Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.34                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       OCTOBER, 1963.

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

Minister: Revd. TOM CALVERT, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings. Tel. 223

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Hall, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. R. A. BLACK, 35 Eskdaill Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. MALLINSON, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Church Officer: Mr ARCHIE SMITH, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

Motto Text for October&mdash"Why sit we here until we die?". 2 Kings 7.3.

Letter from the Minister

Dear Fellow-Member,

I am giving my text of a recent Sunday morning sermon as motto text for October, because I feel it has a real message for life today. I will not take up any space speaking about the story that lies behind our mott text, as this ancient and thrilling story is opened for us to read in our Bibles. Four lepers were faced with nothing but death if they remained sitting where they were, while if they rose up and followed a certain line of action and adventure there was every chance of them finding recovery and new life. This is actually what happened, their brave venture into the Syrian camp issued in blessing not only for themselves but for their fellow Jews in the doomed city of Samaria. "Twice hit we hear until we die".

Application to International Situation

I will not discuss this point at any length, as it is obvious that there is little we can do about it as individuals. But at any rate we can take real pleasure in the news of what is called the test-ban treaty recently signed in Moscow by the Soviet Union, America and Britain. For as Mr Gromyko said in a speech in New York just over a week ago, "the nations of the world have come to a profound awareness of the fatal consequences that would befall the peoples should nuclear war be unleashed". If the nations sit still and do nothing, they will surely die. How much better is the news of recent months of the heads of the great world powers coming together and working out terms of a test-ban treaty. It means that so far as three of the great powers are concerned they will cease nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, above the atmosphere, or underwater. It is recognized of course that so far the treaty has its limitations, and that the great powers like France and China are not sharing in it, but it is a step in the direction of ridding the world of the most gigantic evil of modern days, the dread of international warfare on nuclear lines. And this is why Dr Albert Schweitzer recently cabled President Kennedy congratulating him on America's signing this treaty with the Soviet Union as the greatest and most momentous step taken for the security of Nations in modern times.

Application to our national life

It is recognized by most people that the moral and spiritual life of our nation is on the downgrade, and this of course can only result in the eventual downfall and disintegration of Britain has a great world power and influence. "Why sit here until we die?". Ancient Greece did, and so did ancient Rome. After a long history of greatness these ancient world powers came to a period of pleasure seeking and ease, when they lost their grand idealism of former days. And this marked the "decline and fall of the Roman Empire" that was to become the subject of Gibbon's literary labours. But there is no reason why this should happen to Britain if only we had a great and challenging lead in these present days. Despite the industrial troubles and social problems of these present days, I am convinced that the main of our young people would follow a bold and adventurous lead, even though it involves self-sacrifice and hard work, if they saw some high and worthy purposes in it all. We know that in the war days there was never any lack of volunteers when there was a call to go on some dangerous task like landing behind enemy lines, because men saw that they were out to accomplish a worthy end-the defeat of Nazi tyranny. I do not think we will ever get the people of this country to be happy and content so long as our only aim is national prosperity and greater social security. Only when the generation is confronted with higher aim of doing something to relieve the world's misery, the sort of ideal we had in the days of the British Empire, and when we sent missionaries to establish schools and colleges and hospitals and medical services to the masses of the world's population who still to this day live amid disease, ignorance and hunger.

Application of motto text to the Church

Someone wrote in the papers the other day that "the Church is dying on its feet". Well, if the church is on its feet there is little fear of the dying. The church dies when it is sitting down, content with past achievements and present attainments, like the Church of Laodicea about which we read in the third chapter of Revelation. Laodicea along with the other early Churches in Asia Minor had a great opportunity for evangelism, for they were set on the trade routes between East and West. But they lost their missionary zeal and became complacent and self-centred, without concern for the outside believing community. And the day came when these churches all died. And two centuries later Muhammed found it necessary to give the people of that land a new religion, the religion of Islam, which need never have been known had Church not died through sitting down in disconcern for its real mission. I have known congregations of the Church in this land to die and disappear, not because there was no longer any need for them in an over-churched community, but because they had forgotten the teaching of the parables of the Lost Sheep, and The Great Supper. This latter parable ends by giving the true mission of the church in the world. "Go out into the streets and lanes of the city, and bringing hither the poor, the mamed and the blind and the lame. And the servant said, Lord what thou didst command is done, and yet there is room. And the Lord said and to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and constrain them to come in, that my house may be filled ".

