took place in the Church Hall on the evening of Monday, 2nd September, when plans were made for the forthcoming session.

It was the desire of all to increase the membership of the Guild, particularly through the introduction of younger women, and it was agreed that the opening meeting of the new session should be a "Bring-a-Friend" meeting when all members are asked to bring someone who might become an active member of the Guild. Tea will be served, office-bearers elected or re-elected, and Mrs W. Black has kindly undertaken to provide a musical programme.

The work party as such is being discontinued this year, but the time of the regular meetings is being extended a little to enable members to work for the Guild on these Tuesdays. While no special object such as the Centenary Fund has to be worked for this session, the schemes and charities to which the Guild contributes are in themselves no small item, and it will be noticed that Sales of Work for this purpose are being held on a Saturday afternoon in December, and on an evening in March.

An attractive syllabus of meetings has been arranged, and a most cordial invitation is extended to women in the congregation to take an active part in the meetings and activities of the Guild. 7.30 p.m. is the hour of meeting.


The Young People's Fellowship is now one of the Church's established organisations, and the young folk are looking forward to a resumption of activities on Sunday evening, 6th October, at 7.30 o'clock.

Owing to the introduction of bread rationing, application has had to be made to the Food Office for a catering licence to enable the usual social functions to continue. This is usually granted to Youth Clubs, and it is hoped that the Fellowship activities in this line will go on as before.

The Fellowship is designed primarily to meet the needs of young men and women for good wholesome Christian fellowship on Sunday evenings after the Services of the Day are over. A very warm invitation is extended to all young folks to join.

At the opening social meeting on Sunday, 6th October, office-bearers and a committee will be elected to carry out any necessary duties throughout the session. A series of interesting meetings has been arranged and it is confidently expected that there will be as good an attendance this winter as in previous years.


Oct. 6th—Opening Social Meeting.

Oct. 13th—Open Meeting. Lantern Lecture by Dr. R. H. Watt: "Some Well-known Eskdale Characters."

Oct. 20th—Brains Trust—team: Mrs A. Graham, Rev. Alex. E. Rogerson. Messrs A. Robertson, Alex. Scott, and R. Coltart Craig.

Oct. 27th—"B.B.C." Discussion on the Cinema.

Nov. 3rd—Film Night.

Nov. 10th—Joint Meeting with Erskine Church Fellowship at Erskine Church Hall. Speaker; Miss Turnbull, Hawick.

Nov. 17—Quiz Night.

Nov. 24th—Mr John Elliot; "Langholm Common Riding"

Dec. 1st—Debate.

Dec. 8th—Rev. J. L. Cotter: "Kailyard Literature and Its Antidote."

Dec. 15th—Mock Parliament.

Dec 22nd—Christmas Social Evening.

Dec. 29th—No meeting.


Jan. 5th—Lantern Lecture on Overseas Work of the Church.

Jan. 12th—"Royal Commission" on Gambling.

Jan. 19th—Readings by Mr David Mitchell.

Jan. 26th—Quiz Night.

Feb. 2nd—"Desert Island" Discussion.

Feb. 9th—Musical Evening.

Feb. 16th—Speaker.

Feb. 23rd—Joint Meeting with Erskine Church Fellowship in Old Parish Church Hall. Competing Teams.

Mar. 2nd—"American Negro" Evening.

Mar. 9th—Mr R. Coltart Craig, F.S.A, (Scot.): "Around the Langholm with the Chiel."

Mar. 16th—Mock Trial by Jury.

Mar. 23rd—Rev. J. L. Cotter; "Samuel Pepys."

Mar. 30th—Closing Social.


The Kirk Session at a recent meeting had under consideration ways and means to raise funds for contributing to the Schemes of the Church—a more than ever necessary step this year owing to the low state of our congregational account in the bank. In former years, contributions to the Schemes were made from any surplus funds in this account, and of late years these contributions have been getting less and less and are likely to be almost nil this year. A suggestion that met with approval was the holding of a Congregational Social in aid of the Schemes of the Church.

The congregation will remember the successful social in aid of the Centenary Fund held last year, when, among the artistes was a small orchestra from Johnstonebridge, and various singers, instrumentalists and an elocutionist. A short dance followed. A similar venture is being held this year on Friday, November 8th, at 7.30 p.m., and it is hoped that members of the congregation will accord their support. Tickets, price 3/6 each, which will include light buffet and dance, will be on sale towards the end of October, and will be obtainable from the elders and leaders of the various organisations. An attractive concert programme is being arranged, which, it is hoped, will include a return visit from the Johnstonebridge orchestra, and from Mrs Marshall, the soprano in last year's rendering of the "Messiah."

Members are requested to make a note of the date—Friday, November 8th-and to reserve this day for the social. Not only will the Schemes of the Church benefit but the congregation will have an opportunity of meeting in social fellow-ship.


For some time past it has been evident to those concerned with the management of the Church's financial affairs that the congregational income as ingathered through the usual medium of collections from those who attend the Sunday Services is not sufficient to meet the expenses of running and maintaining the Church and its organisations. A glance at our Sunday collections for the last quarter of the year in another column of this supplement will reveal how small is this (the main) source of income.

