New minister for Portlethen Church

Rev Rodolphe Blanchard-Kowal will serve at the church for three years
Rev Rodolphe Blanchard-Kowal will serve at the church for three years

A former professional musician has been inducted as the minister of an Aberdeenshire church.

Rev Rodolphe Blanchard-Kowal, who is French, will serve at Portlethen Parish Church for three years.

The post was arranged through the Ministries Council and the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland, which is partnered with his denomination, the United Protestant Church of France.

Mr Blanchard-Kowal, who was ordained as a minister six years ago, is no stranger to the north-east.

The 44-year-old, who is married to Virginie with whom he has three children, spent a month training at St Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen in 2007.

Mr Blanchard-Kowal, who grew up in Paris and led a church in Cognac in the south-west of France, said: “I am very pleased to have been inducted into Portlethen Parish Church.

“I love Scotland and the north-east is a very familiar area so that is why I chose to come here.”

He said his new congregation had given him and his family a very warm welcome since their arrival last month.

“Everyone is very friendly and I am adjusting to different things,” he added. “I come from a country where Protestants are a minority group but here in Scotland, it is the main church for the people.”

He added his wife and children, Paul, 14, Louis, 12, and Zacharie, 3, had fallen in love with Aberdeenshire.

“We enjoy the outdoors, walking in the hills, forests and on the seashore where we have been very lucky to see dolphins.”