Welcome to St John Fisher & St Thomas More Roman Catholic Church
Whether you are a regular parishioner, new to the parish, returning to the Church, a visitor, or perhaps just interested in what we do, our parish community extends a very warm welcome – through the pages of this website – to you all. St John Fisher & St Thomas More Catholic Church is situated between the villages of Burley in Wharfedale and Menston, our address is Bradford Road, Burley-in-Wharfedale, LS29 7PX.
You can read News items, weekly messages from Fr Michael and from Sue, our parish council chair and download the latest bulletins. Please see our Youth, family & Children’s Liturgy page – it shares some thoughts and activities for our children and their families – and our Tree of Life page – on how we are responding to Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’, and his call to pray and work as a whole church, encouraging us to do more to care for creation. Find out more here what our parish is doing.
During this Advent we will be confronted again with the question so vital for all Christians: what place am I giving Christ in my life? Am I close to him? One thing is sure: he is near to me. Do I try to see him, to recognise him in the many forms he is present among us, in our neighbour, in the beautiful world around us, in the events of life, even in our troubles and his own silence. We have to become sensitive to his presence, not only in our own little world but in the Church and in the wide world.
Today, as we begin this joyful Advent, we pray:
“Come, Lord, show yourself; be visible among us.”
Christmas is going to be very different for us this year. Regardless of whether we are still in lockdown or not, we will not be able to have a children’s Mass on Christmas Eve but we still would like to do something special with and for our children. We are therefore inviting the older children (year 5 or above) to write a Christmas story that can be put on this website and shared with the parish. There are prizes too! Please see the poster here for more information and remember the closing date is 30 November 2020.
Diocesan Justice & Peace Commission
You can read this month’s newsletter on our Diocesan news & events page.
Please note at present we are not able to attend Mass. However when restrictions are lifted we will be able to register here to attend Mass at weekends, it allows individuals, families and groups to secure seats at Mass. The system helps to ensure the safety of parishioners and allow us to reduce the risk of infection from COVID-19. The registration simply involves selecting a date on which you would like to attend one of the 4 weekend Masses. It will also prove to be a useful tool which will help our stewards to co-ordinate visits safely on arrival. Please note you will now need to bring and wear a mask when attending Mass. Details for booking tickets are as follows:
- individuals, or families of 2 sitting together, will require one ticket
- families of 3 or 4 will require two tickets
- any more than 4 members in a family will require further tickets and will be seated in a separate bench
- please select the number of tickets at the top right-hand corner of the registration page
If for any reason you are unable to use the system, you can register by phoning the parish office: 01943 863179.
Church reopens for Daily Mass
Sunday was the First Sunday of Advent and happily our Church reopens for Daily Mass from Thursday 3rd onwards. Looking forward for us being together again. Please don’t forget to book a place for weekend Masses and if you would like to celebrate Mass on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Sunday 27th.
Churches Together wish everyone in our village communities a very Happy Christmas. I hope you like our Christmas banner in place of Christmas cards this year.
Laudato Si – Climate Change
Pope Francis calls on fossil fuel bosses to switch to renewable energy Pope Francis has directly appealed to oil and gas companies to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy in order to prevent climate change pushing the world’s poorest people deeper into poverty. The Pope issued the call at a meeting held in the Vatican […]
Connect2 & HandsOn programmes
Our parish supports CAFOD and its Connect2 projects. This began with the Puentecitos community in El Salvador in 2016. Read here about the amazing projects have been completed, helping to improve people’s income and food production in this very poor region of the country. From January 2019 we have supported people in Magdalena Medio, Columbia through CAFOD’s […]
On Wednesday 4th November we had a FULL socially distanced church as we celebrated our last parish family Mass on the Feast of St Charles Borromeo. At the end of Mass Fr Michael asked us to remain happy during the next 4 weeks of Lockdown. He reminded us we had many things to be happy […]
Climate change is hitting the poorest countries hardest. Severe weather events are undoing decades of development. World leaders signed a promise in 2015 to try and keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees. In 2018 scientists said that this target must drop to 1.5 degrees. Pope Francis asks us to listen carefully to those times […]
Raised beds & insect friendly flowers
We have a great new raised bed on the gravelled area just outside the church hall. Thank you to the children who have grown insect friendly flowers this year and planted them in the planter. Frances has added a few flowers soon too, we have started to build-up a wildlife haven for insects and birds. […]
We hope to be making a bug hotel soon to put in the church grounds, Items needed to help make this are: old wooden pallets, bamboo tubes/canes, twigs, pine cones, bark, old terracotta pots, pipes, old roofing slates and tiles. Please start collecting these now and let Frances know if you would like to help […]
Sacred Heart school Ilkley, applications for entry to Reception in September 2021
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Valley Drive, Ilkley LS29 8NL Tel: 07943 609 578 Email: email@example.com We are open for applications for entry to Reception in September 2021 The online admissions system is available for reception applications from 9 November 2020 until 15 January 2021 for children born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August […]
Catholic Care launches its Community Market initiative.