The war years with their prohibition of repair work curtailed expenditure, and it was only possible to make ends meet because necessary expenditure was being postponed. Even the first post-war year with its limited scope of release has brought out the fact that the congregational income is no longer adequate for needs. The treasurer reported at a recent meeting of the Kirk Session that the Church balance in the bank was exhausted and that several bills were being held over till more funds came in.

At this meeting of the Session, it was agreed that the time had come for a change in our method of raising funds, and it was decided to consider introducing the Weekly Freewill Offering Scheme in January, 1947. It was also decided to invite Mr William Douglas, J.P., M.A., Organising Secretary of the Scottish Association for Christian Stewardship, incorporating The International Association for Church Finance and Organisation, to come to Langholm and explain the Scheme to office-bearers and members.

He will meet with members of the Kirk Session in the Vestry on Friday, October 18th, at 7.30 p.m., and he will address the congregation at both services on Sunday, October 20th. It is earnestly hoped that every member possible will attend one or other of the Services, or both to obtain a full understanding of the scheme. It makes no great demand on any member-only a plea for regular giving, and it is felt that Mr Douglas's expert and lucid explanation of the Scheme will commend it to all members.


Work in the choir for the opening part of the winter at least is being concentrated on improving the quality of the musical side of the Church Services. Practices resumed in the Church on Thursday, 12th September, when Mr Mallinson welcomed one or two new members to the choir and greeted the faithful who Sunday after Sunday lead so ably the worship of the Sanctuary. Since practices restarted, there has been an anthem at all the evening services, and Mr Mallinson hopes to continue this for some time to come provided regular support is given him by the choir members. New members are still needed and will be made very welcome.

Later on in the session, the choir, which did so much to make the play "The Story of Christmas in Mime," a memorable venture, will be asked to assist again in a religious drama—this time in all probability a Passion Play. Due intimation will be made of the requirements for this work towards the end of the year.


The success of "The Story of Christmas in Mime" given in the Church last winter encourages the going on with another venture in this direction, and tentative plans have been made to stage another religious production in Church. The play under review is a Passion play and the most appropriate time for its presentation would be shortly before Easter next year. In contrast to the last play, the spoken word is used in this work. There are parts for about 25 characters.

Once again, music is an important part of the production, and it is hoped to enlist the services of the Church choir once more. Casting and rehearsals for this play will begin towards the end of the year. It is hoped that as good support as was accorded the last effort will be given to the new production. All interested should get in touch with Miss Ella Thomson, Mrs Cotter, or the Minister.


Badminton in the Church Hall got away to a good start on Monday, 9th September, when there was a good attendance for the inaugural meeting. Office-bearers, to assist in the running of the club, have been chosen as follows : — President, The Rev. ]. L. Cotter; vice- president, Mr E. C. MacKinnon; secretary, Mr Arch, Irving; treasurer, Miss M. E. Dalgliesh. Committee—Misses Jean McMillan, and Betty Telfer, Mrs Arch. Irving, and Mr Tom Calvert.

Owing to the numbers desiring to play and the fact that there is only one court in the hall, membership is limited to church members and adherents. To meet the increased cost of shuttlecocks, etc., the subscription for a full session has been fixed at 10/-, though there is also a 5/- (afternoons only) membership. Play takes place on Mondays and Fridays, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and on Thursdays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Members and adherents of the Church and Fellowship are heartily invited to join the Club which will endeavour to arrange Badminton games and matches and similar recreations in the Church Hall throughout the winter. Any further particulars required can be obtained from Miss M. E. Dalgliesh, Mr Arch. Irving, or Mr E. C. McKinnon.


Oct. 6—Mrs Cotter, The Manse.

Oct 13—Mrs Cairns, Holmfoot.

Oct 20—Mrs Cairns, Holmfoot.

Oct 27—Miss Knox, Barbank.

Nov. 3— (Communion), Miss Scott, Clinthead

Nov 10—Miss Scott, Clinthead.

Nov 17—Mrs Gordon Morrison, Henry Street.

Nov 24—Mrs Murray, 94 Henry Street.

Dec 1—Mrs M'Mil1an, 40 Henry Street.

Dec 8—Mrs Mckinnon, Market Place.

Dec 15—Miss Dalgliesh, David Street.

Dec 22—Miss Scott, Erkinholme.

Dec 29—Miss Scott, Erkinholme

The Minister will be very pleased to hear from any lady in the congregation willing to take up any of the vacant dates.



June 30—Margaret Beattie, daughter of Mr and Mrs Simon B. Murray, Tarrasfoot.

Sept. 2—Alan George, son of Mr and Mrs William J. Corrie, Stubholm.


Sept. 12—Thomas Hopes, 2 Marchmont Place, Hurlford, to Robina Bell Grant, Holmhead.

Sept. 25—Archibald Irving, 42 Henry Street, to Hannah Rutherford Roddick, 9 Charles Street (Old).


March 26—Mrs Haldane, 7 Victoria Crescent, Newcastle.

July 19—Leonard Allison, 7 Charles Street (New).

August 12—William Storey, 10 John Street.