Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.67                       Price 1/2 - with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       OCTOBER, 1966.

Minister: Revd. Tom Calvert, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. John Tyman,M.A. LL.B., Barbank, Langholm. Tel. 223

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

Treasurer: Mr. Robert Black, 35 Eskdaill 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.


Dear Fellow Member.

October marks the beginning of our various Church organisations, I will note our activities briefly and give what information I can on programmes.

Youth Centre

The Youth Centre commenced activity in early September. The Junior night is being switched to Thursdays to enable Tuesday nights to be available ro the Eskdale Young Farmers Club on alternate weeks with Arts and Crafts. We are glad to have the Young Farmers Club making their home in the Youth Centre and to have representatives on the Committee. We are also hoping to have one night Weekly given over to special interests of girls.

Over 60 Club

The Over 60 Club meets in the Old Parish Hall every Tuesday afternoon and has carried on meetings throughout the summer. Mrs. Flint, the hostess, has done wonderful work in organising two most en- enjoyable outings, the second of whiqh took a party of over 50 to Lauder when the company was given welcome and a wonderful tea by the Lauder W.V.S., and taken through the Lauder Parish Church by the minister, Rev. Richard F. James. The weekly meetings are a real tonic to the members by the provision of a friendly and free atmosphere, and I can assure the Old Parish Church people that this use of the hall is very much appreciated.

Young Wives Fellowship

The Young Wives Fellowship hold the first meeting for the new session on Wednesday, 5th October, at 3 p.m. The meetings will continue on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. I am sure there will be much in the programmes to interest the young wives of Langholm. Babies can be brought and cared for during the meetings, and we would like it known that young wives without children are equally welcome at these meetings.

Boys' Brigade

The Boys' Brigade meets on Friday evenings when boys who will be 12 years of age by 31st August, l967 are invited to join. The time of meeting is 7.30 p.m. The Life Boys will also meet on Friday evenings at 6 p.m. for boys 8 to 11 years.

Badminton Club

The Old Parish Church Badminton Club commences in October. meeting on Mondays and Thursdays as previous. Membership is open and I am sure there will be a good response and another happy session.

Women's Guild

The Women's Guild session commences with a Dedication Service to be held in the Erskine Church on Sunday, 9th October, at 6 p.m. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, 11th October which will be the annual business meeting with a programme of slides on a visit to Australia by Mrs. Carruthers.

At the business meeting we will require to appoint a president to succeed Mrs. Mina Carter who desires to be relieved of this duty. Mrs. Carter has given very valuable service as Guild President for the past two years and we deeply regret she finds it necessary to resign the office. Her wide understanding of Church and Guild and people made her an ideal leader, and outstanding in our memory will always be her illustrated lectures on life in West Africa, and the special choirs she organised from time to time. At the business meeting we will have opportunity of expressing our thanks and we hope we will still have her on the Guild Committee. On Wednesday, 12th October our Guild will be guests of the Erskine Guild and we hope for a good response on this occasion. The meeting is organised by the Hawick Presbyterial Council of the Women's Guild, commencing at 7.30 p.m. when Mrs. Cole will speak on Telephone Samaritan work. The new Guild syllabus giving details of meetings from October to March will soon be available and copies can be had from Mrs. Wood, Guild Secretary, National Bank House.

Harvest Thanksgiving and Cradle Roll Services

On Sunday, 16th October we will observe our annual harvest thanksgiving when we invite gifts of flowers, fruit and produce for church decoration. The church will be open on Saturday, 15th from 10 a.m. and the Women's Guild members are invited as in previous years to attend in the afternoon and prepare the decoration. The gifts will be distributed later to elderly and sick people, and also to the hospitals, while the children's gifts will be given this year to the Dr. Barnardo's Home at Hawick, and the Edinburgh Royal Sick Children's Hospital.

