Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0. 2. September, 1960.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings

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

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

Motto for September—"There is no substitute for action, if you aim to live upwardly". From Alastair MacLean in a Border farm-house conversation.


My Dear Friends,

Say what a great encouragement it is to find our Church so well attended on Sundays. The United Services during August have been well supported, and we were very glad to find such a large representation of the Erskine Church congregation with us in the Old Church on the last two Sundays.

Sunday School

The Sunday School is commencing the new session on Sunday, 4th September when we hope to see a full attendance. As in previous years the children are invited to attend the Morning Service, and after the young people’s talk and hymn, they will leave for classes in the hall. This is an important and valuable way to introduce the children to an appreciation of Church worship. Whenever possible we will arrange for the children to be present through a whole Service, as on the evening of Harvest Sunday when the children are to take a leading part in the conduct of the Service, and enact how God gives us our daily bread, "bread of the body, mind and spirit". There is at present need for additional Sunday School teachers, and we invite men and women of the congregation to volunteer for this work. Names of any disposed to help in this very important part of our work could be given to Mr. Stuart, Miss Dalgleish or myself. I would like to take this opportunity of expressing very warm appreciation to the Sunday School staff for their faithful and splendid service. I would like to assure them that this is work that cannot fail to bring enrichment and a stronger sense of purpose in living to those they teach, even though this may not be evident at the present time. The work is often difficult and discouraging, but you can never tell what rich fruits it will bear in the years to come. It is an interesting fact that many of the men and women whose lives have been a means of rendering distinguished service for God in the world were first led to consider the real purpose of living from what they learned from, and saw in their Sunday School teacher. This was certainly true of David Livingstone. His Sunday School teacher was a man called David Hogg, and I have read that David Hogg didn’t find his work in teaching a class of boys to be very encouraging. Indeed he often wondered if he was doing any good or if he was wasting his time. Yet it turned out that all the time he was moulding the ideas of at least one boy in his class who was later to be regarded as one of the greatest Scotsmen of his day and generation.

Youth Fellowship

At a recent meeting of all interested in the Youth Fellowship, it was decided to form a Committee to be responsible for planning the programme and running the Fellowship in the coming new session. James Graham was appointed Secretary, Grace Brown of Erskine Church was appointed Treasurer, and a Committee consisting of Lila McVittie, Brenda Morrison, Jim Jackson and Billy Smith. The meetings which will commence at 7-30 p.m. on Sunday evenings, will commence on Sunday, 9th October. The meetings will be of a varied nature, with a visiting speaker once a month, an occasional film, and on one evening we plan to invite a panel of four guests to answer "any questions". The opening meeting will be of a social nature, when we invite all young people interested to join with us. Refreshments will be served each evening, and each meeting will conclude with an epilogue of Bible Reading and Prayer.

Harvest Thanksgiving Services

In last month’s letter I suggested 2nd October as the date of the Harvest Services. Since then I have learned that this date is a Langholm holiday weekend. In view of this we have decided to hold the Harvest Services on Sunday, 9th October, and invite gifts of flowers, fruit, vegetables, etc., for the purpose of decorating the Church. The Church will be open on the previous Saturday, and gifts can be left at the Church, preferably during the morning. We also invite volunteers to assist in the decoration. The gifts will be distributed on the Sunday evening among the sick and aged. We will be glad to have names sent in to the minister or elders of people whom we could remember with gifts at the Harvest Service. The Evening Service will be led by the children of the Sunday School.

