Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.33                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       September, 1963.

LANGHOLM OLD PARISH CHURCHchurchFounded 1703, present Church built 1846

N0.33. Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY - September, 1963.

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

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Clerk's Office, 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.

Choir Leader: Mr. ALFRED CHAPMAN, Meikledale Lodge, Ewes

Church Officer: Mr ARCHIE SMITH, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

Letter from the Minister

Dear Fellow-Member,

At the time of writing the last Parish Magazine Letter in July, I was about to leave for a week to attend the annual camp of the Air Training Corps at Leuchars R.A.F. Station. During the week I served as Hon. Chaplain, to the Station and conducted a parade Service in Leuchars, St. Athernase Parish Church on the Sunday morning. It was an interesting gathering of lads from many parts of Scotland, with their Officers who were mostly young men taking part in the Service. Each evening we had a short Service of a few minutes talk and evening prayers as 9 p.m. During the day I was able to join with the cadets in their lectures on flying and aircraft maintenance, and also in actual flying. It was a very heart warming experience for me for two reasons. It took me back to the kind of life I lived for some ten years as an Army Chaplain, and secondly our camp was so close to the ancient and delightful city of St. Andrews, where I attended St. Mary's College for my Divinity course over thirty years ago. I was able to meet with one of my old professors. Professor Baxter, whose Church History class I attended for three years. He was tremendously interested in hearing I was now minister of Langholm Old Church, as his family belong to this very district and he was most familiar with the ancient history of the old Wauchope parish. One of the special favours granted me by the Commander of the R.A.F. Station was a flight by helicopter. Another delight was to meet with Mrs. Goodfellow and her daughters in the R.A.F. Station during the week, who spotted my red Mini Minor as I was about to go on some duty. The thing that impressed me most in the camp was the grand work that is being done by so many people who serve as Officers and leaders in youth organisations, who are prepared to give up their personal holidays to share their influence with lads who are in need of leadership and friendship.

Langholm Common Riding

Since coming to Langholm we have greatly enjoyed witnessing the annual Common Riding and I personally greatly enjoy sharing in the events and parties leading to it. Once again we were favoured with good weather and felt proud of Cornet George Ellwood, William Harkness, his righthand man, and George McVittie his left-hand man, in the smart performance of their duties. Provost J. Grieve played his part with the dignity and good grace that is characteristic of all he does in Langholm, and John Elliot probably surpassed himself this year as Faircrier. The Kirkin' Of The Cornet on the previous Sunday in our Old Parish Church was well attended, and both Cornet George Ellwood and Ex-Cornet James Maxwell impressed us by the way they read the lessons. I greatly appreciate the generous space the local Press gave to reporting this Service, and I think it is really a wonderful and splendid occasion when a young man chosen by popular vote to act as the leader of this ancient ceremony, first of all attends his Church and dedicates himself to playing his part right nobly.

I hear the Masonic Service in the evening of that day was well attended and that my colleague The Revd Dr. Dinwoodie conducted a most impressive Service. I had the happy experience that evening of conducting the Erskine Service, which was also very well attended.

Boys' Brigade Continental Holiday

On the Monday following the Common Riding 21 Officers and boys, together with a few friends, began their journey to Holland. The first day of this trip was spent sight-seeing in London, and among the places visited were Westminster Abbey. St. Paul's Cathedral and The Tower of London. On arriving at Ostend, the party moved off on 150-mile journey through Belgium and across the frontier into Holland, and on to their destination. Oisterwijk. During their stay in Holland the party visited the British War Cemetery near Arnhem and were impressed at the beautiful way it is kept by the Dutch people. The party returned home greatly impressed with the kindness and hospitality of the people of Holland. Mr. Robertson, the Capt. of the lst Langholm Company, and his fellow officers are to be congratulated on organising and carrying through this trip, which is the sort of thing young people in this country need in these days. It helps young people to realise that the people living on the continent of Europe are not very different from ourselves, except that they speak a different language, and drive their cars on the opposite side of the road.

