Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.123                       Price 1/8p - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        October 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 October “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you”. St. Luke 22. 15.

On the last Sunday of this month, 31st October, we will gather in our Old Parish Church to partake of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and as our text reminds us, the Lord's Supper is an outgrowth of the old Jewish Passover. Once upon a day the Jews were slaves in the brick fields of Egypt, working under the master’s whip. And then God raised up Moses to be their deliverer. To begin with Pharoah wouldn’t let them go, wouldn’t listen to Moses. Then however, everything seemed to go wrong in Egypt, swarms of frogs, and swarms of lice and swarms of locusts came upon them, and Pharoah thinking this was punishment from the Slaves God, grew frightened and let the slaves go as Moses desired. But soon Pharoah changed his mind in letting cheap labour slip out of his hands and he sent his Soldiers to bring them back. But by now the escaping slaves had slipped across the Red Sea while a strong east wind blew the waters back, and when Pharoah’s soldiers tried to follow them, the wind changed and they were all drowned. This was all seen by Moses as a wonderful deliverance and he commanded the people to remember it every year in the Feast of the Passover, when they remembered God’s goodness in their deliverance and offered thanksgiving by offering themselves anew in God’s service.

When our Lord was here upon this earth He used to keep the Passover with His desciples, and on the night in which He was betrayed, in the Upper Room, celebrating the Passover with His disciples he gave it a new meaning. No longer was it to recall for the disciples the deliverance from slavery in Egypt, but the great deliverance his death and resurrection would bring to mankind. It was now to be an occasion when they would remember him, and give thanks and offer themselves anew to his service. He took the bread of the Pass-over meal, and having given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, “Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of -me. And he took the cup of wine and gave it to them, saying, This is my blood in the New Testament which is shed for you, drink ye all of it”. Yes, and ever since that far off night in the Upper Room, Christian people wherever they are found in the world, have continued to hold this ceremony in remembrance of the Lord Iesus, and in doing so they not only remembed Him, but give thanks and offer themselves anew to his service. In our Langholm Old Parish Church we observe this ceremony twice yearly, on the last Sunday of April, and On the last Sunday of this month, October, and it -is important that all our members should attend, because it helps to keep our religious life fresh and meaningful, and keeps us from falling away in our Christian discipleship. And here I would like to remind you in a few simple words what I consider the deepest meaning of the Lord’s Supper can have for us.

First, it is a time when we remember the Lord Jesus as we take the bread and wine.

Just as those old Jews, as they took the unlevened bread of the Passover remembered the great deliverance from slavery in Egypt, so in taking the bread and wine in this Service we remember Jesus, as he commanded us. "This do in remembrance of me”. The broken bread and the wine speaks to us of the meaning of his great sacrifice on Calvary, and of the fulfilment of his resurrection promise, “Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”.

When weddings take place in our church, the custom is for the bridegroom to give a ring as part of the wedding ceremonial. And as he does, so I say, “by this ancient symbol of mutual love, you take each other for better for worse, for richer for poorer, for sickness or health, to love and to cherish until death do you part”. Now the bread and Wine in the Lord’s Supper ceremonial are like the ring the bridegroom gives the bride, speaking of enduring love and affection. The broken bread speaks of a love that went to the Cross to reach you and lay hold upon you speaks of a love which according to George Mathieson’s hymn, “wilt not let me go”, will never give us up. In the Hound of Heaven, Francis Thompson speaks of this love symbolised in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper as pursuing us, tracking us down like a detective, giving itself no rest until it lays hold of us. And this pursuing love of God symbolised in the broken bread and cup of wine does not stop pursuing us when our life upon earth is past. For as St.Paul says, “Who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or persecution, or peril, or sword? Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor any other thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

Secondly I would like you to notice that the bread taken in the Lord’s Supper is broken bread, and for the Jews breaking bread was a symbol of a bond of friendship.

In the old Scottish Communion Service, and still to this day in some of our Churches like the Abbey Church of St. Mary on the island of Iona, they pass the loaf along and each communicant breaks a piece off for himself. And this is what they did in the Last Supper, and it implied they were entering into a bond of friendship with each other.

For the Jews nothing was more dispicable than for someone to accept your bread and then turn against you. This is what the Psalmist complains of as one of the lowest things of which any one could be capable. “He that hath eaten of my bread hath lifted up his heel against me”.

When those early disciples gathered in the Upper Room they were far from being good friends. Very much like the kind of people we are sometimes, they had been quarrelling as to which was the greatest. But Jesus cured them by passing the loaf around and they broke bread together, and everyone of them knew what that meant, that they had entered into a new and solemn bond of friendship one with the other.I remember the late Mr. John Tyman once telling me about the Church in Glasgow in which he was ordained an elder, how on Communion Sunday before leaving the vestry the elders would shake hands one with another. Would that we could do that as a congregation and family of God’s children. It might help us to get rid of many of our differences and dislikes.

