Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

No.122                       Price 1/8p - with LIFE AND WORK - 8d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                        September1971.

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 September: "Cheer up, my son". St. Matthew 9. 2. J. B. Phillips translation.

The Bible is a book of good cheer, there is nothing doleful about its message. From the beginning to the end the Bible speaks about life and life more abundant. Unfortunately the first printed English Bibles were bound in black covers, like Presbyterian ministers robes, suggesting solemnity and mourning. I am glad that the New English Bible has adopted a bright coloured cover, for as I say, the Bible is a book about life and liberty and joy. I have read of a woman in the United States who had been bed-ridden for sixteen years. One day her minister visited, her and asked if she read much? Anxious to make a good impression she said, yes I read the Bible and books of sermons. But, asked the minister, do you ever read books of stories or newspapers. Oh yes, she added, I do sometimes read something cheerful. Now that is the impression many have, but it is far from the truth, for the Bible is really the most cheerful book in the world.

One thing is certain, Jesus was a Man of good cheer. We know that the Prophet foretold he would be "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief". and to some extent that was true of the earthly life of Jesus. He had to walk the sorrowful way. Holman Hunt in his picture, "The Shadow of the Cross", depicts the shadow of the Cross falling upon the heart of Jesus while he was still in the carpenter s shop. Yet while Jesus had to walk the sorrowful way he was by no means a sorrowful man. He enjoyed at tending a joyful party, a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, having supper with publicans and sinners, and by his presence adding to the joy of the occasion. On three occasions in the Gospels we read of Jesus saying to his disciples, cheer up. Even on the way to the Cross he turned and said to his despondent followers, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Painters and poets have been responsible for picturing Jesus as pale and bloodless. "Thou hast conquered O pale Galilean, Thou hast conquered" wrote Swinburne. But that is not true of the New Testament picture of Jesus. For the New Testament pictures Jesus as the laughing Christ, banishing gloom wherever he went. As I read my New Testament, read of the occasions when Jesus healed the leper, restored sight to the blind, recovered someone from the downward path, I feel like shouting "three cheers for Jesus". I am sure that is how the people among whom he mingled often felt. In this sermon I wish to speak about some three occasions when Jesus bade despairing and dejected men and women to cheer up.

First we read about Jesus healing a paralytic by saying to him, "Cheer up, my son".

Jesus healed this man by saying "Cheer up, my son". Good cheer has healing properties. The wise man of the Old Testament reminds us how "A merry heart doeth good like medicine". Thea Holme, in her book " The Carlyles at Home", tells of the home life of Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane Welsh. In 1864 Mrs. Carlyle took a mysterious and painful illness for which there seemed to be no cure, and which no doctor seemed able to help. She was afraid for her sanity and for her life, and was driven well nigh to despair. Then she went to stay with the Russells at Thornhill and there, bit by bit, her shattered nerves and her health were restored. She tells how she managed to put on a pound and a half in ten days. And then on 19th August she wrote to her husband "Something occurred here last evening between the hours of eight and nine, which produced an extraordinary sensation. Mrs. Russell has not got over it yet. My dear, I laughed". "I think", said the little housemaid, "ye're gaun to get better noo", and she did. And it was ability to laugh, it was by being able to recover good cheer that she was healed, like the paralytic whom Jesus healed. And it was certainly living in a spirit of good cheer that kept Robert Louis Stevenson alive through those years, when exiled on the Island of Samoa for his poor health, frequent haemorrhages and headaches. Through those years it was his good cheer that kept him going. This is why he wrote in one of his essays that "A cheerful man is a public benefactor, he is better than a five pound note, and his entrance into a room is as if another candle had been lighted". Every night he gathered the servants and family together for evening prayers, and used to pray - "Give us O God to awaken with smiles, give us to labour smiling, and as the sun brightens the world, so let our loving-kindness make bright this house of our habitation".

On another occasion Jesus brought calm to the hearts of some terrified men by telling them to cheer up.