In addition to the Continental trip, a few of the boys unable to attend the overseas party, held a small camp at Spittal under the leadership of Lieut R. Johnstone. This was a very happy camp on familiar grounds and parents visited the boys on the Wednesday

August Services

During August we have continued the growing practice of United Services, and from all I hear the attendances have been encouraging. I feel somewhat disturbed to hear that at least on one of the Sundays when there were no Services in the Old Parish, a few cars and a number of people turned up for the Morning Service and found a locked door. This can happen with people who do not see the local press or our Church Magazine, and I think the answer for future occasions will be to have a clear notice in the Church board at the entrance gates. During August I have been taking a busmans-holiday, preaching each Sunday in some other Church in the South of Scotland. The Churches in which I conducted united Services were Selkirk, Kelso. St. Michael's, Edinburgh and Duns. It does a preacher a lot of good to get around and see how other Churches are doing. and the thing that impressed me most was that while the attendances in the Langholm Old Church may leave much to be desired, we are getting a much better response than most other Churches. This of course does not apply to City Churches where the local population is out of all proportion.

In September I am enrolled to attend a special course for ministers to be held from 16th to 20th September in Carberry Tower, Musselburgh, and Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh, The course is designed to help ministers to have a better understanding of the problems of youth, and on the need of new techniques in communication with young people. This kind of course has a lot of advantages. particularly that it brings a number of ministers together for a few days when they can hear from each other of ways and means of making a religious approach to the masses of young people who are today completely outside the influence of any form of organised religion.

Sympathy with Our bereaved friends

At the time of writing the last magazine letter we were all very anxious for Mrs. Margaret Armstrong. She had been admitted to Carlisle Royal Infirmary after an unfortunate accident. After making a valiant effort for recovery. Mrs. Armstrong passed away on 11th July. She was one of the best known and dearly loved people of the town. She was living a very happy life in West Street, so near to Matthew and Mary—her devoted son and daughter-in-law, who were just wonderful in the care of her. Mrs. Armstrong loved her Church and supported it most generously. I recall her coming to me at the close of the Garden Pete in the Buccleuch Park in June and handing me £5 for the funds. I remarked I knew she had already given a lot to the effort, Her reply was, "We cannot give too much to our Church". I have enjoyed many a visit to her home, her conversation was always touched with kindly humour and this happy way of speaking and thinking and looking remained with her right to the very end. Our deepest sympathy with her son Matthew and his wife Mary who have mourned this passing most keenly.

Another very well known member of the Old Parish passed away in early August—in Mrs. Helen Calvert For many years since their retirement from Glasgow to their home town of Langholm, both Mr. and Mrs. John Calvert have been most regular in attendance. and the most loyal supporters of the Old Parish Church. Mrs. Calvert was for a time President of the Women's Guild and always a keen worker in the Guild. Her illness came suddenly, and it was fortunate that her son Ross and his wife were free to come up for the last two weeks of her time here. She passed away in Carlisle City General Hospital, after much devoted nursing first in her home and later in hospital. Our sincere sympathy with John Calvert and his two sons in their loss and sorrow.

Miss Janet Ballantyne, who passed away in Ayr in July, was well known by many people in Langholm where she had many relatives. Her passing came very suddenly, and she is deeply mourned by her sister Mrs. Hannah Bethune with whom she lived in Ayr. Our heart felt sympathy to Mrs. Bethune and other relatives.

Just a reference to the passing of Mrs. Helen Young in the Hope Hospital at the age of 84, Mrs. Young belonged to the Erskine Church but I mention her name as one who served every good cause in Langholm and was the chief promoter of the annual collection for the Scottish National Bible Society.

With warm greetings to all our people,

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT. Minister.

Treasurer's Report

Annual Envelopes £2 0 0

Donations to Roof Repair Fund £25 6 4

Total Donations to Roof Repair Fund £1240

By Deed of Covenant £60 0 0

Special Services and Meetings in September

Thursday, l2th September the Kirk Session meets at 7-30 p.m.

