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Highland man will represent the voice of young people

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The voice of young people in the Church of Scotland is set to be accentuated through the efforts of a Highland athlete from Lochcarron.

Robin Downie, who works at the Strathcarron Hotel, is to serve as Moderator of the National Youth Assembly for 2017-18.

A keen sportsman and rugby fan, he is currently training for the Celtman extreme triathlon, one of the toughest events of its kind in the world.

And, last year, he spent 10 weeks travelling to Taiwan, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Denmark and Iceland.

The member at Applecross Lochcarron, Torridon Church of Scotland said his next move will be to pursue studies in nursing.

His Christian faith led him to spend six-months volunteering for the charity Blythswood Care, after leaving school.

Mr Downie also worked in an orphanage and as an English teacher with the Roma community, in addition to helping run Christian summer camps in Bulgaria, Taiwan, Romania and Scotland and preaching his first sermon in Bulgaria.

In his role as Youth Moderator, he will chair discussions at the annual National Youth Assembly, which will take place this year at Gartmore House, near Stirling, from July 21 to 24.

During his year in the post Mr Downie will work with a team of youth representatives from all across Scotland to express the views of young people in the church.

The 21-year-old, who has been elected by his peers, will take up the role in July.

He said: “I am delighted about being elected as the next Youth Moderator to represent the Presbytery of Lochcarron-Skye.

“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 Christians from all over the country to discuss God and meet other Christians of their own age.

“I know it will be a challenging year, but it will be an exciting year, and I believe anything is possible when you work with God.”

Mr Downie added he would actively discuss the plight of refugees, given the fact he spent a few days last summer working with such a group in Greece.

He added: “I’m also looking forward to leading the discussions of Interfaith, Priorities of the Church and Year of the Young Person.

“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.”

Mr Downie will represent the NYA at a variety of events and encourage young people to take an active role in the National Councils and Committees of the Church.

He has attended the last two youth and general assemblies and represented the Church of Scotland in Taiwan where he met and worked with Christians from all over the world.

He said: “I am looking forward to meeting more people in the church, and working together for the glory of God.”

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