It comes in the story of Jesus stilling the storm on the lake of Galilee when his disciples were terrified their boat was going to be wrecked and they would end in a watery grave. We have all had the experience in life of finding ourselves in a frightening situation and I believe no more frightening experience can come to anyone than to be caught in a storm at sea in an open boat. There is a French proverb which says, they who know not how to pray should go to sea. A storm at sea leaves people terrified. Captain Ridgeway and Sergeant Chay Blyth of Hawick, when they rowed the Atlantic in an open boat, told in a book later published, that when they found themselves caught in a hurricane with waves 50 feet high crashing over them, they prayed and prayed and prayed for help.

The disciples on the lake of Galilee were caught in a freak gale, their boat was bobbing about like a cork and they were at their wits end - when suddenly Jesus came to them, walking upon the waters, however you can understand that, and he calls out to them: "Cheer up, it is I, be not afraid". And we read there was a sudden calm, calm perhaps not of the lashing waves but of the panic in the hearts of the disciples once they knew Jesus was with them in a cheerful confident mood. And this is always what happens when we realise we have a trusted and confident companion with us.

Robert Louis Stevenson's grandfather was a lighthouse builder, and he tells a story of how once his father and grandfather were working on the lighthouse on the Bell Rock, a fierce storm sprang up and their boat was being dashed about by great waves. They feared it would be dashed to pieces against the rocks, or torn from its anchor and carried out to sea. Those in the cabin were in a state of despair until one of them looked out and saw something that brought them complete deliverance from their fears. They saw the face of the mate lashed with cords to the rigging and he was smiling.

I recall one misty Guy Fawkes night a few years ago, taking off from Thorney Island in an Anson plane, with a Sergeant Pilot and two R.A.F. student navigators. Over Manchester one of the navigators called the pilots attention to a blob of oil on the starboard engine. I noted that this led the pilot immediately to set his course for home. I began to worry about what might happen if the oil became ignited and the plane burst into flames, or if the oil ran dry in the sump and the engine gave out. With my worries I had the co-pilot's seat but the bushy moustached Sergeant Pilot kept me engaged in cheerful conversation over the intercom. He knew what was happening and was cheerful and confident which calmed the storm in my mind and heart.

It was something like that that brought calm to the hearts of the disciples. When they realised their Master was with them telling them to cheer up, their panic and terror was dispelled. And that is what confident cheerful human friends can mean for us and do for us.

One other "cheer up" from Jesus I wish to mention. It was spoken in the Upper Room within minutes of the time that Judas betrayed him with a kiss - the Master's "cheer up" when faced with hate and malice.

By now Jesus knew his enemies were going to break him, that malice and false evidence would hound him to the judgment hall and to a cruel death. And his last words to his eleven disciples were: "In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world".

What did Jesus mean by saying: "Cheer up, I have overcome the world?" It meant he had come to terms with the worst that was going to happen to him and had come to see himself not as the victim of man's evil purposes but the victor. By now he could see that out of all that would happen to him the world would have the Gospel of the Cross and the Resurrection - that the Cross was not going to be defeat but victory.

It is inspiring (to consider what men and women or faith have made of the worst that can happen to them when they come to accept the inevitable, as Jesus did in the Upper Room when he said: "Cheer up, I have overcome the world". Illness, dreaded disease, disappointments and bereavements come to men and women - and leave us either despairing and embittered, or like Jesus, victorious by coming to terms with the inevitable. Take as an example, Captain R. F. Scott and his companions caught in a blizzard on that historic return from the South Pole. In a letter to his friend Sir James Barrie, he writes: "We are in a desperate state, feet frozen, no fuel, and long way from food, but it would do you good to be in our tent, to hear our songs and cheery conversation". Later, "We are very near the end, but have not and will not lose our good cheer. I am not at all afraid of the end, but am sorry to miss many a humble pleasure".

That is what we can do when things happen to us that we can do nothing to avoid, do what Jesus did with his suffering on the Cross - what Captain Scott and Dr. Edward Wilson did when they were trapped in the Arctic wastes - live through it all with good cheer, and inspire a like cheer in others who like us have to walk the sorrowful way.