Sunday, 15th September Observe thanksgiving for Battle of Britain at the 11 a.m. Service. Observe Overseas Missions Sunday at the 6 p.m. Evening Service.

Thursday, 26th September the Congregational Board meets in the vestry at 7-30 p.m.

Church Choir

The Church Choir will resume weekly practices after the Evening Service on Sundays commencing Sunday, 8th September. We would like to attempt producing a special Christmas musical Service, and the minister appeals to all who can help, young and old, to come and give this effort of building up the choir a real chance of success.

Church Calendar

Sunday, 8th September— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers. Mrs. D. I. Anderson, 65 Caroline Street.

Sunday, 15th September— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers. Mrs. Dalziel, 16 Braehead Sunday,

22nd September— 11a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. FIowers_ Mrs. E. Armitage, Glowrie Hillside.

Sunday, 29th September— 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers. Mrs. D. Milligan. 5 Buccleuch Square.

Sunday, 6th October — 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Revd. Tom Calvert. Flowers. Mrs. A. Erskine, 35 Eskdaill St.


July 11th— Rosemary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Henderson. The Lodge, Irving House.

August 4th— Douglas Allan, son of Mr. and Mrs. James A. A. Pattie, Stevenage.

September 1st— Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Armitage, Glowrie, Hillside.


August 7th— John Liddell, Upper Caufield Cottage to Agnes Kinna Iredale.

In Memoriam

July l3th— Funeral Service of Margaret Douglas Armstrong, age 79. To Stapelgordon.

July 25th — Funeral of Miss Janet Ballantyne, age 55. To Langholm Cemetery.

August 9th— Funeral of Mrs. Helen Calvert, to Langholm Cemetery, age 73.

"I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish. neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand". John l0. 28.

A Motto Text and Message for September

"Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own." Matt. 6. 34. N.E.B.

Jesus, in speaking these words over nineteen hundred years ago, could see that the people around Him were ruining their health and chance of happiness by worry. And while there have been mighty changes since those far off days of Jesus in Palestine, I do not think that people have changed much in this respect. Vast numbers of people are victims of constant worry. I have known quite a few people to worry themselves into their graves. A well known psychologist said some time ago that "it is not hard work that causes breakdown in health but worry". And I believe that is near the truth.

A few suggestions on how to get at the root of this problem of worry.

Don't allow past failures or unhappy memories to cloud present days

Recall St. Paul's words in his Epistle to the Philippians. "Forgetting those things which are behind. and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press on toward the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus". Paul had plenty to worry about in his past life for he had spent years as a persecutor of the followers of Jesus, and had been consenting to the stoning of Stephen the first Christian martyr. But Paul after becoming a Christian could see clearly that his life would be no use to God or anyone else if he spent the rest of his days brooding over his early misdoings. And so Paul closed the door upon the past, a door that was never again to be opened. "Forgetting the things which are behind" he turned to that which lay in front of him. And this is very sound philosophy for living, for while the past has much to teach us, and God's intention that our past failings should ruin and hold us down for the rest of our days.

(a) For example, past sins should be forgotten.

King David couldn't forget his past sin. He said. "my sins are ever before me". But David didn`t live in a day of grace as we do, he didn`t know about how our sins can be forgiven through what happened on Calvary. As Mrs. Alexander says in her lovely hymn, Jesus "died that we might be forgiven". The Bible speaks about forgiveness of sins, and it is a very wonderful thing. The Bible says God can "cast our sins behind His back". But before God can forgive us anything in the past, we have to accept His offer of pardon. And having accepted it, we have to forget the past just as God does. But if we go on dwelling upon past sins and failures we make God's forgiveness of no effect.

"He showed me His hands and His wounded side.

And He whispered, it was for thee.

And my burden fell off at the nail-pierced feet.

Of the Stranger of Galilee."

But the burden of past failures and sins will remain with us if after looking to what Jesus did for us on the Cross we go on dwelling every day upon the things that were wrong in our past life.

(b) The same thing applies to past regrets.

