Moderator and Clerk of the National Youth Assembly 2014

The National Youth Assembly of the Church of Scotland has appointed Rachel Hutcheson as their next Moderator and John Haston as their next Clerk. They will take up their positions during the opening session of the National Youth Assembly in August 2014 and will serve for a year.

This is the fourth year delegates have had the opportunity to appoint their own Moderator. A group of previous moderators and youth representatives met with the Children and Young People Development Worker to choose who would fill the two positions from a list of applicants.

The role of Moderator involves chairing the discussions which take place at that year’s National Youth Assembly event, collating a record of the event and producing a report for the General Assembly.

Throughout the year the Moderator works with a 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 National Youth Assembly at various events and encourage young people to take an active role in the National Councils and Committees of the Church.

Rachel is 24-years-old and is currently studying for an MA in Education at the University of Aberdeen. She is a member of Old High St. Stephens Church in Inverness where she has worshiped since childhood.

She first became involved with Church of Scotland Youth in 2008 whilst representing the Presbytery of Inverness at the General Assembly. She has now attended four General Assemblies as Inverness’s youth delegate. She has been fortunate to travel with the organisation to The Holy Land, Rome, Poland and The Czech Republic.

Miss Hutcheson said: "I feel honoured to have been invited to be the next Moderator of the National Youth Assembly. The Church of Scotland is going through challenging times so we must take time to reflect on who we are and where we are going.”

“This year we will be exploring how we worship and how we think the Church should be spending its money. We will be investigating how we can do ministry intergenerationally and, finally, how we can support Christians in the Middle East.”

“As we join together to celebrate 20 fabulous years of the National Youth Assembly I hope delegates will feel empowered and strengthened in their faith. My aspiration is to serve the people of the Assembly and our Lord to the best of my ability."

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

John has been involved in the National Youth Assembly since 2012 and will turn 25 during this year’s event. He is an active elder in Abbotsgrange Church in Grangemouth. His life with the church also extends to Falkirk Presbytery as a corresponding Youth Member and he is serving as an assessor elder in Slammannan Parish Church.

Mr Haston said: “I am delighted to have been asked to be the Clerk of the National Youth Assembly and I’m looking forwards to developing the role and working with the Moderator, Rachel – it’s going to be an exciting year!”