Application of our motto text to our individual lives

If our life is going wrong, weakening to a habit that can only bring failure and despair, here is a message worth listening to. "Why sit here until we die?". Any man or woman can rise up and begin anew, and like as many thousands of people have done, make good with a second chance.

Or take a man or woman who is the victim of some illness or physical handicap, or of some blighting disappointment. If we sit down under what has happened to us, it will only beget in us resentment and bitterness and despair. But this doesn't need to happen to any man or woman, no matter how hard or hopeless our trouble may seem. I read an impressive article in the Scottish Sunday Express on July 29 of last year. It told the story of Miss Ella Guthrie of Ardrossan. She is today a music teacher of the highest qualifications, and a middle-aged woman of great ability and charm. She has introduced the joy of music to countless people, including David Young, a policeman who later gave up his job to become a professional, and is now well known on the London stage in concert platform. At the age of three Ella Guthrie was a victim of polio. From a normal happy, laughing little girl, she was struck down overnight with a crippling illness. Until she was 12 she was virtually confined to her home. But a private tutor helped her in her education and to develop confidence. Then she spent a year in hospital but medical science could do little to help her. The cure, though not a physical one, came through music. She began the study and practice of music and eight years later passed her L.R.A.M.examination. In spite of recurrent illnesses she had refused to sit down to her fate, and today her life is filled with delight and success. She has a long waiting list of young people waiting for her tuition, and every day this gracious and happy woman, works in her chair for 16 hours every day. Her only complaint is that there are not enough hours in the day to do all she wants to do. In her spare time she travels to concerts in Glasgow, or along the Ayrshire coast in her invalid car. There is nothing she cannot do apart from standing up. "Why sit here until we die?". What Miss Guthrie has done, anyone can do in a different and perhaps less exciting way, if only we keep our courage and faith in God.

Young men and women are often discontented about their work and chances in life. "Well why sit we here until we die?". If you have high desires about something you would like to do or be in life, stand up and go forward. It will demand a life of work and self-discipline but it will all be worthwhile in the end. Mary Slessor wanted to be a missionary in Africa like her hero David Livingstone. She was told that with her education and weak physique it was hopeless. But Mary didn't sit down to a life of hopelessness, she set about fitting herself for what she wanted to do and be, and went out eventually to Calabar.—and is graciously remembered by the natives to this day as the White Ma. When Bonar Law was a boy in Glasgow, one night in one of the great halls of the city he listened to a famous politician speaking, and he vowed to himself that night that one day he would occupy that man's place, and the day came when his dream came true— after months and years of work it happen. So to all young people, I say keep your dreams— let them prevent you from sitting down to a life of resenting fate that you have never had a chance.

"I'm not a millionaire

But I'm rich beyond compare,

'Cos I've got a pocket full of dreams".

Congratulations and appreciation

First to the whole congregation of the Old Parish Church, our friends in the district, and members of the Congregational Board, warmest congratulations on the great achievement of the finished job of re-slating the roof of the Church. It is just a year ago when this work was taken up, and since then the contractors have carried through the work, and the money required has been raised. The account has not to date been presented but I think I can safely say we are, through your generosity and hard work in the past 12 months, in a position to settle the account. It has all been done with so little fuss and in such a grand spirit, but I think the effort will long be remembered for the happiness we all experienced in it.

Next, congratulations to Arthur Willis on his appointment to the Manchester Police. This has been Arthur's ambition for some years, and I am certain he will enjoy the work and make a big success of it. We are going to miss him both at the Manse where he has been a good friend in many ways and in the Youth Fellowship where he served as Secretary and organiser. He never spared himself in working for the Church, and has impressed us all in leading youth services on special occasions.

