Aberdeen minister appointed chaplain to the Queen
Published on 26 July, 2017
A Church of Scotland minister has been formally installed as one of the Queen’s personal chaplains.
Rev George Cowie officially joined her Majesty’s Household as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary at a special service in Aberdeen last night.
The prestigious role dates back to the 15th century and is today largely a ceremonial honour with chaplains taking part in formal state occasions and conducting services at significant national events.
Chaplains are all personally known to the Queen and are people in whom she has placed her trust.
The service was held at South Holburn Church, where Mr Cowie, 53, is the minister.
“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.”
Mr Cowie, grew up in Glasgow and was ordained and inducted to the charge of Auchtertool linked with Kirkcaldy: Linktown in 1991.
He is married to Rev Marian Cowie with whom he has two children, Graeme and Kay, and has served parishes in Aberdeen since 1999.
Mr Cowie is a former Joint Clerk of the Presbytery of Aberdeen and was acting Depute Clerk for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 2014 and 2015.
He is currently the convener of the Church of Scotland’s Legal Questions Committee.
Her Majesty's Household
There are 10 Chaplains to the Queen in Scotland, who hold office until the age of 70.
The Church of Scotland has two domestic Royal Chaplains, the ministers of Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh and Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.
The Chaplains, along with a physician, a surgeon, an apothecary, a sculptor, an astronomer, an historiographer and some others form part of Her Majesty's Household in Scotland.
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.”
Other members of the Chapel Royal including Professor David Fergusson, principal of New College at Edinburgh University, Rev Susan Brown of Dornoch Cathedral, and Rev Ken Mackenzie, minister of Braemar and Crathie Kirk in Aberdeenshire attended the service.
Very Reverend Dr Lorna Hood, Very Reverend Dr John Chalmers, Very Reverend Dr Angus Morrison, all former Moderators of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, were also present.
Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, the current Moderator, attended as a guest and took part in the service.