Yorkshire Pilots and FOFA

Welcome to the home page for Yorkshire Pilots and FOFA companies. We have a growing number of companies across the synod and our SPOs (Synod Pilots Officers) are always happy to talk to you about what is going on.

If you run a company, let us know what you are up to. Better still, send us a photo and we’ll feature you on this page 🙂

We look forward to hearing from you.

Pilots Events


What fun we had at Pilots working through the Pilgrimages Worship material!

We started by learning about the pilgrimages that different religions go on and were lucky enough to have a local Iman and colleague visit one Pilot session and share with us their experience of their pilgrimage, or Hajj to Mecca, to hear about it from someone who’s actually been was fantastic.  They brought dates for us to try and pilots dressed up in the traditional clothing.

Next our own Minister, Mark Robinson spent time with us sharing his experience when he visited the Holy Land, Pilots were mesmerised by Mark’s description of many places we’ve only read about.  He brought a replica of a ‘Crown of Thorns’ for Pilots to try along with stones and pebble which Pilots enjoyed balancing in piles, replicating a holy shrine or marker.

Our final visitor shared his experience of many visits to Lourdes when he has accompanied disabled and elderly friends to take the waters.

The Camino de Santiago particularly captured our imagination to the degree that Voyagers produced a short skit of a pilgrimage there for our annual Pilot Worship. What it missed in accuracy it made up for in entertainment and it’s spiritual message (we hope!).  On Sunday 1st July, Pilots lead morning worship at Longcauseway Church and were able to share all that they had learnt about pilgrimages from our visitors and from our pilot material.

We are so very grateful for this wonderful, well thought out and meaningful resource, thank you and more like this please!

Jo Hartley, Pilot Captain
September 2018

Meet the Synod Pilots Officer – Alan Kendall.

I was born in Bolton in 1964. My mother was the Captain of Red Lane Pilots and so I attended Pilots camps even before birth! When I was 7 I became a Pilot and stayed as a Pilot until I left Bolton at age 18. I then went to live in Halifax, and soon joined Heath United Reformed Church, where I became a Junior Church teacher and Elder. When my children were old enough they started Pilots at Lightcliffe, and a couple of years later, in 1996 the time was right at Heath for my wife Janet and I to start our own company.

Initially we had three Pilots – including our own eldest two, but this soon grew to a reliable and enthusiastic seven or eight. After a few years we split our group into 5-10 year olds and 11-17 year olds, and at the end of 2007 for a variety of reasons we had to close the younger group. Sadly, in 2015 we closed our company due to various challenges we could no longer meet.

At the end of 2018 I retired after 35 years working in IT in the banking sector.

Contact Alan:


Meet the Synod Pilots Officer – Janet Kendall.

I too was born in Bolton and was a Pilot as a child. I moved over to Halifax in 1985 to train as a nurse in Calderdale. I married Alan in 1986 and in 1988 we had our first child, Christopher. Zoe and Hannah arrived in 1990 and 1993.

In our first year as RPOs we met all but one of the Yorkshire Pilots Captains, we organised our first Regional Fun Day, visited a Pilots Camp and attended the National Pilots Longleat event as part of the crew.

In our second year we visited as many Mission and Care groups as we were able (these replaced districts in Yorkshire) with a view to growing awareness of Pilots across Yorkshire. We were pleased when in 2011 a new company started up in Scarborough. More recently we have seen new companies start in Bolton Villas and Bilton Grange.

We are looking forward to the full launch of Friends On Faith Adventures in 2019, and are hoping to support many new companies starting across Yorkshire.

Pilots Youth Rep – Megan Westgarth

Megan is the voice of young people on the national Pilots Committee. She represents URC youth at those meetings and also links Pilots to the URC Youth Exec which she is also part of.

Contact Megan: