Who's Who

The National Youth Assembly is a decision-making platform within the Church of Scotland and is led by the NYA Moderator and Clerk, both elected by their peers.

The Moderator chairs the Assembly, and ensures a safe place is maintained for all delegates to air their views, while ensuring conversations remain productive and pertinent to the key topics. While the Moderator chairs, the Clerk supports their role, ensuring accurate records of the discussions are made, that through the year they can both produce an accurate report of proceedings to be presented at the General Assembly. There is also plenty of opportunity for the Moderator and Clerk to get involved at local, national and international levels over their term.

NYA Moderator

Role of Moderator

Young people at the National Youth Assembly

Each year a young adult is selected to take on the role of National Youth Assembly Moderator. The 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. Each Moderator takes on the role at an NYA event and holds it for the following year until the next person takes over at the next NYA event.

Current

Derek Browning
Right Rev Dr Derek Browning and Robin Downie

Robin Downie began his role as NYA Moderator in July 2017. Robin is particularly looking forward to leading discussions on refugees, interfaith, priorities of the church, and Year of Young People.

Robin recently moved to Stirling to study nursing having grown up in Lochcarron. Last year he represented the Church of Scotland in Taiwan which he felt was a fantastic experience meeting and working with Christians from all over the world. When Robin left school he spent 6 months volunteering for the charity Blythswood Care, where he worked in an orphanage and, as an English teacher with the Roma community. He has helped run Christian summer camps in Bulgaria, Taiwan, Romania and Scotland and preached his first sermon last year in Bulgaria.

Robin says “I'm delighted about being elected as the next Youth Moderator and represent the presbytery of Lochcarron-Skye. I'm really looking forward to taking on the role and working with the rest of the youth rep team once they have been elected in the summer. I am also looking forward to working with the Clerk Cartriona Munro who I know will do a fantastic job.

The National Youth Assembly is full of great ideas and discussions which I'm excited about discussing with the rest of the church and putting into action. It is such a great event in getting Christian's from all over the country to discuss God and meet other Christians their own age. I know it will be a challenging year, yet an exciting year, and I believe anything is possible when you work with God."

Upcoming

*
Upcoming NYA Moderator Tamsin Dingwall

Tamsin Dingwall will begin her role as NYA Moderator in August 2018.

“I am so honoured and still slightly shocked that I have been chosen to be the youth moderator of the National Youth Assembly this year. This will be only my second year at NYA and I am overjoyed that I will have the privilege of leading the discussions on end of life issues, ecumenism and social media. These are such topical issues and I feel some of the discussions may be rather difficult and emotional; I can't wait to see what people have to say regarding these topics.

"This is such a big honour and I truly hope that I can continue to take full advantage of all the amazing opportunities that the National Youth Assembly has given me. I would like to help other young people new to faith and NYA see what amazing things they can achieve with such an amazingly supportive Church."

From Aberfoyle Parish Church in Stirling, Tamsin volunteers as a youth worker at her own church and a neighbouring church's youth club, and as a member of the local high school’s chaplaincy team, which involves assemblies and running the scripture union club.

Tamsin currently works in her family's Post Office, which is a fantastic opportunity to meet a variety of people from across the globe, share her faith and learn about others. Being from a small community also means that a lot of her work is community based and not necessarily what a regular Post Office would do, however it is a unique opportunity to build relationships with  vulnerable people in the community, which has been incredibly educational and rewarding.

Passionate about charity work, Tamsin recently completed Sleep in the Park and has also (literally) walked across fire to raise money for Shelter. Currently she is training for the Loch Ness marathon to raise money for Alzheimer's Scotland, a charity close to heart after watching her dad fall ill with the disease. Tamsin really hopes to make him proud by completing the marathon and raising money to help combat the awful disease.

During her spare time, Tamsin can be found with her dog, going on walks, runs or even just having a quiet cuddle on the sofa. She also loves to Bible journal and spend time studying the Word.

Past

Former NYA Moderator Andrew MacPherson
  • Andrew MacPherson (2016-2017)
  • Hannah Mary Goodlad (2015-2016)
  • Rachel Hutcheson (2014-2015)
  • Lynsey Martin (2013-2014)
  • Euan Patterson (2012-2013)
  • Amanda Phillip (2011-2012)
  • Kim Wood (2010-2011)
  • Iain McLarty (2008-2010)

NYA Clerk

Role of Clerk

Former NYA Moderator and Clerk, Andrew MacPherson and Lyndsay Kennedy, with current NYA Moderator and Clerk, Robin Downie and Catriona Munro.

Each year a young adult is selected to take on the role of National Youth Assembly Clerk. This role involves supporting the NYA Moderator, producing reports to be presented at the General Assembly and getting involved in the Church at local, national and international levels.

Since 2013 another person has been selected to take on the role of clerk serving alongside the Moderator. 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 - an opportunity to be involved.

Current

Current NYA Clerk Catriona Munro

With ministers and church organists running in the family, it’s no surprise Catriona has grown up in the church. Baptised and brought up in Sandyford Church (now Martyr’s Sandyford) in Paisley, Catriona is now a member of St. Columba’s in her adopted home town of Stirling. Involved in the Education and Learning Group, leading the Bible Class and chair of the Eco Team, the church has now become a large part of her life.