Thirdly, when Jesus took the bread he first of all gave thanks.

This was part of the old Passover ceremonial, they offerede a prayer, “Blessed art Thou ‘O Lord, King of the Universe, who giveth us bread”. This is why away back in the second century, Ingatius, Bishop of Antioch, referred to the Lord’s Supper as the Eucharist, a name for the Lord’s Supper frequently found in the writings of the early Church Fathers. The word “eucharist” being the Greek word for thanks. So in the Lord’s Supper we give thanks for bread which is symbolic of everything we need to Sustain body and soul. But thanksgiving is a difficult mood -for many people to induce, for they have never known what it is like to be without most of the good things we enjoy in life, things like food and health and friends. You often hear people who enjoy all these benefits say, what have I got to be thankful for? Never realising for a moment all the blood and sweat and human sacrifice that has gone into giving us life on the grand scale we enjoy it in a country like ours. Health for example, many never thank God for health until illness comes, and they are taken into ‘a hospital ward and see around them people without a shred of hope of ever regaining a normal healthy life. Then you will hear them say, “I have learned my lesson, I have recovered my health and this is worth everything in the World, for what good is anything if you have not health to enjoy living”.

Finally, those old Jews in the Passover Ceremonial after taking the bread and wine, and giving thanks, offered themselves anew to God’s service.

And this is why the Passover ceremony was so important for the Jews. They Came to it once a year, not only from all over Palestine but from Africa, Asia, Greece and Rome in their thousands, for it was incumbent upon them to keep this feast when they surrendered themselves anew to God’s worship and service. It kept their religious life true, kept them from idolatory ways of living, and kept them with some purpose in living.

And this has always been a vital part of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, men and women coming and offering themselves anew to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ, and renewing their vows of loyalty to the worship and service of his Church. And right from the time that John Knox drew up the order of the Scottish Communion Service, the prayer of consecration has been retained, when the minister leads. the people, saying “Here O Lord we offer ourselves anew unto Thee, body, soul and spirit, to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice; and as as thou dost feed our souls at Thy table, so may we grow in Thy grace and knowledge and love”. And this is why we call the Service the Sacrament, the Roman word that had to do with a soldier joining the army when he swore an oath of loyalty to his Emperor and Captain, never to be faithless. And those Roman soldiers were from time to time brought back from Garrison duties abroad to renew their vow of loyalty in the presence of the Emperor on the Field of Mars.

How important in a large membership like ours, of close on a thousand communicants with the happy addition of our friends from Langholm Congegational Church, who could fill this lovely old church to overflowing as it was one Sunday in 1902, when General William Booth occupied our pulpit. What a joy we would all get as hundreds of voices echoed in the singing of God’s praise, and what a mighty act of Christian witness it would be in this Border countryside. But most important of all, it would send us all out to our homes and duties in the world pledged anew to the service of Him who alone is worthy of our trust and worship and devotion. For He alone cares anything about your life, what will become of it. And he wants you to give Him the best you have, of time, senvice and worship, now. Not wait and then find you have nothing to offer him but the fag-end of life, which of course He would never refuse. So I plead with all our people to come to the Lord’s Supper on 31st October either at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. and make it a real sacrament, the offering or renewal of your vow that you are Christ’s man, Christ’s woman, and join in the singing of the grand hymn, “O Iesus Ilhave promised to serve Thee to the end”, and go away with the resolve that you are not going to let Him down. And believe me, if we don't let Him down we won’t let anybody down in this present life.

And let the young people coming for the first time, consider well the words they will sing after having made a profession of faith, and been received as full members of our Church, the words:

“Just as I am, young, strong and free,

To be the best that I can be

For truth, and righteousness, and Thee,

Lord of my life, I come.”


Dear Fellow Member,

Opening of Erkinholme Old People’s Home

It was a great delight to me to have a share in the dedication and opening of the former residence of the late Mr. Alexander, Scott, Erkinholm, as a Home for the elderly people. We were all impressed with the gracious words and manner of Cardinal Gray in performing the dedication and opening, and we congratulate Sister Nora Cronin upon her vision of St. Francis Horne, and her ability to direct the adapting of the premises for this new and grand purpose. And I would like here to mention the name of Mr. E. C. Armstrong, our Town Clerk, for the practical help and counsel he has given to Sister Cronin in the past months, as well as serving as Treasurer for funds raised in the reconstruction.

Now that the first admissions have been made we look forward in the near future to seeing well over twenty senior citizens of the town and district enjoying the comfort and security the Home offers.

Warm welcome to members of Langholm Congregational Church from the Langholm Old Parish.