We often find people full of burning regrets about the past. If only I hadn't done this or that if only I had married Jane instead of Lucie— if only I had been an engineer or a doctor or a nurse, how different life would have been today. That is how many people ponder every day. Well, no one can tell whether it would have been better or not. At any rate it's no use crying over spilt milk, what is past is past, and like Paul we are best to close the door upon it. We have no right to try and carry past regrets and expect to live good and happy lives.

(c) The same thing is true of past resentments.

For the sake of our mental health learn to give a decent burial to old resentments, and see that the stench of their decay does not poison us any longer. How pitiful to allow old resentments to go on and on and on. Dr Leslie Weatherhead tells in one of his books about Gilbert and Sullivan, two artists whom one would have expected to get on well together. But they had a row about a paltry carpet and never spoke to each other again. And so it is said that Gilbert wrote his words and sent them by post to Sullivan, and Sullivan wrote the music and posted it back to Gilbert. On one occasion they had to take a bow together before a vast audience, and to avoid having to face each other they stood at opposite corners of the stage and bowed outwards. It seems mad to live like that, and yet what a lot of grown up people who profess to be Christian live like that.

(d) And what of past bereavements.

Our dear departed would never want us to cloud our present days by filling them with sad thoughts because of their departure. And we all have a duty to the living which can be impaired by constant mourning. When James Barrie was a lad at home at Kerriemuir, his oldest brother who had been a student in Aberdeen, suddenly died after his graduation. It broke his mother down so badly that she took to bed and refused to be comforted. One day the lad James was going up the stair, and hearing a foot on the stair his mother called out, "is that you?" "No mother" he replied "it`s onlv me." And this wakened his mother to the great mistake of allowing sorrow for a departed one to punish and hurt the living. From that moment his mother was a different person— her sorrow was still with her but she no longer allowed it to come between her and her duties to those who needed her love and help.

(2) In our Motto Text Jesus says we are not to allow anxiety about tomorrow to spoil today.

Having closed the door on the past, we still have to watch that anxieties about tomorrow don't spoil living today. I suppose the greater amount of our worries come from trying to live tomorrow and today on today's strength. But the fact is that God does not give us strength for tomorrow and today at the same time, but just for today as it comes. "As thy day so shall thy strength be." "Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own." The chief reason why we so often find our present days heavy and gloomy is that the cares of our yesterdays and tomorrows are sapping our strength, and consequently making it impossible for us to say with the ancient Psalmist "This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad therein".

Of course I know that we have got to think and plan for tomorrow, but that is a different thing. What Jesus is saying is not, that we are not to think and work for tomorrow, but that we are not to fret about tomorrow. And of course most of our worries about tomorrow are about things which never happen, things which never existed except in our own fevered minds. Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the Scout movement once said, "I have had many troubles in my life. Most of them never happened." Like that story in the Gospels about some faithful women going to the sepulchre on the morning of the Resurrection. They were going to anoint the dead body of their crucified Lord, and as they journeyed along towards the tomb they were worrying all the way about how they would ever be able to roll away the great stone which sealed the tomb. They kept saying to one another "who shall roll us away the stone". But when they came to the tomb they found that the stone had. been rolled away. And so all their worries had been needless. And a lot of our worries about tomorrow are like that, about things that will never happen, about bridges we will never need to cross about stones that have already been rolled away.

I am sure that God intends us to live each day at a time, not yesterday and tomorrow and today altogether, but just today as it comes to us. That is why the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness were given manna for each day as it came. They had to gather it every morning, and if they tried to gather for tomorrow today, they found it didn`t keep but bred worms. At any rate this is our Lord`s secret of true good and happy living, "Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself. Each day has troubles enough of its own".

This was the advice that Madam Curie gave to her family. She professed no religion, but writing to her family New Year greetings, this is what she said. "Let this be for you a year of good health, good humour. and good work, a year in which you will have pleasure in living each day, without waiting for the days to be gone before finding charm in them, and without putting all hope of pleasure in the days to come. The older one gets the more one feels that The Present Must be Enjoyed; it is a precious gift comparable to a state of grace.