The National Youth Assembly is a decision-making platform within the Church of Scotland. It is led by the NYA Moderator and Clerk, both elected by their peers for a one-year term.
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 and 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.
Role of Moderator
Each year a young adult is selected to take on the role of National Youth Assembly Moderator. This involves chairing the discussions that take place at that year's 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 ensures 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.
Dana McQuater began her role as NYA Moderator in August 2019.
Dana, 23, recently raised over £2,000 for MacMillan Cancer Support by shaving her head.
Ms McQuater, who also supports charities such as Clean Up Scotland and Autism Scotland through her role as 'Planet Champion' at her job in a local McDonald's restaurant, described her appointment as 'a shock'.
She said: 'I'm always thankful for the way in which God guides me to the right places and people - those that know me have all helped me develop and gain in confidence over the last few years so that I'm able to accept this post for the next year.
'To the NYA Family, I hope that during this term of moderator I can give back what you have given me and I look forward to all the challenges and celebrations that we will share together.'
The role of Moderator involves chairing the discussions that take place at the NYA, collating a record of the event, producing a report for the General Assembly, representing the Kirk at events, and ensuring the voice of young people is heard throughout the church.
- Tamsin Dingwall 2018
- Robin Downie 2017
- Andrew MacPherson 2016
- Hannah Mary Goodlad 2015
- Rachel Hutcheson 2014
- Lynsey Martin 2013
- Euan Patterson 2012
- Amanda Phillip 2011
- Kim Wood 2010
- Iain McLarty 2008, 2009
Role of Clerk
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.
While primarily a supportive role, the clerk is just as vital to proceedings as the Moderator and offers those whose leadership skills are best utilised behind the scenes an opportunity to be involved.
Hannah Dunlop began her role as NYA Clerk in August 2019.
Hannah, who is from Dalgety Bay where she is also an elder, has attended every youth assembly since she was 18 and says she 'can't wait to get stuck in' as Clerk.
Working to support the Moderator, the Clerk is vital to proceedings and is a key player behind the scenes.
The social psychology student and mobile phone customer consultant said: 'The National Youth Assembly has opened my eyes to all that the Church of Scotland does and this has encouraged and inspired me to get involved in my local congregation.
'I'm looking forward to hearing what the delegates have to say on our discussion topics and then working alongside Dana and the Youth Reps to take these thoughts and ideas forward.'
- Seonaid Knox 2018
- Catriona Munro 2017
- Lyndsay Kennedy 2016
- Catriona Muckart 2015
- John Haston 2014
- Esther Nisbet 2013
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 have its voice heard in the wider community and be seen as politically engaged and active.
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 invited 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.'