At a recent meeting of the members of the Langholm Congregational Church it was decided to unite with our Old Parish Church, and in the name of our Kirk Session and congregation I extend to our friends of the Langholm Congregational Church a very warm welcome. This offer of welcome goes out to the elders, managers, Sunday School, Woman's Guild and Choir. Working together we should be able to achieve greater things in the establishment and advancement of Christ’s kingdom in Langholm and district. A special Church Service will be held on Sunday, 7th November to mark the unification of our congregations, when we will have a visiting preacher at the 11 a.m. Morning Service. In the meantime I am asking all our members to play their part in extending to the members of the Langholm Congregational Church our sense of pleasure and welcome in their joining with us in our Sunday worship, and other Church activities.

Harvest Thanksgiving Services

The Harvest Thanksgiving Services will be held on Sunday, 10th October at 9.30 a.m. Half hour Service 11 a.m. when the children will bring their gifts, and the Service wil be led by the young people. At 6 p.m. the Service will be attended by members of the Eskdale Young Farmers Club; at this Service the Langholrn Town Band will provide a quartette to sing a lovely harvest hymn, “Yes, God is good in earth and sky”. The church will be open alll day on the previous Saturday when we invite you to send in harvest gifts of flowers, fruit or produce for the harvest decoration. The gifts will later be distributed among the elderly, sick, the Hospital and eventide homes. I am asking the Guild as in former years to undentake the decoration of the church.

Celebration of the Lord’s Supper and First Communicant Classes

Classes for young people desiring to become members of the church are being held each Sunday evening, immediately after the Evening Service. The classes will continue each Sunday unrtill Sunday, 24th October, and the first communicants will be admitted to full membership at the commencement of the 11 a.m. Communion Service on the following Sunday, 31st October. The Communion Services will be at 11 a.m. with a Second Table at 3 p.m., and Communion Thanksgiving at 6 pm. The Kirk Session will meet on Friday, 29th at 7 p.m. to arrange duties for the Sunday Communion Services. I hope members of the Langholm Congregational Church joining with us at this time will attend, and extend to them a very warm welcome. Let no one hesitate to come without a Communion Card, these can be obtained at the door. On the Weeks following Communion I will be celebrating Private Communion in the homes of housebolund or sick and will be pleased to hear of any home where a visit is desired.

Woman’s Guild

The Guild meeting on Tuesday, 28th September. with Miss Ella Glendinning, president, presiding, had a good attendance. Everyone enjoyed listening to Mr. E. C. Armstrong, our Town Clerk, speaking on the bicentenary of Sir Walter Scott; and to Miss Violet Willis, L.R.A.M., singing some lovely Scottish songs.

The next ,meeting of the Guild is on Tuesday, 12th October and will be addressed by Miss E. L. Carlill. At this meeting we will have as our guests Guilds of Uhe neighbourhood. On Tuesday, 26th October, the Guild programme will be a local panel on “any questions". And we invite members and friends to send in questions to the Secretary, Mrs. Wolnough, or to any Committee member. The new syllabus for the session is now available and copies can be obtained from the Secretary.

Boys’ Brigade

The 1st Langholm Company of the Boys’ Brigade commences a new session with a record enrollment of 95 for the Junior and Senior sections. The Boys’ Brigade occupy the hall on Wednesday and Friday evenings, with the Juniors meeting at 6 p.m. on Fridays. I wish to congratulate the Captain and officers in their splendid leadership of our boys and to thank them for giving up so much of their leisure time week after week. Also manly thanks for the work undertaken by the boys of cleaning up the exterior of the church hall.

Repair of Damage to Church Windows and Hall Interior

Over sixty small windowpanes of our Old Parish Church have been willfully broken during the past year by stone throwring and in one case by an airgun. These are going to be retplaced at considerable cost as they cause bad down drafts in the church. During my ministry in Langholm we have endeavoured to give the churoh without charge to the people for weddings, baptisms and puiblic service and I think we are entitled to have the support of parents whether they are members of the church or not to help in bringing home to the children that such sacrlidge is a disgrace. I listened to Inspector Ross of the Dumfriesshire Constabulary, addressing the children of the Academy today on the suffering and fear being caused to elderly people by hooligan activitites. He appealed to the children to tell any of their acquaintances who think it is clever to destroy property to act responsibly and if they pay no heed to bring their names to the police. I wish we could get the children responsible for the wanton damage to our church windows told by their parents or by children who know them that such conduct is not in keeping with the character of our Langholm people and that if they are identified in the act they will be held responsible to the repair. I expect the present repair may well amount to near £80.

