Newlyweds Jack and Rachel Malcolm are udderly in love after being married by the Kirk’s first farming minister.

The Reverend Chris Blackshaw, who is based in a livestock mart, performed his first wedding ceremony in his new role.

A retired police sergeant he is one of five Church of Scotland ministers spreading the gospel across the agricultural community.

He was “deeply honoured” to officiate as the couple tied the knot at Norrieston Church in Thornhill near Stirling.

Farming couple say 'I Moo!'
 

Jack, 28, and his 24-year-old fiance Rachel, who line near Dunblane, first met the minister on a farm at Blair Drummond.

The couple, who run agricultural business JRM Contracting Ltd, were impressed with his pastoral work visiting farms.

Rachel said: “The fact Chris is a dedicated minister to the farming community is the main reason we asked him to marry us.

“We took an instant liking to him and thought the help that he offers people in the industry was just so admirable.

“The way he portrayed God and related the two subjects was lovely.

“The role he plays in the community is an important one that’s not recognised enough.”

Rachel, whose in-laws Iain and Sarah Malcolm farm near Callander and Cromlix Estate near Dunblane, said farming can be a “tough industry”.

She said: “Sometimes people just need a kind ear to listen to their worries which is exactly what Chris provides.

“It can make the world of difference to people who are struggling.”

Reverend Blackshaw, 59, said: “I felt deeply honoured to have been asked to marry Jack and Rachel.

“I feel we have a great friendship with them and their family.

“I felt very emotional and a great love for them both during the whole day.

“It was the perfect wedding and we all agreed it was as if we have known each other all our lives.”

Based at Ayr Mart, the reverend regularly meets with farmers, NFU Scotland representatives, and visits agriculture shows.

A farmer’s son himself he draws together people linked to the industry like vets, government agencies, livestock mart staff, those servicing the farming industry and estate workers.

His experience enables him to provide support to those dealing with issues like bereavement, addictions, illness, depression, stress, suicide and isolation.

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