"Cheer up", said Jesus and He expects his followers to be examples of good cheer; to be channels of good cheer into the lives of others.

Robert Louis Stevenson used to say that for Christian man or woman to go about gloomy and doleful is a sin that should be confessed with deepest penitence to Almighty God. Because gloom is contagious, just as good cheer is contagious. And it is a fact that the Christian man or woman who cultivates good cheer is daily selling their religion 'to all they meet. While getting the best out of life for themselves they are making life easier for all around them. Let us pray: "Grant to us, Lord, the royalty of inward happiness and the serenity which comes from living close to Thee. Daily renew in us the sense of joy and let Thy Spirit dwell in our hearts that we may bear about with us the infection of a good courage and meet life's ills and accidents with gallant and high-hearted happiness, giving Thee thanks always for all things, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Dear Fellow-Member,

With the retirement of Mr. James Pattie as Rector of Langholm Academy, I would like to say how much we have appreciated the part Mr. and Mrs. Pattie have played in the life of the Old Parish Church. am glad that meantime Mr. Pattie is to remain one of our elders. Mrs. Pattie has taken an active interest in the work of the Eskdale Old People's Welfare Committee in helping to arrange outings and parties for our senior citizens and I here express warm thanks to her. The new Rector, Mr. Blamire has taken over, and we express our warmest good wishes that he and his wife will have very happy days in Langholm.

Events in July and August

From 3rd to 10th July, I attend the A.T.C. Annual Camp, this year at the R.A.F. Station at Cottismore in County Rutland. During the week I served as chaplain to three squadrons, one from Annan commanded by Mr. John Brotherston and one from Kirkcudbrightshire and one from Newton Stewart. The lads attending enjoyed a very active week. On the Sunday morning we held a parade Service in a local church and in the afternoon visited the Shuttleworth Trust aircraft museum. All the lads enjoyed a flight in an Argosy aircraft, and were taken on visits to Wittering and North Luffenham R.A.F. Stations and given some insight into the technical operations of Canberra and Harrier aircraft. On the Sunday I was absent from my pulpit, my services here were conducted by Mr. Harold Phillips, M.A., from Dumfries and his messages were greatly appreciated.

The United Common Riding Service on Sunday, 25th July, attended by Cornet Robert Nixon, with his Right and Left Hand Men, Neill Davidson and William Laidlaw, the Common Riding Committee and the Provost and members of Langholm Town Council, was again well supported and a source of great interest and pleasure. Robin Nixon was blessed with perfect weather for the Common Riding on Friday, 30th July, and maintained the highest traditions in the fulfilment of his duties. On Sunday afternoon of 25th July, I had the pleasure of taking him round Greenbank Eventide Home and the Thomas Hope Hospital, and was deeply moved by the delight his visit to the hospital brought to his grandmother Mrs. Irving.

Holiday at Kyle of Lochalsh

This is probably the first real holiday I have taken in the past 11 years. I have gone away on visits to R.A.F. Stations on chaplaincy duty, and on various courses, but the week at Kyle of Lochalsh was a real holiday with my family, which we greatly enjoyed. It was interesting to spend a Sunday in Kyle of Lochalsh of the real old Scottish Sabbath kind, not a shop open and real fulfilment of the old Jewish meaning of Sabbath, "stop doing what you are doing". Visits to Skye and the surrounding district kept us full of interesting activity during the week. lt is interesting that the average number of communicant members of Skye and district is under 40 with the exception of Portree with 158 members. The reason is that large numbers of the people remain adherents of the Church throughout their lives, never feeling worthy of taking the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

Boys' Brigade Visit to Switzerland

On Sunday morning, 1st August, the 1st Langholm Company of the Boys' Brigade left Langholm for a twelve days visit to Montreux. The party consisted of 34 boys and officers. They were accommodated in a Youth Hostel on the shore of Lake Geneva, and spent an exciting week of activity which has been well reported in the local press. All attending agree it was a holiday never to be forgotten and special thanks are expressed to the generous support of the Langholm people given to the Mothers' Committee over the past two years, helping the Company to finance the visit to Switzerland.

