Two new Chaplains to the Queen appointed

Two Church of Scotland ministers have been appointed as chaplains to Her Majesty the Queen.

Rev Dr Grant Barclay and Rev Dr Marjory MacLean will formally join her Majesty's Household as Chaplains-in-Ordinary.
Rev Dr Marjory MacLean and Rev Dr Grant Barclay will formally join her Majesty's Household as Chaplains-in-Ordinary.

Rev Dr Grant Barclay and Rev Dr Marjory MacLean will formally join her Majesty's Household as Chaplains-in-Ordinary.

They said it was an "honour" and a "privilege" to be appointed to the prestigious role which dates back to the 15th century.

It is today largely a ceremonial honour with members of the Chapel Royal taking part in formal state occasions and conducting services at significant national events.

Dr Barclay, interim Clerk to the Presbytery of Glasgow, said: "I am honoured to be invited to serve as Chaplain to the Queen in Scotland and am humbled to stand in a tradition of Christian service to the monarch which has continued for nearly 600 years.

"I consider it a privilege to be able to offer Christian ministry to the Queen and Royal Household."

Ordained as an elder in his home church in Armadale in his early twenties, Dr Barclay was minister of St Kentigern's Church, Kilmarnock and then Orchardhill Parish Church in Giffnock in East Renfrewshire.

He was the Moderator of Irvine and Kilmarnock Presbytery in 2010, convened the Council of Assembly from 2012 until 2016 and is currently the convener of the General Assembly's Legal Questions Committee.

As well as holding degrees in law and divinity, Dr Barclay's research explored digital multimedia and Christian Education.

Married to Karen with whom he has three adult children, Katie, Andrew and Kirsten, he lives in Ayrshire and enjoys exploring the area as he is a keen walker.

Dr MacLean, minister at South Ronaldsay and Burray Parish Church in Orkney, is currently one of Lord Wallace's chaplains during his year as Moderator of the General Assembly.

She is also the convener of the Church's Committee on Chaplains to Her Majesty's Forces.

Dr MacLean said: "The service of our national life by the national Church has always been important to me.

"So to be asked to join the Chapel Royal is not only an honour but an opportunity to be useful in a new way.

"It is lovely to have this small new aspect of ministry alongside my parish role."

Dr MacLean moved into her current charge in Orkney in 2020 but is no stranger to the islands as she served as a parish minister in Stromness previously.

Prior to taking up her role in South Ronaldsay and Burray Parish Church, Dr MacLean was the minister of Abernyte linked with Inchture and Kinnaird linked with Longforgan, known as the Carse Churches in Perthshire.

Dr MacLean was the Depute Clerk of the General Assembly from 1996-2010 and served as the acting Principal Clerk in 2002, 2003 and 2009.

She was also a Royal Naval Reserve Chaplain from 2004-17 and was on full-time mobilised service in 2010.

Rev Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, said: "I'm delighted to learn that Her Majesty has appointed Drs Marjory MacLean and Grant Barclay to the Chapel Royal in Scotland.

"Located in different parts of the country, Marjory and Grant will bring extensive experience of ministry and leadership at local, regional and national levels to the work of the Chapel Royal.

"Their wisdom and acumen are widely recognised throughout the church."

There are 10 chaplains to the Queen in Scotland; each normally retiring upon reaching the age of 70.

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.

The Queen is also served by her two domestic Royal Chaplains, the ministers of Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh and Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle.

All chaplains are all personally chosen by the Queen and are people in whom she has placed her trust.

The latest appointments were made following the death of Reverend George Cowie, who will be replaced by the Reverend Dr Marjory Maclean, and the retirement of the Reverend Professor Norman Drummond as a Chaplain-in-Ordinary. He will be replaced by Reverend Dr Grant Barclay.