The Old Parish Hall has in the past twelve months suffered considerable damage to the lowered ceiling of the interior. This lowered ceiling was provided to improlve accoustics and heating. I am not blaming any particular hall users but appeal to all onganisations using the hall to respect the fabric and furnishings and if by accident damage is done, to come fonward and be responsible for the repair. I hate saying all this but the hall is an ugly sight in its present state of broken ceiling panels.

Sunday School

With the Congregational Church Sunday School joining us at this time, we extend a very warm welcome to them, to Mr. John Welsh, the leader and any other teachers who may be wishing to continue in the good work. I am glad to hear that Mr. John Scott and Mr. John Welsh have agreed to share the work orf superintenidence. In time the classes will be rearranged to include the children according to their age groups. On Sundary, 10th October, the children are asked to brinig their Harvest gifts which will be didtributed among the sick, elderly, and Homes and hospital. I would be glad of names of members of the Congregational Chunch who might be inlcluded among the sick and aged. The 11 a.m. Harvest Thanksgiving Serivice on that day will be led by the young peorple of the joint Sunday School. My attention has been drawn by members of the Sunday School staff to the frequent baptisms preventing me addressing the children during their short part in the Church Service. To overcome this difficulty I am going to endealvour to have bapitisms on the first Sunday of each month.

Special Services

On Sunday, 10th October, there will be Harvest Thanksgiving Service as already noted above. On Sunday, 31st October, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as noted above. And on Sunday, 7th November, a special Service to mark fihe integration of the Langholm Conrgregational Church with the Langholm Old Parish Church ant 11 a.m. On Sunday, 14th November, the annual British Legion Remembrance Day Service at 10.45 a.m. when we will observe the Two Minutes Silence in church at 11 a.m.

The 9.30 a.m. Half hour Services will continue until Sunday, 24th October, when they will be discontinued for the winrter months anid begin again on the first Sunday of May, 1972.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

On Sunday, 26th September, Alexander Scott Coltherd, Brunitshielbog Farm, passed away at the age of 44. He passed away afiter months of illness which he faced with a brave spirit and wonderul faith in hope of recovery. He was a man of delightful character and the large attendance of people from Selkirkshire and the Border district was a tribute to the high esteem and affection in which he was held. In July he was able to take part in the marriage of his daughter Yvonne to Allan Sharp in our Old Parislh Church and this brought him great joy. We extend our deepest sympathy to his devoted widow Cora Donaldson Coltherd his beloved daughter Yvonne, and to all other relatives.

With warm greetings to all our peopleYours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

October 10, Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday. 9.30 a.m. Halfhour Service. 11 a.m. with Sunday School children leading the Service. 6 p.m. Evening Service attended by members of the Eskdale Young Farmers Club, and with Quartette from Langholm Town Band. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Archie Smith, 44 High Street.

October 17, 9.30 a.m. Halfhour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. 6 p.m Evening Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. David Milligan, 5 Buccleuch Square.

October 24, 9.30 a.m. Halfhour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. 6 p.m. Eveninig Service. Rev.Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs A Irving, 9 Charles Street Old.

October 31, Celebration of the Sacrarment of the Lord’s Supper at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Communion Thanksgiving 6 p.m. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Archie Smith, Thomas Telford Road.

November 7, 11 am. Service of integration Langholm Congregational Church with the Old Parish. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. J. Bell, Moorhills Farm, Middlebie


September 19, Mark, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grieve, Rosevale Place.

September 26, Steven Colvin, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Kingstree, 28 Academy Place.

September 26, Shirley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Beattie, 8 Holmwood Crescent.

October 3, Terence Mark, son of Mr. and Mrs. Irving Lockerby, Lodge Lauriston, Newcastleton.


September 25, David Yarrow, 7 George Street, to Janice Marthieson Cook, 15 Thomas Telford Road.


Sepptember 26, Alexanxder Scott Coltherd, Brunrtshielbog. Age 44 years

The passing oef Alexander Coltherd, after months Suffering and growing weakness, in no illusion that his earthly days that remained were few, reminds me of the tribute Sir Winston Churchill paid over the radio to the late King George VI. During these last months the king walked with death, was if death were a companion, an acquaintance whom he recognised and did not fear. In the end death came as a friend, and after a happy day of sunshine and sport, and after a ‘good night’ to those who loved him best, he fell asleep, as every man who strives to fear God and nothing else in the world may do”.


In the September Parish Magazine in my tribute to the memory of our beloved elder Mr. Robert Armstrong Black, I made an error in stating the date he was ordained as an elder. Actually the date of Robert A Black's ordination as an elder was 17th October, 1947, during the ministry of Rev. J. L. Cotter, B.D. The date I gave of 17th April, 1927 was the date of the ordination of Robert Black, father of Robent A. Blaok. This means that our late elder Robert A. Black served our Kirk Session and parish as an elder for 24 years.