Church Services

I would like to congratulate Robert Hart on standing in as preacher in an emergency. Our elder Mr. J. MacIntosh was to conduct the services in Hutton and Corrie and Eskdalemuir on Sunday, 29th August and when he found himself unable to keep the appointment, at a day s notice Robert Hart undertook the duties. Ian Roebuck accompanied him providing transport and from what I hear Robert's sermon based upon his hero Scottish International athlete, Eric Liddle, made a great impression upon the congregations.

And here I would like also to congratulate Mrs. Gladys Roebuck of 17 Braehead upon her services fortnightly in playing the organ for our short Services in Greenbank and the Thomas Hope Hospital.

The early morning Half-hour Services have been well supported throughout the Summer and will continue until the end of October. The Evening Services commence on Sunday, 3rd October. On Sunday, 19th September we observe thanksgiving for the victory of the Battle of Britain. The Harvest Thanksgiving Services will be on Sunday, 10th October.

Classes for First Communicants

The classes for first communicants are for young people wishing to become members of the Church. They commence on Sunday, 19th September, at 7 p.m. in the vestry. The Sunday School began the new session on Sunday, 5th September, with a good attendance. I am anxious to have offers of help for the teacher staff of the Sunday School and will be glad to hear of anyone prepared to consider helping in this most important and rewarding work. The Woman's Guild commences the new session on Tuesday, 28th September, full details given under the heading Woman's Guild.

Sympathy with the Bereaved

On 18th July, Mrs. Jane Taylor Corrie, of Skippers Bridge Cottage, passed away in the Thomas Hope Hospital at the age of 80 years. Jane Corrie was a lady of gracious character. During her last years of growing weakness she enjoyed the constant care of her husband David Corrie and her sons George and William and their families. Our sympathy with them in bereavement.

On 29th July, William Reid Lunn passed away at Sunnybank at the age of 73 years, after a brief illness. William Lunn had a large circle of friends and was well known and loved in Langholm, Hawick and Denholm. He was a delightful personality and a man who did much to help others, especially the old people without it being known. Our deepest sympathy with his widow Charlotte Borthwick Lunn and with Hilda and Tom in their sudden and sad bereavement.

On 31st July, John Hotson, 15 John Street, passed away at the age of 79. After serving in the K.O.S.B. in World War I, John Hotson spent his working life in Langholm, where he took a keen interest in its social events. Our sincere sympathy with his widow Margaret Irving Hotson and his son William and his daughter Hannah.

On 6th August, Robert Armstrong Black, 35 Eskdaill Street, passed suddenly away at the age of 74. His sudden passing is a great loss to the Old Parish Church which he has served with great devotion throughout his life. For many years he served as Treasurer, and latterly as Roll Keeper. He was ordained an elder by the Rev. William Lindsay, on 17th of April, 1927 and for the past 44 years has missed few Sunday Services. He took an especial pride in a well ordered Communion Service and in making the Church beautiful. lit was on his suggestion that the lovely red carpets were gifted to our Church by the late George McVittie. Robert Black will also be sadly missed in the Masonic Lodge in which he served as Treasurer. We thank God for his true and faithful servant and express our deep sympathy with his family, William and John, and his sister Mrs. Margaret Cowan.

On 20th August, Henry Charles Christopher Flint, 15 Kirkwynd, passed away in the Cumberland Infirmary at the age of 73. Henry Flint served for a time caretaker of the Buccleuch Hall and took a keen interest in the Over 60 Club. He was a man of charming disposition and fine Christian character. Our deepest sympathy with his widow Violet Hall Flint, their son Henry, and other relatives.

With warm greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


The Guild commences the new session on Tuesday, 28th September, when Miss Violet Willis from Annan will be soloist and when Mr. E. C. Armstrong, Town Clerk, will be speaking on the Bi-Centenary of Sir Walter Scott. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 12th October, when Mrs. Macartney from the Manse Hutton, Berwick-on-Tweed, will be the speaker. The Erskine and Congregational Guilds and ladies of All Saints Scottish Episcopal Church are invited as guests on this occasion.