And to Jackie Nixon on the progress he's making both as a student and in his appointment as Youth Councillor for Niddrie district of Edinburgh. When Jackie left us two years ago, he first attended a year's training for Youth Leadership in Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh. On the completion of his training he was appointed by the Committee on Youth and Education to this new and special appointment as a Youth Councillor. He has completed his first year in the work, a work with no defined duties but to serve two Parish Churches and the Ministry of Labour in making contact with the youth gangs who have given the district a lot of trouble. I spoke when in Edinburgh recently to one of the ministers on the Committee to which Jackie is responsible, and he said how much they have all grown to like Jackie for his qualities of Christian conviction, humility and his friendly happy personality. He also said that he is getting down to the job which so few could have been set to do with promise of good results. He is now at the stage where a centre and coffee bar is being run by him as a means of contact. We were all very impressed with the way Jackie conducted our evening Service last Sunday. His manner, devotions and address left its mark on the extra large congregation who turned out in honour of Jackie's return visit to his home Church.

Closing of the Langholm Youth Centre

In November of last year we were favoured by Messrs Reid and Taylor in having the hall in Charles Street Old rented to us as a Youth Centre. The agreement was on a month's notice each way, and we were told then that it was likely that within the next year the firm might require to withdraw the premises for their use. We now have intimation that the hall is required for industrial use, and will hand it over on the 11th October after due notice. Both Mr Howard and Mr Scott Hey have written to me expressing their regret at the necessity of disturbing the work of the Youth Centre. Meantime we are having to store most of our equipment and furnishings acquired in the past year. The Committee is determined to begin work now to find a building or a site to erect a building for a permanent Langholm Youth Centre. The need has been well established by the full use that was made of the premises during the past few months. The membership is approximately 80, and a much larger number not members use the Centre's facilities. Here I would like to express and very warm appreciation of the services of John Scott, Secretary, Colin Milligan, Treasurer and Mr John Fenton, M.A. who has for the past four months been chairman.

Church Choir

We have founded impracticable to continue the Sunday Evening Choir Practices as organised by Mr Alfred Chapman, and for the meantime have decided to discontinue same. Mr Chapman brought his ability and keen interest to the work, and was greatly liked by us all. I wish here to express our appreciation for his work, and for his constant readiness to do anything to help us in his position as Bandmaster.

Sympathy In Bereavement

During the past month Mr J. Gray, 15 Kirkwynd, passed suddenly away, and his funeral took place in Edinburgh. He was a member of the Old Parish Church, and while his time living in Langholm has been short, he was known to many of us as a gracious person. For health reasons he was not able to get out much. We express our deepest sympathy with his daughter Miss Anne Grey in her sudden and sad loss. Miss Grey is well known as one of the teachers of Langholm Academy, senior teacher of the Primary Department.

With my warm greetings to all our people,

Yours sincerely,


Treasurers Report

Roof Repair Found: Donations in September—£20 16 3

Total Donations to Date:£1,263 13 4

Kirk Session Report

At the Meeting of the Kirk Session on 12 September, it was agreed to continue in the coming winter the monthly united evening Services with Erskine Church, on Sunday 13th of October in Erskine Church—on Sunday, 17th November in the Old Parish, and on Sunday, 15th December in Erskine Church. The Kirk Session approved the date of the harvest thanksgiving Services for Sunday, 20th of October, and arrangements for Communion on 29th October. It was agreed to accept the request of the British Legion to hold the Annual Remembrance Day Service at 10:45 a.m. when all organisations will be invited to attend. The Moderator expressed warm appreciation of the services of Mr Archie Smith, one of our elders, now serving as voluntary Church Officer.

Church Hall

At a recent meeting of all Hall users it was explained by the Church Treasurer that each organisation would require to raise approximately £40 a year towards the hall upkeep. The cost of heating and lighting and caretaker amounting to approximately £260 a year. It was agreed to grant the hall to the Brownies and Girl Guides on Wednesday evenings. The Minister spoke warmly of the grand spirit the leaders of the organisations had shown in requiring to adjust thier organisation to meet this addition to hall users.

