Glasgow shuls talk merger

The merger between Glasgow's two largest Orthodox congregations - Newton Mearns and Giffnock and Newlands - has moved a step closer after a well-attended meeting of the shuls' members on Sunday.

More than 350 people were at the open meeting at Giffnock shul to discuss the proposed amalgamation.

Newton Mearns chair Brian Fox said Sunday's forum - which followed a meeting at the end of last year of the shuls' joint committees - demonstrated "overwhelming support for a merger to go ahead. An unofficial show of hands semed very much in favour for the merger to proceed."

A likely option is for the sale of the Giffnock premises

His Giffnock counterpart Nigel Allon was delighted at the turnout, adding: "The feeling was that the merger should go ahead sooner rather than later."

The next stage is for the steering group, featuring members from both congregations, to hold a further meeting within the next few weeks. This will be followed by the congregations holding simultaneous EGMs on the proposal.

Mr Fox believed a likely option for the communities, which are three miles apart, would be the sale of the 1,200-seat Giffnock site and the redevelopment of the Newton Mearns premises.

Giffnock has 800 members, Newton Mearns has 420, with a younger profile and a smaller building.

Last updated: 1:07pm, January 12 2012