The Morning Service will be led by the Sunday School children and Staff. Children are asked to bring a gift which will be received during the singing of the opening hymn. At 11.45 a.m. parents whose babies names are on the Cradle Roll are invited to attend, entering by the minister's vestry door. There will follow a short cradle roll ceremony when the names of babies placed on roll in past year, and those of over three years now being removed, will be read. The names are removed from the birthday remembrance list at 3 years when little folk are o1d enough to commence the Beginners Department of the Sunday School. At the close of this ceremony the babies present with parents will be given a gift of fruit by the Cradle Roll Keepers, Misses Jean and Lila McVittie" Here I would like to express once again a word of gratitude and appreciation for the work put in with so much interest and pleasure in sending out birthday greetings and keeping the Roll by Misses McVittie.

The Evening Service will be attended by members of the Eskdale Young Farmers Club, when members will read lessons. After the Evening Service there will be a meeting in the hall when members of the Young Farmers Club are invited to attend along with any of our people interested, for refreshments, and when Mrs. June Wilson will show coloured slides on Australia.

Celebration of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper

On Sunday, 30th October we will celebrate Holy Communion at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and with Communion Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. First Communicants will be received at the 11 a.m. Morning Service. Any wishing to join the Church at this time by certificate of transfer or restoration,please let me have names.

Sunday School

The Sunday School has commenced the new session with what may Well be a record attendance. In all departmenis some 120 children are enrolled. We are pleased to find quite a few of the young people now over Sunday School age remaining and taking part as teachers and helpers. We do appreciate this help and it enables classes to be kept smaller. Our Sunday School Superintendent, Mr. William Stuart, must haye served in the Sunday School for well over half a century, as next year, on 7th October, 1967 will be the fiftieth anniversary of Mr. Stuart's ordination as an Elder of the Langholm Old Parish Church. We are glad to find him still so active and regular in his place in Choir and Sunday School.

Kirk Session

The Kirk Session met on Sunday, 25th September: with the Evening Service for the ordination of our Session Clerk as an Elder. Mr. Alexander M. Hutton has a good grasp of the duties of Session Clerk, and as I said on ihe occasion of his ordination as an Elder, we are proud and pleased to have him in this senior office of the Kirk Session.

Battle of Britain and Overseas Mission Sunday

On Sunday, l8th September we had a good congregation for the remembrance of the deliverance of the Battle of Britain at the Morning Service. The retiring offering taken for the R.A.F. Benevoleni Fund amounted to £4 13s 6d which I considered very good when taken without previous intimation.

At the Evening Service we were all very much impressed wiih the visit of Dr. Hamilton Currie, a medical missionary of our Church in Zambia. In his vivid talk on his work of healing in Chitambo Mission, Zambia, we were given a very realistic picture of the grand work being done by our missionaries. Dr. Currie illustrated his talk with coloured slides and even the children in the congregation were able to understand every word he said. I would like to add here that a few days ago I was delighted to have a visit from Dr. and Mrs. Tom Borthwick, a retired medical missionary now living in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Dr. Tom Borthwick was born at Hopsrigg and as a young man attended the Old Farish Church of Langholm. He is now 81 and I am pleased to say that both Dr. and Mrs. Borthwick look extremely fit and well. Dr. Borthwick went out to China as a medical missionary in 1911 and continued in the work until released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp in 1945.

Church Lighting and Hall Decoration

The work on re-wiring the church and modernising the lighting svtem has now commenced. It is not expected that this will in any way interfere with the use of the church for Sunday Services or weddings. The Board has at the same time authorised the installation of an electric motor blower for our organ. The work on decoration of the hall is due to cornmence and we do not think the work will curtail any of the activities taking piace in the hall. We know that the organisations will understand that the facilities of the hall will not be normal while the work of decoration is in progress.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

During the past month I have conducted two funeral services. First on 3rd September, the sad passing of Colin Cochrane who died as the result of a motor cycle accident at the age of 17. Colin was employed by the Woolly Mill Co. Ltd., and resided at Waterbeck. I was impressed by the sympathetic concern of employer and fellow-workers at the funeral. Deepest sympathy with his mother, who now resides in John Street, Langholm. Then on 9th September we paid our last respects to Mrs. Janet Beattie Erskine, who passed away in Dumfries Hospital at the age of 79. Mrs. Erskine has been in hospital throughout my time as minister of Langholm Old, and was one of the first people I visited in the Cumberland Infirmary after my induction. She was a wonderful woman who despite much suffering kept busy and cheerful. While in hospital in Dumfries I am told she has knitted over 80 pairs of socks. Her son Harry has been very good in his regular visits to his mother. Our sincere sympathy with Harry Erskine and his wife and family, and other relatives in their bereavement.

With greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely.




Collections for September 1966

F.W.O £100 8 0

Ordinary £21 9 3

By Collection Boxes £4 4 0


October 9-11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Miss Ina lrving, 20 Henry Street. 6 p.m. United Guild Dedication Service in Erskine Church. Class for new members in Old Parish vestry at 7.15 p.m.

October 16, Harvest Thanksgiving Services. Morning Service led by Sunday School, with children bringing gifts which will be received during singing of opening hymn. Parents of babies having names on Cradle Roll are invited to attend, entering by minister's vestry at 11.45 a.m. for Cradle Roll ceremony. Evening Service attended by members of Eskdale Young Farmers Club, when members will read lessons. The Church will be open on Saturday, 15th October from 10 a.m. when gifts of flowers, fruit or produce will be gratefully received for church decoration. The Guild will attend in the afternoon to supervise the decoration of the church. Flower for Communion Table, Mrs. W. Smith, 28 Caroline Street.

October 23: 11 a.m, and 6 p.m, Revd. Tom Calvert, Flowers, Mrs. A. Smith, 44 High Street. Class for new members after Evening Service.

October 30: 11 a.m. Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and admission of young communicants. Flowers, Mrs. M. Morrison, 16 Henry Street. 3 p.m. Second Communion Table. 6 p.m. Communion Thanksgiving. Revd. Tom Calvert.

November 6: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Brydon Maben, minister ,of Newcastleton. Flowers. Mrs. A. Smith, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

November 13: Remembrance Day Services. 10.15 a.m. Wreath Laying ceremony at War Memorial. 10.45 a.m. United Service in Old Parish Church when two minutes silence will be observed at 11 a.m. Revd. Tom Calvert and Revd. Dr. Dinwoodie. Flowers, Mrs. W. Elliot, 3 Buccleuch Terrace, 6 p.m. Evening Service.


September 18: Christine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs, William Tweddle, Tarras Tyle Works Cottage.

September 25: Kenneth John, son of Mr. and Mrs, John Irving, 4 Buccleuch Crescent.


September 3: Colin Cochrane, Outerlands, Waterbeck. Age 17.

September 7: Janet Beattie Little Erskine, Dumfries Hospital. Age 79.

Our Lord's promise: "I give unto them eternai life: and they shall never perish." John 10. 28.


The Kirk Session will meet on Wednesday, 12th October at 7.30 p.m. followed by a meeting of the Congregational Board at 8.30 p.m.

The Kirk Session will meet on Saturday, 29tk October at 6.30 p.m. to arrange duties at Communion Services and prepare communion elements.


"A Merry Heart Doeth Good like Medicine."

Proverbs 17. 22.

There was a time when a merry disposition was frowned upon by professing Christian people, a time when it was thought that a truly religious person ought to look solemn. I sometimes wonder if this was the reason why it became the custom for ministers to dress in dark robes, and for the Bible to be bound in dark covers. I think the New English Bible with its bright green covers is much better. God's best and most gallant servants in every age have been men who knew the secret of a merry heartmen who radiated joy and good cheer wherever they went" And this was true of Jesus. He was forever speaking about life and joy. "These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full".

