National Youth Assembly Moderator and Clerk chosen

Hannah Mary Goodlad is to be the next Moderator of the NYA and Catriona Muckart will be Clerk.

The Church of Scotland's National Youth Assembly (NYA) has appointed Hannah Mary Goodlad as its next Moderator and Catriona Muckart as its next Clerk.

They will take up their positions during the opening session of NYA 2015 in August and will serve for a year.

Hannah Mary, from Shetland, said: "I feel honoured and privileged to have been elected to serve as the moderator of the NYA.

"I am excited and full of hope for my year as youth moderator. I am blessed to have a wonderful team and clerk by my side for support and cannot wait to get started.

"It will be a year filled with challenges as our Kirk continues to change, but I know it will be a year of wonderful opportunity and growth in many ways for our Kirk and Church Of Scotland Youth too.

"Growing up in a small community right on the edge of Scotland gave me a hunger for the inclusion for those who feel marginalised for whatever reason: geographically or indeed socially.

"My aim is to be an approachable and accessible leader for the young folk already within our Kirk but I also want to also reach out to the young people across the breadth of Scotland who want a connection with the Kirk, at whatever level that may be.

"I am passionate about the Church of Scotland, passionate about the never ending good works of our Kirk and I am passionate about Christ. It is my desire to see the position of young people within the Church of Scotland grow. We are an accepting, open group of young Christians with our love of Christ and one another underpinning everything we do.

"It's my prayer that our voice is heard and that the Kirk and indeed Scotland listen and act accordingly."

Hannah Mary lives and works in Aberdeen as a Geologist for an oil company. Originally from Shetland she is someone with the outdoors in her heart and when not working she can usually be found on her bike or exploring the beautiful Scottish wilderness.

She left Shetland at 18 to study geology at Glasgow University for four years, after this she went further south still, to study at Imperial College, London.

Throughout her life Hannah Mary has been involved with the life and work of the Church of Scotland. From teaching in various Sunday schools, leading youth groups to mentoring, most of her roles have involved working with children or young people.

Other activities of hers have included helping in a Church of Scotland homeless shelter in the centre of London, traveling through her church to Tanzania to teach in a deaf school and more recently, representing the church as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. Hannah Mary is passionate about her church and the vital role that it plays within communities across Scotland.

This is the fifth year that delegates have had the opportunity to appoint their own moderator.

A group of previous moderators and NYA youth reps met with the Children and Young People Development Worker for the Church of Scotland to choose the future moderator and clerk from a list of six nominees.

The moderator role involves chairing the discussions that take place at that years NYA event, collating a record of the event and producing a report for the General Assembly.

Throughout the year the moderator works with the team of youth reps to explore how the discussions will be followed up and the voice of young people can be heard throughout the year.

They also represent the NYA at various events and encourage young people to take an active role in the National Councils and Committees of the Church.

While primarily a supportive role, the clerk is just as vital to proceedings and offers those whose leadership skills are best utilised behind the scenes, rather than upfront, an opportunity to be involved.

Catriona, from Clashmore in the Highlands, said "I'm very humbled to have been selected as the next clerk of the NYA and am excited about what the role will bring. I'm looking forward to working with the Moderator, Hannah Mary Goodlad, and the rest of the NYA during my year as clerk and journeying with them in faith."

Catriona is currently in her third year of studying Sociology and Criminology at the University of Stirling. She is a member of Dornoch Cathedral which she enjoys attending while at home.

During term-time keeps the cathedral theme going at Dunblane, and is currently enjoying 'church-hopping' evening services in the local area with a friend. She is enthusiastic about ecumenism and likes visiting other denominations. In her spare time she enjoys Kayaking, although perhaps with more enthusiasm than skill.

She has attended three National Youth Assemblies and said through them found support, renewal and friends for life. They have been invaluable to her faith journey.

Through COSY she applied to attend the Sabeel Global Young adult conference in Bethlehem which was an unforgettable experience and one which will stay with her for life.

For the last two years she has attended the General Assembly, first representing Sutherland Presbytery as a Presbytery rep and then representing the NYA as a youth rep.

She valued the experience to see how the church operates on a national level and both her weeks at the General Assembly have been wonderful, challenging and filled with fellowship.