Celebrating the Mearns

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COMMUNITY spirit is the name of the game this month, as the annual Mearns Community Week returns for a seventh year.

The idea – first conceived by the Newton Mearns area committee – is to boost the profiles of clubs, groups and associations in the area, and show that there’s more to East Renfrewshire than meets the eye.

Joint chairs Andy and Aileen Watson have taken over proceedings for 2012, and Aileen told The Extra: “It has been great fun see the real spirit of the community coming out.

It’s sometimes said of Newton Mearns that we’re insular and we don’t mix – but there are tons of organisations out there doing great things and lots happening in our community.

“Almost all Newton Mearns organisations – and some further afield – are involved this year, and we’d love people to come along, meet them and join in”.

The event, running September 8-16, covers everything from computer classes to coffee mornings, drama to treasure hunts.

The launch party takes place at the Avenue, 11am next Saturday (September 8), where foodies may be interested in some feastRen festival cross-overs, including demonstrations from Cook School Scotland.

Weekday events include computer taster sessions at Mearns library, a messy church session courtesy of West Mearns church, photograph workshops, history talks and more.

The following weekend sees community week finish with a bang.

At Broom church, there’s a concert courtesy of music and theatre groups like EROS, East Ren senior jazz band and Stagecoach theatre arts.

Meanwhile, Newton Mearns baptist church have set up a treasure hunt for the technologically-minded, based on the theme of storytelling – encouraging visitors to find and capture pictures of missing pages of a book, before returning (camera phones in hand) to hear the full story.

The church will also close community week, with a theatre-in-the-round performance of the Gospel of Mark, as produced by chair Aileen.

She commented: “A group of 15 actors have one weekend to practice and present the entire book of Mark – I’ve never done anything like it, but it’s an exciting project and I can’t wait to see how it turns out”.

Mearns Community Week also chooses a charity to support, and this year the recipient is the Isobel Mair school, with collections taking place at various events.

For a full programme of events, pick up a brochure at the Avenue, schools, libraries and shops, or visit mearnscommunityweek.org.