Yorkshire Pilots

Meet the Regional 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 seven 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.
Our 11-17 year old group now has 10 Pilots aged 11 to 14. We are very much enjoying visiting other companies and trying to build Pilots at the Regional level, as well as to integrate Pilots with the wider picture of what is happening for youth in the Yorkshire URCs.
I work for Lloyds Banking Group in IT.
Meet the Regional 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.
I work as a Staff Nurse in the community with the school nursing team three days a week.
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. We are keen to help more companies start up, as Pilots is a great mission resource, and wherever there is a Pilots company, great things are achieved.
What is happening in Pilots companies around Yorkshire? This page has details of events past and future. If your company has an event that you would like to tell other companies about, this is where it will appear.Visit the Events Section
A list of company details for our Pilots companies. Wherever possible contact details for the Pilots Captains have been published along side the company details.
Click here
A map page of where our companies are located. This uses the power of google maps to allow you to easily plan your journey to or from any of the churches where Pilots meet.
click here.

Pilots Events

Yorkshire Fun Day 2014

Forty seven pilots from four companies gathered at Heckmondwike URC on 5th April 2014 to enjoy a day of art and crafts, games and worship.  The day was loosely themed on Easter, and on arrival there was an egg hunt for the pilots to complete – finding pictures of 20 eggs hidden around the room in various colours.  Then we enjoyed a drink and a biscuit before splitting into groups with the names Prayer, Interest, Learning, Overseas, Talent and Service, and moving round the six art and craft activities.  These were card making, bag making, making an egg out of wool wrapped around a balloon (see Natalie Husk for more details on this one!), glass paining, tomb making and hama beads.

Then we took a break for lunch, before playing games in the same teams.  Prayer team were victorious overall in the games, which goes to show the power of prayer!  Finally we came together for worship lead by Natalie Husk, who showed us a wonderful demonstration of the cleansing power of Jesus, getting rid of the stains that all our sins leave on our lives, and in the world.  We also ‘hung our dirty washing out’ in front of Jesus, so that he could take away our sins.

I’d like to say thank you to all the Captains and Officers who made the day so successful, and particularly to Natalie who travelled a long way to be with us, and made an excellent contribution to the days success.

Alan Kendall (RPO for Yorkshire)


Pilots Captains – February 9th


On Saturday 9th February Yorkshire and North West RPOs ran an ‘experience sharing day’ held at Heath URC in Halifax.  The intention was that everyone who came would get at least one new idea that they could use with their own company.  The event was attended by seven companies, five from Yorkshire and two from North West.  This represented over 100 Pilots aged 5 to 18.

Each session was ‘lead’ by a different person, but their roll was not so much to present as to facilitate discussion.  Each ‘leader’ did this in a different way, which made for an interesting and varied day.  The sessions were as follows:

Art and craft – including some hands on opportunities

Camps and away days – a powerpoint presentation covering all aspects of what to be aware of and what has proved to work well.

Worship – with some demonstrations of simple activities that can be used as worship

V&N and DLS – lead by a pilot who has been to 7 V&Ns and 3 DLS events

Music – sharing some songs that can be used with Pilots, and different ways of using music.

Games – a brief discussion on the different challenges that can face a company, and how you might tackle those

These sessions showed that we have a wealth of expertise in our own companies, and that whilst we all know what works best for our companies, there are always different ways of doing things, and by talking and sharing together, even after many years of being involved in Pilots, we can always learn new ways to do things.  The discussion didn’t stop over coffee breaks and at lunch time,  and this was also valuable sharing time.

I hope those who came got something useful out of it, and I’d like to thank all those who lead sessions, particularly Nick Robinson who presented the V&N and DLS session.

Alan Kendall

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. Newspaper Article

Fun Day – 28th June 2008

Over fifty Pilots from five companies attended our Fun Day at Heckmondwike URC on Saturday 28th June. We made puppets, door hangers, boxes, book marks and decorated buns in the morning. In the afternoon we played competitive games between the five companies, and after a very closely fought contest, Grove won the cup. The shield was awarded to the best company overall in the art and writing competitions, and Heckmondwike (our hosts) were the winners. We also played parachute games and had a Pilots Badge drive before coming together for our awards ceremony and worship, lead by Mick Maskell. I would like to say a big thank you to Mick for his help, to Christine, David and their staff for hosting and looking after us so well, and most of all to the Pilots for not only coming along, but being extremely well behaved all day. We very much enjoyed the day and are looking forward to the next one!

