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Aberdeen minister appointed to senior role serving The Queen

Rev George Cowie, minister of South Holburn Church, Aberdeen, is being formally appointed to her Majesty the Queen's Household as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary. (Picture: Church of Scotland)
Rev George Cowie, minister of South Holburn Church, Aberdeen, is being formally appointed to her Majesty the Queen's Household as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary. (Picture: Church of Scotland)

A veteran Aberdeen minister has been given the royal seal of approval.

Reverend George Cowie was officially appointed this week as one of the Queen’s personal chaplains.

Rev Cowie will now serve as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary following the special service at South Holburn Church, where he serves as minister.

The 53-year-old, who has been in the north-east since 1999, said it was a “special” honour.

“It is a privilege and pleasure to be installed as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the Queen in Scotland,” he said.

“I am very conscious of the history and tradition of the Chapel Royal, which serves as a living reminder that our Queen and her parliaments need to be upheld in prayer.

“For me personally, it is special that this is being marked at South Holburn Church where family, friends and folk from my own congregation have been able to share in the occasion.”

The role, which is largely ceremonial now, dates back to the 15th century and involves taking part in formal state occasions and conducting services at major events.

The Church of Scotland has two domestic Royal Chaplains, the ministers of Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh and Crathie Kirk near Balmoral.

There are 10  chaplains in total who are all personally known to the monarch and will serve until they are aged 70.

Along with a physician, a surgeon, an apothecary, a sculptor, an astronomer and an historiographer they form part of Her Majesty’s Household in Scotland.

Rev Cowie grew up in Glasgow and was ordained and served a parish in Auchtertool, near Kirkcaldy in Fife.

He is married to Rev Marian Cowie with whom he has two children, Graeme and Kay.

A former joint clerk of the Presbytery of Aberdeen, he was acting depute clerk for the General Assembly of the church in 2014 and 2015.

He is currently the convener of the Church of Scotland’s Legal Questions Committee.

Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, attended the service.

He said: “I am truly delighted that The Queen has appointed George Cowie to this trusted role.

“He was a Clerk to the Presbytery of Aberdeen when it was going through a difficult time.

“George’s fairness, integrity and pastoral commitment shone through.

“He is respected throughout the Church and I am delighted to see him recognised and honoured by the Queen.”

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