Cumbernauld man is chosen to become chaplain to the Queen

Reverend Professor John SwintonReverend Professor John Swinton
Reverend Professor John Swinton
A Cumbernauld man who became an eminent theologian and Church of Scotland minister has been appointed to the role of Queen’s Chaplain after being personally selected by the Monarch herself.

Reverend Professor John Swinton, who is originally from Seafar, is the current Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen,

He has a background in nursing and continues to do research within the area of theology and healthcare.

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Professor Swinton will become one of 10 Royal Chaplains in Scotland, a role which dates back to the 15th century.

Professor Swinton, who is a former pupil of Seafar Primary and Cumbernauld Academy, but has been in Aberdeen since 1972, said: “It is a tremendous honour to be invited to take up this role. Historically the Chapel Royal was a body of priests and singers that travelled with the monarch. Amongst other things in life I am a singer and a songwriter and maybe I should revive that aspect of the role.

“But joking aside, I am very much looking forward to representing God and the Church in this way. In these difficult times the role of chaplaincy and ministry is vital, and it will be a pleasure to be a part of this aspect of God’s work.”

The foundation for much of Professor Swinton’s research and teaching has emerged from his background in nursing, ministry and healthcare chaplaincy. He worked as a nurse for sixteen years initially within the field of mental health and latterly within the area of learning disabilities.

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Professor Swinton shares his expertise as he sits on the disabilities sub-group of the Church of Scotland’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group which aims to celebrate the diversity of all God’s people and to make the Church more accessible. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital chaplain, latterly as a community mental health chaplain.

Very Rev Professor David Fergusson, Dean of the Chapel Royal in Scotland, said: “The Queen's appointment of Professor John Swinton to the Chapel Royal is a cause for celebration. One of the leading pastoral theologians in the world today, he has offered distinguished service to the Church and the university. News of John's appointment will be greeted with much delight in Aberdeen and beyond.”

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