Yorkshire Pilots


Pilots is a national youth organisation of the URC. You can find out more about Pilots here.

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.

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

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

Developing Leadership Skills (Fri 24th to Sun 26th Sept)

Two young leaders from Yorkshire went to the Developing Leadership Skills training weekend, and learned a little about how to help in running a Pilots company. This such a success that it looks set to be an annual event, subject to demand. If any of your older Pilots would like to attend a future event, please get in touch with Alan at yorkshire@pilots.org.uk

Voyagers & Navigators – August 2010

On Monday 16th August, six Heath Pilots set off on the long journey to V&N: Get Out Of The Box. A week of fun then followed! There was a huge range of activities including bowling, games, worship and a trip to the cinema to see Toy Story 3. In one of the many challenges we faced at V&N we made models of Toy Story characters in teams and presented them to a panel of judges who then decided on a winner. We were reunited with old friends and made plenty of new ones too! Some fantastic artwork was made and everyone gathered on the last night to see an amazing drama piece written and acted by some of the Pilots.

On the whole, it was a great week full of fun and we are all looking forward to next year!

Nico Robinson

Pilots@Warwick Castle – 15th May 2010

See the photos from Warwick Castle in the attachment.

Tea Time in Dewsbury

Friday 19th September saw the first of what may well be an annual Longcauseway & Highfield Pilots company event, our Christian Aid Tea Time. Pilots started organising it a couple of weeks before by making posters to publicise it in our Churches. The following week we made and decorated buns ready fot tea on Friday. We opened the doors at 4pm at Highfield Church and were delighted to have a steady stream of people come in and enjoy a cuppa and buns served by Pilots. Many of the Pilots parents also baked for us, as did the kind Ladies at both Churches, so we had lots of lovely cakes, buns and biscuits. In fact so many that we manned a stall at Longcauseway Church on Saturday morning during the normal Shoppers Coffee session to sell our left overs! We made a tremendous £221.00 and had a fun time doing it.


5-6 year old prayer writing
This prayer was the winner, written by Hannah Crowther of Heckmondwike:

Dear God, Thank you for all the pretty things. All the butterflies, and school. Thank you god for all my friends, especially Callum. Amen.

7-8 year old prayer writing
This prayer was the winner, written by Archie of Lepton:

Pray all we can
In the world we live in
Like everyone the same
Other people are as important as me
Thank for giving us our world
Sharing our world together

9+ year old prayer writing
This prayer was the winner, written by Mae Inglesfield of Lepton:

Powerful Lord
I need your
Love to
Open my heart
Teach us to

List of Yorkshire Companies