In 2015 she was offered a place as youth rep for Stirling presbytery at the General Assembly, where she discovered National Youth Assembly. She has been to both assemblies since, been a youth rep twice and is extremely looking forward to serving this year as clerk. Away from the church, Catriona works in the greeting card industry as a merchandiser across several stores in the Stirling area. She enjoys creative writing and never leaves the house without a book.

Catriona says “It is a period of change for the church. With the future uncertain, there is huge scope for new opportunities, new ideas and new perspectives. I like to welcome change, the challenges change can bring and the rewards it can reap; and I am particularly looking forward to exploring this period of change within this role. I know Robin will be excellent in his role as moderator, and I’m greatly looking forward to working with him and our team of youth reps through the year. NYA is such an important opportunity for young people in the church to engage with one another and with the church in the wider sense. I would hope to see NYA continue to bring young adults together in in faith and fellowship to make a positive impact on the church today.”

Upcoming

Upcoming NYA Clerk Seonaid Knox

Seonaid Knox will begin her role as NYA Clerk in August 2018.

“Over the past 10 years I’ve gone from someone who has doubted their faith to someone who is fully committed to the Church and its work. I’ve thrown myself into Church life and am looking forward to the next chapter as Clerk of the National Youth Assembly.

“I’m not afraid of hard work and recognise that it won’t always be plain sailing, but that’s what makes the future exciting. The National Youth Assembly – and Church of Scotland as a whole – are forward-thinking, progressive entities that I’m thrilled to be a part of. NYA might be preparing to undergo future reform but I still hope and believe that, regardless of what form it takes on, it can be a beacon for the Church and act as a platform for young people to grow in their faith.

“As NYA Clerk I seek to balance open-mindedness with conscientious judgement, ensuring that I remain open to new ideas and perspectives but still rooted in my faith to continue the amazing work of those who have held this position before me.”

Baptised and brought up in St John’s Church in Gourock, Seonaid has grown up in the church following the passion and commitment of her mum who was recently ordained as a minister and took up her first charge at Inchinnan Parish Church in February 2017.

Her involvement in church life has included being a youth group leader, taking part in St John’s annual week-long summer holiday club, singing in their praise band, and now serving as an elder on the kirk session. She first attended National Youth Assembly at 16, and now at the age of 23 has only missed one Assembly since. As well as being a delegate, Seonaid has been a small group leader and been involved in the media team at NYA, and has been nominated as a youth rep twice – leading her to attend the General Assembly in 2013 on behalf of NYA.BBAs Seonaid nears the end of her NYA journey she is excited to serve this year as Clerk and continue to represent the Assembly in a new way.

Away from Church, Seonaid works as a researcher for a Member of the Scottish Parliament. She enjoys reading, trying new vegetarian restaurants and plays rugby for Greenock Wanderers RFC.

Past

Former NYA Clerk Lyndsay Kennedy
  • Lyndsay Kennedy (2016-2017)
  • Catriona Muckart (2015-2016)
  • John Haston (2014-2015)
  • Esther Nisbet (2013-2014)

NYA Youth Reps

Each year 18 people are selected from attendees at the NYA to serve alongside the Moderator and Clerk as youth reps. Their role is to continue the work discussed at the assembly, represent the NYA at presbytery meetings, Guild groups, churches and youth groups, and to encourage more young people to get involved. Nine of these youth reps are chosen to represent the NYA at the General Assembly, alongside the Moderator.

Youth Representatives 2017

The youth reps for 2017 are Blythe Rodger, Chris Fett-Worsfold, Connor MacFadyen, Emma Vaughan, Esther Nisbet, Euan Robb, Fraser Borland, Gillian Campbell, Grant Petrie, Hannah Dunlop, Jenny Bisset, John Urquhart, Rachel Hunter, Seonaid Knox, Susan MacFarlane, Tamsin Dingwall and Tara Shannon.

MSYPs

For the past few years the NYA have had the privilege to be involved with the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP). Every two years two people are elected to serve as MSYPs representing the Church of Scotland. This is a great opportunity for the church to get its voice heard in the wider community and be seen as politically engaged and active.

Members of Scottish Youth Parliament
Our MSYPs - Connor MacFadyen and Rebecca Craig

Our MSYPs for June 2017 – June 2019 are Connor MacFadyen and Rebecca Craig.

"One of our many tasks as Church of Scotland representatives is to communicate the work of the parliament to the young people of the Church. We use social media to conduct polls and gather the opinions of young Christians across the nation, then we take these results to SYP sittings.

"Sittings also take different forms, through our membership of various committees and working groups as well as appearing at SYP , voting on behalf of the young people in the Kirk when it comes to motions and making the voice of the Church of Scotland youth heard throughout debates.

"Our second role is to educate and inform. We have inivted members to ask us questions and enquire; this has helped members understand what we believe in and how the Kirk works. It’s a privilege to know we are taking the voice of our young people into secular society and ensuring that we are heard, especially when it’s often hard to be listened to as a young person."

The National Youth Assembly is a decision-making platform within the Church of Scotland and is led by the NYA Moderator and Clerk, both elected by their peers.

The Moderator chairs the Assembly, and ensures a safe place is maintained for all delegates to air their views, while ensuring conversations remain productive and pertinent to the key topics. While the Moderator chairs, the Clerk supports their role, ensuring accurate records of the discussions are made, that through the year they can both produce an accurate report of proceedings to be presented at the General Assembly. There is also plenty of opportunity for the Moderator and Clerk to get involved at local, national and international levels over their term.