September 12 - 9.30 a.m. Half-hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Jean Armitage, Glowrie, Hillside.

September 19 - 9.30 a.m. Half-hour Service. 11 a.m. Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. W. Smith, 28 Caroline Street.

September 26 - 9.30 a.m. Half-hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. A. Erskine, 35 Eskdaill Street.

October 3 - 9.30 a.m. Half-hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. R. Borthwick, 18 Henry Street.

October 10 - 9.30 a.m. Half-hour Service. 11 a.m. Morning Service. 6 p.m. Evening Service. Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday. Rev. Tom Calvert. Flowers, Mrs. Archie Smith, 44 High Street.


July 11 - Elizabeth Catherine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Anderson, Dun Daidh, Kennet, Newmarket.

July 18 - Robert Edward, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Graham, Chapel of Logan, Canonbie.

July 19 - Chrisfopher William Edward, son of Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Thomas, Meadow View, Newcastleton.

August 1 - Alistair William, son of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Irving, 11 Eskdaill Street.

August 1 - Andrew Kenneth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Beattie, 57 Newark Drive, Corby, Northants.

August 22 - Suzanne, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Corrie, 12 Eskdaill Street.

August 29 - Janet Louise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Irving, Tollbar, Canonbie.

September 5 - Matthew Charles, son of Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Findlay, Langholm Lodge.


July 24 - Alan Sharp, 17 Carliol Drive, Carlisle, to Yvonne Anderson Coltherd, Bruntshielbog.

August 28 - William Wannop, Hollows, Canonbie, to Wilma Hotson, 12 Holmwood Gardens.

September 4 - Christopher Patterson Johnstone, Blackburn, Grantshouse, Duns, to Shiela Cairns Black, 35a Eskdaill Street.


July 18 - Mrs. Jane Corrie, Skippers Cottage. Age 80.

July 29 - William Reid Lunn, Sunnybank. Age 73.

July 31 - John Hotson, 15 John Street. Age 79.

August 6 - Robert A. Black, 35a Eskdaill Street. Age 74.

August 20 - Henry Charles Christopher Flint, 15 Kirkwynd. Age 73.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8. 38/9.


Among the many suggestions for change to come from the Special Commission on Priorities of this year's General Assembly was the recommendation for larger church units in cities and towns. Two experiments have already been announced in Falkirk and Edinburgh.

In the Grahamstown area of Falkirk, four churches including Congregational and Methodist congregations are proposing to unite to form one church. They propose being staffed by three ministers.

In Edinburgh, the churches of Morningside are proposing an "Act of Association" in which six Church of Scotland congregations will follow the lines suggested by the Special Commission. Subject to the approval of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, the Morningside congregations would be associated for the purpose of drawing up a co-ordinated policy to meet the spiritual needs of their parishes in the foreseeable future. Ministers and elders of each church would form a representative Kirk Session. This Session would suggest arrangements for joint services, teacher training programmes, adult Christian Education, parish missions and any matters concerning cooperation between the congregations concerned.


Two new churches and a church educational centre erected by the National Church Extension Committee of the Home Board, will be opened and dedicated in September. On 12th September, the Committee's first multi-purpose church will be opened at St. George's-Tillydrone, Aberdeen. The multi-purpose Church is designed to make the most of the available space for all the church's activities as well as worship.

At Galashiels, the congregation of St. John's church will move into a new church and suite of halls in the Langlee area of the town.


The second church within Livingstone New Town Ecumenical Experiment was opened and dedicated on 27th August. Designated St. Paul's, the church has been erected and financed by the Episcopal Church in Scotland and is to be shared by the Church of Scotland, the Congregational Church, and the Methodist Church. Two years ago a church erected by the Church of Scotland was opened and has been used bv the four denominations. The new St. Paul's Church will be used by the Church of Scotland congregation in the Ladywell/Howden area of Livingstone. The dedication of the new church took place in the context of a Communion Service open to all members of any of the four churches.