Our Text Says, Merry Heart Doeth Good like Medicine

This means that a merry heart is as valuable as a prescription couched in mysterious Latin, which you take to a chemist. A merry heart makes living easier for us when the way is dark and dreary. In Captain Scott's last message from the tent in the Antartic where he and his companions were slowly freezing to death amid the blizzards of the South Pole region he says "It would do you good to be in our tent and to hear our cheery conversation". Dr. Hugh Douglas. minister of St. Mary's Dundee, in his book "Coping With Life", tells of a letter which he cherishes. It came to him from an old age pensioner with no relatives. She lived in a single room, was far from well and in constant pain. Yet he says she was one of the most merry-heafted people in Dundee. Her letter reads, "Dear Friend, I hope that I will see you soon. I had a visit from your Assistant. We had a good laugh and a lovely prayer. Your friend, Bella." "A good laugh and a lovely prayer" the two should always go together, for one of God's best ways of answering our prayers is to give us the gift of a merry heart.

But in these words of our text Solomon was not thinking only of ourselves but of others.

We all know what a depressing effect a person of gloomy or resentful mood can have upon others, for the mood in which we live is contagious. You catch from other people their mirth or gloom just as you catch influenza from others. And this is why Stevenson says in one of his Essays that "A cheerful man is a pubiic benefactor. he is better than a five pound note, and his entrance into a room is as if another candle had been lighted".

The Secret of a Merry Heart

It is not conditioned by good health or good fortune, for some of the most merry hearted people I have known possessed neither of these blessings. Robert Louis Stevenson, to whom I have just referred, never enjoyed a single week without threat of the medicine bottle and the sick bed, and yet he was one of the grandest examples of Christian good cheer. We find him after one of those bad attacks of hemorrhage writing that "the world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings".

A vital factor in the secret of a merry heart is the grace of gratitude. To learn to take everything with gratitude than for granted. Health for example. Remember some sick person known to you who has little or no hope of recovery. Or take a good night's sleep, be thankful if it comes easily, for there are thousands who every night toss and turn in pain and cannot sleep without the help of drugs.

Another vital factor is self forgetfulness. Most of our discontent and gloom in life comes from worrying about ourselves. If we can find means to take our minds off ourselves, that is half the battle in arriving at a merry heart. Dr. Grenfell tells of a woman he knew in London who possessed almost everything that one would expect could make people happy, and yet she was constantly worrying about her health and many petty annoyances. Then he introduced her to the British Sailors' Society Canteen Service and soon she was a different woman. "The last time I saw her" he writes, "she was looking much younger and radiantly happy serving out mugs of tea and buns to sailor lads".

And of course faith is also a vital factor in the possession of a merry heart. Dr. Airy's history of Charles 2nd records "that King Charles II lifted the cup of pleasure to his lips, and drank to the dregs. But he had no happiness, for there is no happiness for him who lives without beliefs, without enthusiasm, without Iove". We can have no peace of heart which is surely the basis of a merry heart, without faith in God's love and care as declared by Jesus that God is our Father.

"Said the robin io the sparrow, I would really like to know,

Why these anxious human beings, rush about and worry so?

Said the sparrow to the robin, friend I think that it must be

That they have no heavenly Father, such as cares for you and me"

Jesus possessed a merry heart, and expects to find His followers in possession of the same.

Like Solomon He loved a merry heart because He knew it did good like medicine, that it helped people along the way of life when they were feeling weary and despondent. And this is why He wants to see His followers going about with a merry heart, never going about reflecting sadness or gloom or resentment. For "A merry heart doeth good like medicine".


The largest and most expensive church to be built by the National Church Extension Committee of the Church of Scotland since the war, St. Mungo's, Cumbernauld was opened and dedicated at the beginning of the month by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt. Revd. Dr. R. Leonard Small.

The Church, which will seat 800 is built on the highest point of the hill, on which the new town of Cumbernauld is situated. The tower, 80 feet high, will be seen 15 miles away in Glasgow. Costing almost £100,000, the Church features a Central Communion Table and pulpit.


The Lord's Prayer contains 56 words,

The 23rd Psalm contains 118 words,

The Ten Commandments contain 297 words,

A British Government Order on cabbage prices contains 26,911 words.