MEARNS Kirk celebrates its 200th anniversary next year — but the party starts next week with the first bicentenary event.
The Newton Mearns church is opening its doors for a school art competition and historical exhibition, in the hope of engaging residents with a wealth of community history and finding a new logo for next year.
Five schools — Mearns, Crookfur, St Cadoc’s and Kirkhill primaries and Mearns Castle high school — have been hard at work creating images of the church, past and present, and celebratory emblems.
All 300 entries will be on display at an event on the evening of Friday, May 18.
Kirk elder Gordon Wilson told The Extra: “We have a number of events planned for 2013 — pantomimes, a celebration party, concerts held by local choirs and an updated history book.
“We’re also planning to spend some money on the church — to make it fit for purpose for a few years to come”.
He continued: “We want to make the church more of a community interest, rather than just a congregation.
“This competition is an opportunity to increase interest in the building among the children and their parents”.
The three judges — Alistair Auld, former director of Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries, Janet Forry, head of visual arts at East Ren council, and Mearns Kirk minister, reverend Joe Kavanagh — will hand out prizes to the winners at 8pm on the Friday evening.
Gordon has also organised a history exhibition to run alongside the art competition, featuring 75 photographs of the community then and now, as well as former ministers and elder groups.
Both the art and history exhibitions will be open May 18-20, 7-9pm on the Friday and 11am-3pm Saturday and Sunday. Entry is free of charge, although donations for the charities mentioned will be gratefully received.