Good News Stories

This page is for all the good news stories out there worth sharing. Please do send us stories and photos of the things that you are doing (big or small) in your local church or synod, and let’s celebrate together how God is at work within our children and young people throughout the United Reformed Church.

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Is it really only three weeks since The Big Speak Out? This, our residential event for young people aged 11-18, was held in Nottingham from 6-8 July 2018, alongside General Assembly. It was a resounding success, catering for 44 young people from across the country and was accompanied by an equally successful gathering for 15 leaders from Pilots companies, Junior Churches and the like. Read more about it and see the pictures here. Meanwhile, make a pencil note in your diary to keep an eye out for the date. We are hoping to run another residential event early next July, and it won't be the same without you (as long as you're between 11 and 18, of course). 

NW Pilots Big Day Out 1NW PIlots Big Day Out 2

At the Warwick Castle Big Day Out 2017 some Voyager/Navigator Pilots (those aged 11 to 18) from 2 companies met up and on their return contacted their Regional Pilots Officer to ask could they organise a Big Day Out for NW Pilots. The response of course was YES! With minimal support, these young people arranged a fantastic day for about 50 Pilots and Officers from 4 Companies meet to celebrate Christmas a little early. 

Read more: URC Big Day Out inspires North West Pilots to hold Early Christmas Day Out

Pilots group growth

In Nairn the Pilots company very nearly folded in 2017, not because of lack of leaders but lack of Pilots. The leaders, however, all agreed that even with only four they should continue as each individual enjoyed the Pilots message for different reasons.

After the Summer break out of nowhere came twelve youngsters all wanting to become Pilots! This situation required the leaders to work on a whole new approach as most of the youngsters who came had no church background.

“As Pilots Captain, I was unsure as to how much or how little we could or should teach. We stuck with the Pilots Prayer, The Pilots Promise and the Lords Prayer and it was apparent that each youngster had no problem with any of the content and were eager to learn.

Consequently, I organised our enrolment, and we invited parents, grandparents and family friends. My faith in human nature and family commitment took a massive boost when every child was represented by at least one family member and in some cases two or three.

We enrolled 13 Pilots between 5 and 11 years of age on the day, and gained three extra adult helpers.” Mick Smerdon, Nairn URC Pilots Captain and RPO for Scotland.

Gladness and Generosity    Gladness and Generosity 2

Steeple Bumpstead Pilots have been busy fundraising for the House of Joshua Children’s Home in Cagayan De Oro City once again, putting on entertainment and making gifts to sell, including colourful calendars and delicious fridge cake. The Pilots went through a significant amount of water, washing-up liquid, bubble wrap and chocolate in course of their efforts. Messy, but great fun!

"The Pilots Open Evening provided a great opportunity for Pilots to sell their wares. It was great to see so many Pilots, families and friends, enjoying refreshments and buying the gifts made by the Pilots and others. The Puppet Theatre and Pilots Band provided the entertainment. A fantastic £290 was raised for the HofJ from the evening, together with house collection boxes. Grateful thanks to all who supported Pilots in their endeavours.” Sheila Burr, Pilots Captain.

Bouncy daysContent

In their Under 11s review paperwork, the children of Temple URC were incredibly enthusiastic about Bouncy Days and we just had to find out more. Anne Percival, their youth elder, was keen to tell us about this rather unusual outreach.

"Bouncy Days came about due to the generosity of a few of our younger church families who own a bouncy castle business (BounceAway South-East). They themselves came up with the idea of holding these bouncy days (when out entire site – including the church building! – is set up with bouncy castles, assault courses, soft play etc.) initially as a fundraising opportunity but also an outreach to local families.

"They have been a great success and we will continue them as long as we are able! Children have joined our Brigades, Junior Church or Toddler group after attending a bouncy day so all in all they have proved to be a great way to reach families who wouldn’t usually enter the building! Volunteers are always on hand to talk to those who attend, hot food is served along with drinks and lots of cake, and much fun is had by all. In fact, some adults without any young children have been coming along just for tea, cake and a chat which is something we didn’t anticipate!

"The days are hard work and we rely heavily on volunteers but, as I have already said, we hope to continue with them as long as we can."