Our Guides

The Girl Guides have again assisted the minister in undertaking the door to door collection on behalf of the British Sailors Society. The total amount collected was £9 8s 5d. A letter has been received from Sir Ivar Colquhoun of Luss, expressing grateful thanks to the Guides of their work, and to the people of Langholm for their generous response to the collection on behalf of seafarers.

Women's Guild

At a meeting of the Guild Committee held on Monday, 23rd September, it was proposed and agreed that Mrs Mina Carter, 5 Drove Rd, the President in the ensuing session, — and Mrs Carter has expressed her willingness to accept office. The programme for the session includes the following:

8th October: Business Meeting followed by films on Langholm Common Riding given by Mr Stewart Paisley.

Sunday, 13th October: United Guild Dedication Service in Erskine Church at 6 p.m. Service conducted by Dr Dinwoodie, addressed by Mr Calvert.

22nd October: Visit of Southern Gas Board representative, giving cookery demonstration.

12th November: Visit of Mrs Braithwaite, Matron of Lord and Lady Polwarth Home for Children Under Five, to speak on the work and show film.

Sunday School

The Sunday School children and staff will lead the Morning Service at the Harvest Thanksgiving on Sunday, 20th October. At the close of this Service there will be a Cradle Roll ceremony, when mothers of children whose names are on the Roll, will be invited. The babies will be given a gift by members of the Primary Dept. The children are asked to bring a gift of flowers or fruit or projects, which will be received at the commencement of the Service, and later given to Dr Barnardo's Home, Hawick.

Miss Cunningham, Youth Organiser for Hawick Presbytery, will hold a class for Sunday School teachers in the vestry on Friday, 20th of October at 7:30 p.m.—when all teachers are invited.

Youth Fellowship

With the departure of Mr Arthur Willis, Mr George Jackson has been appointed Secretary. Meetings commence Sunday, 13th October with a social evening and welcome programme; on the 20th of October, a talk by Mr Scott of Eskdaill Street on 39 years as a policeman in South Shields; on the 27th of October a talk by Miss Ann Cartner on Impressions from visits to Youth Conferences and Keswick Convention during the past summer.

Harvest Thanksgiving

The Church will be open on Saturday, 19th October from 10 a.m. to receive gifts of flowers and fruit and produce for church decoration. The Women's Guild will be in charge of decoration as in former years. The gifts will be distributed among the sick and aged and to Hope Hospital on Sunday evening, and members of the Guild are invited to organise the distribution.

The Morning Service will be led by the children, and the Evening Service attended by the Eskdale Young Farmers Club, who will share in taking the service.

Church Calendar

Sunday, 13th October—11 a.m. Rev Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Ina Irving, 20 Henry Street. 6 p.m. United Guild Dedication Service in Erskine Church. The service led by Dr Dinwoodie, and address by Mr Calvert.

Sunday 20th Octobe—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Harvest Thanksgiving Services. Revd Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs W Smith, 28 Caroline Street.

Sunday, October 27th—11 a.m. Celebration of Sacrament of Lord's Supper. Revd Tom Calvert. 3 p.m. Second Table. Flowers, Mrs Archie Smith, 44 High Street. 6 p.m. Communion Thanksgiving.

Sunday, 3rd November—11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd Tom Calvert. Flowers Mrs Mary Morrison, 16 Henry Street.


Classes for young people wishing to join the Church for the first time, every Sunday immediately after evening Service in Church.

The Kirk Session meet on Thursday, 10th October at 7:30 p.m. for regular monthly meeting. Also on Friday, 25th October at 7:30 p.m. for instruction of duties at Communion.

The Congregational Board meets on Thursday, 24 to October at 7:30 p.m. in vestry, for regular monthly meeting.

Will Brownies, Guides and Boys' Brigade please note that the Remembrance Day Service this year on November 10th will be at 10:45 a.m. when they are invited to join in the parade along with the British Legion.