Communion, and First Communicant Classes

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated in our Church on Sunday, 30th October at the ll.45 a.m. Service, and again at 3 p.m. On Sundays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd October, classes for first communicants will be held in the Minister’s Vestry at the close of the Evening Service. Young people of 14 years and over are invited to these classes, and attendance at the classes does not carry obligation to join as full members at this particular time. If owing to 2nd October being a holiday weekend, any wishing to attend cannot be present at the first class, please come along the next Sunday. Should there be any who cannot attend on Sunday evenings for some reason, please let me have your names and I will be glad to arrange private or weeknight instruction. Should there be any older people who have missed the opportunity of joining the Church earlier in life, please speak to me and I will arrange private meetings so that you can be received into the full membership. Every baptised person is under a Christian obligation to come forward and take upon themselves the promises that were made on their behalf in infant baptism, and this is actually what we do when we are received as full communicants of the Church, we take upon ourselves a responsibility our parents undertook in our baptism. I have found from experience that there are many people grown up throughout the country who missed being baptised during the war years, chiefly owing to the frequent movement of homes through war service. This causes many to feel embarrassed in coming forward for full Church membership. I would be glad for anyone in this position to speak to me privately, and arrangements can be made for private adult baptism. On the Monday following Communion I will be celebrating Private Communion to those who through age or infirmity are no longer able to be present at the Service in Church. Please give your names to your elder if you are unable to attend the Communion Service in Church, and I will arrange a time to visit you with the Sacrament in your home or in hospital.

Visitation of the Parish

I have now commenced visitation of the parish, and am visiting each Elder’s District accompanied by the Elder. I delayed this visitation until after the holidays for the convenience of the members of the Church who were to be away during July and August, and also to give more opportunity of getting settled in to the Manse. I have commenced with Mr. Armstrong’s district, and am taking Mr. Black’s district second, and thirdly with Mr. Banks. I will intimate each Sunday the district to be visited in the following week. I am particularly anxious to get to know our older people who cannot easily get out to Church, and those in sickness whether at home or hospital. I will always be glad of information about any of our people in sickness, and plan to keep one day each week for visiting those in hospital.

Interesting News Topics

It was intimated in the Scotsman during the past month that an old personal friend, Major- General Willer Turner, C.B., C.B.E., has been appointed General Officer Commanding Scottish Command, assuming office in March 1961. At the beginning of the last war I was posted as Chaplain to the lst Bn. The King’s Own Scottish Border Regt., and got to know Major-General Turner then when he was a Major and Company Commander. Since then he has had a very distinguished military career, and is at present President of the Regular Commissions Board at the War Office. It will interest many of our people to know that his son, now a 2nd Lieut. in the K.O.S.B. Regt., will be playing in the lst K.O.S.B. rugger team against Langholm on 14th September. He is very tall, and plays in the 2nd row of the scrum. I hope that sometime later we will be able to have General Turner as a guest speaker at some function in Langholm. Another item of interesting Church news this month is the appointment of a successor to the Revd. Dr. R. F. V. Scott as minister of St. Columba’s Pont Street, London. St. Columba’s is one of the most beautiful Churches in the world, and was rebuilt after being demolished by enemy action during the war at a cost of close on £300,000. It is the great home Church for Scots in the South of England, and you have to be present half an hour before a Morning Service if you want a seat, otherwise you sit in the downstairs hall to which the Service is re-laid. Dr. Scott retired from this charge last March and it has just been intimated that the Revd. J. Fraser McLuskey, M.C., B.D., minister of New Kilpatrick, Bearsden, is the new minister. Mr. McLuskey who is a close and personal friend, served during the war as a Chaplain, and was trained as a parachutist and was Chaplain to the lst Special Air Service Regt., and served with them behind German lines in France. For this he was awarded the M.C. He is also well known for his service as Chaplain to Glasgow University and as a broadcaster on Radio and T.V.

Old Parish Church Magazine

We are anxious for every member of the Church to take a monthly copy of the Parish Church Magazine, and eventually we hope that a copy will go into every home in the parish. We had a meeting of the distributors recently, and they will be going round their respective districts in September leaving a copy at every home of members and adherents. We hope that you will ask them to bring a copy each month if you do not already receive same. The cost has previously been 6d. a month, but with the extra cost of printing the special binding cover this will need to be slightly increased. I calculate that 8d. a month or 8/- a year will adequately meet the extra cost.

Sympathy with the bereaved.

During the past month the following friends have passed away. William Thompson, at the age of 76. He was an Ex-Cornet and would have been 50 years Ex-Cornet next year. Mrs. Elizabeth Fletcher passed away at Newton Stewart at the age of 65. She belonged to the Erskine Church, and I conducted her funeral service in the absence of Revd. Dr. Cameron Dinwoodie on holiday. Mrs. Elizabeth Reid of 37 Eskdaill Street, passed away at the age of 84 after a short illness. I was glad to get to know her soon after my induction and when she was in wonderful health and spirits. Martin Beattie passed away at the age of 74, after a long illness. and was greatly comforted in his last days by the nursing and care of his home, and of the staff of the Hope Hospital. To the relatives and friends of our departed friends we extend our heart felt sympathy. With warm greetings to all our people,

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.

