THE opening of a unique faith schools’ joint campus in East Renfrewshire has been marked with an opening ceremony.

Bishop John Keenan, of the Diocese of Paisley, and Britain’s Chief Orthodox Rabbi, Epharim Mirvis, joined local councillors and members of the school community for the occasion.

The new campus in Newton Mearns is thought to be first of its kind in the world, opened its doors in August and is now home to two primary schools, St Clare’s Primary and Calderwood Lodge, as well as a non-denominational nursery class.

East Renfrewshire Council created the £17 million school to provide the required increased provision of Catholic education in the area and also to relocate the current Calderwood Lodge from its previous base in Newlands.

An official opening ceremony included a series of religious readings and prayers, and musical performances from pupils.

The council’s Convener of Education and Equalities, Councillor Paul O’Kane, then officially declared the school open with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

Councillor O’Kane said: “It was a huge honour to be part of the official opening ceremony at this state-of-the-art campus which will support fabulous learning experiences for all of its pupils.

“This new £17million facility is part of a wider multi-million pound investment in the council’s school estate which will support us to improve services for our youngest residents in communities right across the area.

“We are privileged to have two excellent Head Teachers driving Calderwood Lodge and St Clare’s forward, and as they settle into their new surroundings this leadership will help foster a wealth of shared experiences which will benefit all.

“It is fantastic that these two schools share their own strong and distinct faiths, but this is coupled with shared values which embrace diversity and reflect the multi-cultural world in which we live. I look forward to seeing the campus develop over the coming years.”

Mhairi Shaw, Director of Education at East Renfrewshire Council, added: “Throughout this innovative project we worked closely with local faith leaders to ensure all religious needs were met when designing and developing the facility.

“Most importantly children, staff and parents were heavily involved in shaping the design.

“We are delighted with the end result, which has not only provided two school communities with state-of-the-art learning facilities, but will also bring these two faiths together and enrich the learning of our pupils through their shared experiences.”