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

Pilots at Longleat – 17th May 2008

On Saturday 17th May over 2,000 Pilots and ‘Pilots for a day’ came together for their Big Day Out at Longleat Safari Park. Everyone was allocated to a coach at a specific time slot for their trip around the Safari Park, and there were stickers of animals and events to collect all around the park. The day culminated in a very lively worship session. Karen Bulley (The Pilots Development Officer) and her team had organised the day, and they clearly did an excellent job as everything went smoothly, with everyone having a great day. If you weren’t there, I’m afraid you will have to wait three years for another opportunity to join us on our next Big Day Out, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait. If you have any suggestions for where we should hold the next one (perhaps somewhere a little further North!) please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Special awards night at Brackenhall

Brackenhall Pilots celebrated the end of the Pilots year with their annual presentation ceremony. The RPOs were invited as two Pilots were awarded special awards and we were invited to make these presentations. Emily received her Master Mariner after being a Pilot for five years, and Jonathan received a special award for being a Pilot for twelve years, and in that years being very helpful to the leaders. Brackenhall make all their own certificates and each Pilots receives a certificate stating how long they have served as a Pilot and how many crests they have completed. Awards were also made for Pilots who had the best attendance in each section, and special awards for those with 100% attendance. Sports awards in each age group were also presented, and finally those who were moving up into the next age bracket received a further certificate. The evening was very enjoyable for the RPOs and we would like to thank Margaret Lees (Brackenhall Captain) for all the hard work she puts in each year, and congratulate her on such a wonderful Pilots company.

List of Yorkshire Companies

Meeting at Brackenhall URC on Tuesdays from 6pm to 7pm for 5 to 11 year olds, with 12 to 17 year olds staying until 7.45pm.

Pilots Captain
Miss Margaret Lees
c/o Brackenhall URC
Long Hill Rd

Tel (01484) 300675

Meeting at 6pm to 7.15 on Fridays.
Salem URC
Main St
Burley in Wharfedale,
LS29 7DG

Pilots Captain
Mrs Susan Atkinson

Tel (01943) 607526

Meeting at Christchurch URC, Lightcliffe, on Fridays from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Deckhands and Adventurers (5 to 10 year olds).

Pilots Captain
Miss Karen Bridge

Tel (01422) 201940


Meeting at The URC, Grove, Gomersall,
Oxford Rd, BD19 4JS
on Sundays during the evening service, starting at 6pm.

Pilots Captain

Meeting at Heath URC, Manor Drive, on Wednesdays at 7pm until 8.30pm

Voyagers and Navigators (ages 11 to 18)

Pilots Captain
Mr Alan Kendall
14 West Royd Close
King Cross

Tel (01422) 611376


Meeting at Heckmondwike URC, High St, on Fridays at 6pm until 7.15pm

Ages 5 to 17.

Pilots Captain
Mrs C M Crowther
4, Listerdale,
W Yorks

Tel (01924) 405983


Meeting on Wednesday nights at 6.30pm until 7.45pm at Earlesheaton URC on the High Rd, Earlesheaton. WF12 8BB.
Pilots Captain
Mrs Jo Hartley
Tel (01924) 440794

Jo Hartley
Meeting at Hornsea URC on Fridays. Deckhands (5 to 6 year olds) at 3.45pm, Adventurers (7 to 10 year olds) at 6.30pm, and Voyagers and Navigators (11 to 17 year olds) at 8pm.

Pilots Captain
Mrs Margaret Knapton
16, Draycott Ave Hornsea
Tel (01964) 533576


Meeting at Kirkheaton United Church, New Rd, Kirkheaton, HD5 0HR on Monday night at 6.30pm until 8pm for Adventurers (7 to 10 year olds).

Pilots Captain
Julie Daffern
1, Town Rd

Tel (01484) 310020

Meeting at Kirkheaton United Church, New Rd, Kirkheaton, HD5 0HR on Monday night at 6.30pm until 8pm for Adventurers (7 to 10 year olds).

Pilots Captain
Charlotte Green
17 Bluebell Close
S74 0LS

Tel (01226) 741301


Meeting at St Andrews, Ramshill Rd, YO11 2LN
Pilots Captain
Alison Shepherdson


Meeting at The Michael URC, Sheffield, on Thursdays from 6pm to 7.15pm.

6 to 10 year olds.

Pilots Captain
Mr Brian Adams

Tel (0114) 237 7364