NYA Moderator and Clerk

The National Youth Assembly (NYA) 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 discussions and ensures a safe place is maintained for all delegates to air the views, while ensuring conversations remain productive and pertinent to the key topics.

While the Moderator chairs, the Clerk supports the role, ensuring accurate records of the discussions are made, that through the year they can produce an accurate report of proceedings to present to the General Assembly. There are also plenty of oportunities over the year for both Moderator and Clerk to get involved with church at local, national and international levels.

Each year a young adult is selected to take on the role of NYA Moderator.  The role 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 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.  The current Moderator (2018) is Tamsin Dingwall. Over the last few years Moderators have been 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) and Iain McLarty (2008-2009).

Since 2013 the Clerk has served 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 rather than upfront an opportunity to be involved.  The current Clerk (2018) is Seonaid Knox.  Over the last few years Clerks have been Catriona Munro (2017), Lyndsay Kennedy (2016), Catriona Muckart (2015), John Haston (2014) and Esther Nisbet (2013).

Moderator and Clerk 2018

Tamsin lives in Aberfoyle, and is a youth worker in Callander. Her home church is Aberfoyle Parish Church, where Tamsin volunteered as a youth worker, and as a member of the local high school's chaplaincy team.

Tamsin is passionate about charity work, having completed Sleep in the Park, and - literally - walked across fire to raise funds for Shelter. She is training for the Loch Ness marathon to raise money for Alzheimer's Scotland, a charity close to her heart having watched her dad fall ill with the disease.

In her spare time, you can find Tamsin out 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.

Tamsin says: "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."


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.

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. 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.

Seonaid says: “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.”