Langholm Old Parish Church Women's Guild

During the 1960-61 session, Guild meetings will be held fortnightly. It is not possible to get a programme arranged for each occasion, and it will be seen from the Syllabus that some evenings will take the form of a Work Party, when members can bring along their handiwork. The Syllabus has now gone to Press, and it is hoped to have this for distribution at the opening meeting on Wednesday, September 28th. This meeting will take the form of a Social Evening. It is felt that the Guild membership could be greatly increased, and each member is asked to bring along a friend who may like to become a member during the session. If every present member does this, then the number of members would at once be doubled! An invitation has been received from the Erskine Guild for members of Langholm Old to attend a Rededication Service on Tuesday, 27th September. The speaker will be Mrs. Anderson, Hawick, and the meeting will be in the Erskine Church at 7.30 p.m.

Boys’ Brigade Camp Report

Nearly 30 Officers and boys of the lst Langholm company of the Boys’ Brigade spent a most enjoyable week under canvas at Spittal during the first week of August. On Sunday they attended a church parade to St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Spittal, and were joined by a company from Stockton-on-Tees. Visitors day was held on the Wednesday when a number of parents and friends had a very nice afternoon with the boys. Light refreshments were served and a cricket match was played between parents and boys. The cooking was in the capable hands of Mr. Nelson Millar, and as last year Nelson was a great favourite. A sing song round a camp bonfire was held on Friday evening, when all the Common Riding songs were sung together with a few modern "top twenty". Prizes given by Nelson for the best tent were won by Sgt. Corrie and his boys and Nelson made the presentation. In spite of the weather not being too favourable the boys agreed that the camp was even better than that of the previous year.

R. T. Robertson, Capt.

Church Calendar for September and October


4th—11.45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. T. Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Beverley.

11th—11.45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. T. Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. D. J. Anderson, 65 Caroline Street.

18th—11.45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. T. Calvert, with a Church of Scotland Missionary at Evening Service. Flowers, Mrs. Dalziel.

25th—11.45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Visiting Preacher. Name announced later. Flowers, Mrs. Armitage.


2nd—11.45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. T. Calvert. Flowers, Miss Cairns, Holmfoot. Communicants Class after Evening Service.

9th—11.45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. T. Calvert. Harvest Thanksgiving Services. Church open on Saturday to receive gifts for decoration. Evening Service led by Sunday School children. Flowers, Mrs. Erskine, 39 Eskdaill Street.


2lst August-James Robert Clothier, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Clothier, 177 Park Road, Keynsham, Bristol.

In Memoriam


8th—Funeral of William Thompson, aged 76.

16th—Mrs. Elizabeth Fletcher, age 65.

24th—Mrs. Elizabeth Reid, age 84, 37 Eskdaill Street.

29th—Martin Beattie, age 74, 13 David Street.

Visit of Church of Scotland Missionary

On Sunday, 18th September we will have a Church of Scotland Missionary with us. The Revd. Mark Wilson, M.A., from Eastern Himalayas, will preach in Canonbie Church at the Morning Service, and will give the address at the Evening Service in the Old Church, Langholm at 6 p.m. Mr. Wilson, a graduate of Glasgow University, went to the Eastern Himalayan Field in 1954. Ordained in Scotland, he is now a minister of the United Church of North India. During his first tour, for part of the time, he served in the Western Duars at Chalsa, where he had the dual role of Chaplain to the European tea planters, and minister to the U.C.N.I. congregations in the tea estates. Latterly he was appointed to the Eastern Duars, where at Mahakalguri, he worked with the Boro Church as district missionary. In order to give members of the congregation an opportunity of meeting with Mr. Wilson, we are arranging for a short meeting in the Church Hall after the Evening Service when tea will be served. We hope that there will be a good attendance at the Evening Service, and that as many as possible will come over to the hall after the Service.