Governance - Board of Trustees

Donald Forsyth - Chairman


Donald Forsyth


Donald joined the board in May 2018 and assumed the role of Chair in May 2020.  Beyond his role on the board Donald works full-time as a partner in a national accountancy practice.  He is also Chair of Highland & Islands Committee of the Institute of Directors and a non-executive director of a forestry and natural resources business. He is an elder in Dingwall & Strathpeffer Free Church where he plays guitar in the worship band.

In his spare time, Donald enjoys keeping fit, reading, working in his garden and learning to play the piano. 

Contact Details

Email:    [email protected]

Callum MacDonald - Vice Chairman




Callum joined the board in 2014 having previously served as Chairman of the Personnel Committee.

He currently also serves as Chairman of the Free Church Investment Committee and is a Trustee of the Free Church Pension Fund. Treasurer of Urquhart (Ferintosh) and Resolis Free Church in the Black Isle.  

Callum retired from Bank of Scotland Corporate in December 2008 after 40 years working across Stornoway to Aberdeenshire, Caithness to Inverness, not forgetting a spell in Glasgow in the mid 70’s where his two children were born.

Andrew Giffen - Secretary


Andrew Giffen


Andrew took up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Free Church in November 2020. He has a background in both finance and church leadership. Having trained as an accountant, he then studied theology in Vancouver before working in an executive minister role in a large church in Newcastle and then as associate minister of a church in Glasgow. 

Andrew is married with four children and enjoys reading and mountain walking.

Contact Details

Email:    [email protected]

Neil Longwe - Property Trustee




Neil is and Elder at Cumbernauld  Free Church. He joined the Board in 2018 and is now a Property Trustee of the Board. 

Neil worked for ten years as Building Surveyor in the public sector. 

He is now a candidate for the Free Church ministry and is married to his wife Jillian and is father to 1 year old Naomi. 

Interests consist of running; music and films.


Malcolm Maclean - Trustee




Malcolm Maclean joined the Board in 2013. 

He is minister of Greyfriars Free Church in Inverness and his interests include history and travel.


Calum Iain Macleod - Trustee




Calum Iain is originally from Scalpay, Harris.  Prior to entering ministry he was a project manager in cultural tourism on Lewis.  

Calum Iain graduated from ETS in 2003.  He ministered at Barvas and Back prior to becoming minister at Ferintosh & Resolis Free Church in February 2019.  

He joined the Board in 2016.  

Calum Iain’s interests and hobbies include reading, cycling and running.

Donald Macleod - Finance Trustee




Donald has been a member of the Board since May 2019.

He is an elder in Stornoway Free Church and his main career was in accountancy and audit in the local authority and the NHS  within the Western Isles. He retired in July 2018. 

Donald is married to Liz and they have three grown up children and 4 grandchildren. His hobbies include spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren and he tries to keep fit mostly by walking and cycling. 


Gordon Macleod - Trustee




Gordon currently works for the Western Isles Presbytery of the Free Church as their Youth & Discipleship Support Worker.

He is married to Gillian and they have four daughters.

Gordon previously served as a Police Officer, for 30 years, with Northern Constabulary and Police Scotland, retiring in January 2020. While his career was predominately in the North West of Scotland, he completed his career working in Glasgow as Superintendent with responsibility for Force Resourcing and Mobilisation. 

Gordon is an Elder in North Harris Free Church. 


Alasdair Macleod - Trustee




Alasdair joined the Board in October 2020. He served previously as Chairman of the Mission Board, and previously on the Home Missions Board and the Personnel Committee. 

Alasdair has been the minister of Smithton-Culloden Free Church in Inverness since 2016, after previously serving as minister of the Free Church congregations in Ullapool and Achiltibuie for twelve years.  

Alasdair is married to Catriona and they have one daughter (Lois) and two sons (Samuel and Benjamin). Reading, music, sports and DIY are ways Alasdair tries to unwind. 

David Meredith - Trustee




David has been a Trustee now for 6 years.  He also serves as Mission Director for the Free Church based at The Mound.  He’s married to Nina and they have 4 children and 3 grandchildren.  

For recreation David enjoys riding his motorcycle and likes to read political biographies, although not at the same time! 

David says “There are fuzzy boundaries between my work and the rest of my life as I find myself constantly reflecting on mission and thinking about how to get the missional R rate up in our community”.


Alastair Oliver - Trustee




Alastair or Ali, as he is known, is originally from Skye/Wester Ross, but has been in Edinburgh for most of the last 20 years and is an Elder in St Columba's  Free Church.  

He is married to Vikki  (a Consultant Paediatrician) and they have 2 little boys: 4-year-old  Isaac, who has just started school and six-month-old, Jonathan. 

Ali recently graduated with a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and currently work in Building Standards for the City of Edinburgh Council. 

He enjoys reading, DIY, travelling and football (watching rather than playing these days) and much of his spare time outside family life at the moment,  is taken up with various responsibilities at St Columba's - most notably looking after and developing the technology and IT aspects of their building and their use in Sunday services.


Mark Robinson - Treasury Trustee




Mark is the Treasury Trustee with oversight responsibility for the day to day cash management of the denomination.  

Mark joined the Board in June 2019.  He was a Senior Manager at the Royal Bank of Scotland and has been a successful business entrepreneur, creating and managing a number of businesses. 

He is an Elder in Dornoch Free Church and in his spare time he enjoys gardening, making jam and suffers the stress of following Ross County.   


Malcom (Callum) Macleod - Principal Clerk (Advisor)




Malcolm (known as Callum) is minister in the Free Church congregation of Shawbost in the Presbytery of the Western Isles. Callum was appointed Principal Clerk of the General Assembly in May 2016. The Principal Clerk is ex officio (by virtue of office) a permanent adviser to the Board and as such he attends all the meetings of the Board.  

Ashleigh Dunn - Advisor



Ashleigh joined the Board as an Adviser in October 2020. A former Executive Director for HR and Organisational Development, Ashleigh brings extensive experience around people and organisational culture . She has held senior positions in the NHS, Finance sector (RBS) and Environment sector.  Ashleigh is currently a Member of the Standards Commission for Scotland and a Trustee at her local church. 


Originally from Bangor, Co. Down, Ashleigh studied in Edinburgh and has worked across the UK, but came back to Edinburgh 20 years ago.  Normally, she has friends from all over the UK coming to stay, but her house is remarkably quiet at the moment, thanks to a certain pandemic...!

Ian Lyall - Advisor




Ian joined the Board as an Advisor in October 2020. He is a former Corporate Lawyer having retired in 2019 as a Partner from Pinsent Masons LLP (international legal firm) after a 40 year career. Between 1987 and 2013, Ian was a Director and latterly Chair of the Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society (which owns and operates a Christian Hospital in Nazareth). Ian is currently on the Board of Trustees of Belville Community Garden Trust ( a small Charity working within the community in a deprived area of Greenock) and on the Board of Management of the Braid Estate Recreation Ground. He also serves on a Scottish Law Commission Advisory Group (Securities Law reform).

Ian and his wife Pam (a Commercial Mediator) attend Central Church and have four adult children.

Ian enjoys reading, walking, gardening and motorcycles.