At Catholic Care we know that many people are struggling with financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have over the last 8 months spoken to many parents who have sadly lost their jobs. The impact of this has been devastating, leaving many feeling unable to feed their families for the first time. Supporting […]
Children’s Christmas Story Competition
Christmas is going to be very different for us this year. Regardless of whether we are still in lockdown or not, we will not be able to have a children’s Mass on Christmas Eve but we still would like to do something special with and for our children. We are therefore inviting the older children […]
Pastoral Letter from Bishop Marcus
Bishop Marcus has sent us a Pastoral Letter for this Sunday, day of prayer for prisoners and their families. It is aimed to raise awareness about the criminal justice system and explore different approaches to Restorative Justice. Please see our Diocesan news & events page for more information. We can read Bishop Marcus’ letter here and […]
Changes to our church
You will see from these photos the layout of the benches has had to be changed in order to ensure distancing of 2m. • in the lady chapel we have individual seats and these should NOT be moved • if the Mass you want is full, you may be able to choose one of the other […]
Volunteer stewards THANK YOU
Thank you and well done to all the Stewards, Cleaners and Organisers of the Church and its services over the last few weeks. You have been doing a great job keeping our Parishioners as safe and protected as you can. Many of you will be away with your families over the next few weeks. Travel […]
Please remember the people of Tereli in your prayers
On Tuesday 21st April, the village was attacked by as many as 300 well-armed bandits who arrived on motorbikes to loot the village and take all of the cattle. For three hours a few young people tried to hold them off with hunting rifles, while others hid in their houses or fled to the caves […]
If you would like to, and only if your circumstances allow, you can now make a donation to the Parish Offertory, either by this online page: https://donor.secure-operations.com/detailed/donate?charity_id=1086222&type=2&reference=10154&amount= or, to contribute £5, please text CHURCH SSFM to 70500
Leeds Cathedral live-streaming of Mass & devotions
Mass is being live-streamed on Sundays at 11:00am. Weekday Masses Monday to Friday are now live-streamed usually at 12:30pm (12noon on Saturdays) and preceded by the Angelus and Rosary which will be prayed at 11:50am (11:20am on Saturdays). To participate online, please access the Leeds Cathedral Live YouTube channel www.leedscathedrallive.org.uk where the words of Prayers, […]
Yorkshire lad parts with his brass!
We had thought about Solar panels ever since they first came on the scene, as our home does not have a gas supply. But the cost was well beyond our pockets. What with the mortgage, the financial outlay, it was well out of our reach. 10 years ago solar panels were expensive. We could have […]
ANNE JUDGE – REFLECTIONS 20th February 1928 – 19th March 2020 Anne was born on the 20th February 1928 in Granard, County Longford in the Republic of Ireland and after a lifetime of loving service, this smiling and gracious servant of God, returned peacefully to the Lord on 19th March 2020. She was the last […]
Parish Family Events
Today was the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord and the children spent time finding out about the Sacrament of Baptism, which most of them received when they were too young to remember !! Robyn the baby doll proved the perfect baptismal candidate.
Sacrament of Reconciliation 2019
Eleven younger members of the Parish Family made their First Confession on Saturday 23rd March. Canon Michael thought them the best group ever! The children told their Catechist James, helped by Gabby and other parents, they had had a lot of fun in their preparation sessions. After receiving the Sacrament the celebrations continued in the […]
Christmas vigil mass for children
The mass was directed at our children, our young parishioners did the readings and the bidding prayers. Children read the Gospel story whilst others gathered on the altar steps when their part was mentioned. We had Mary and Joseph, lots of lovely angels, shepherds and lambs—plus the kings. Fr Michael blessed the crib and then […]
Special mass for altar servers
On 21st September Bishop Marcus celebrated a special mass for the altar servers of the diocese. About 80 attended with their families. 3 of our servers represented our parish family. Bishop Marcus thanked the servers for their loyal service to God. It was a wonderful way to show the servers how important they are to us all.
Parish family walk 2019
A very happy and chatty bunch gathered after the ‘Back to School’ 11am Mass for a picnic in the Parish Hall. Next a short walk led by Martin, was enjoyed by all from 2 years old to where “80 years young” has been celebrated!! As the walkers ran back across the car park the heavens opened! […]
First Holy Communion
Congratulations to all of our children celebrating their first holy communion on 15&16 June. Fr Michael said, ‘It has been a wonderful occasion for our whole parish family. I am hoping that many of the children will now wish to train as altar servers and many take part in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word […]
Ilkley half marathon
Sunday 14 July was a great event, the weather was fine, not too hot, and our runners were cheered on throughout the route. We would like to thank all the Burley churches, families and friends for your generous support, both on the day and your donations to support Zakari and his colleagues as they strive to […]
DAY OF REFLECTION: Caring for the Earth – Our Common Home:
The Justice & Peace Commission held its Day of Reflection on 30 March at our church. It was a day of prayer and personal reflection about our place in God’s creation and our responsibilities towards looking after our common home. We discussed some main themes in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si. We heard about what […]
Sacrament of Confirmation 2019
On 28th February 2019 26 year 6 & year 7 students received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Canon Michael. Our Catechists Rachel and Liz thoroughly enjoyed the preparation sessions. It was wonderful to hear Saint John Paul being chosen as her Confirmation name by one of the students. Laughter was the keynote of each session […]
Bishop of Leeds’ letter to the clergy and faithful of the diocese
Bishop Marcus has responded in his capacity as Bishop of Leeds to the publication on 20th August 2018 of the Holy Father’s Letter to the People of God on the need for ‘…combatting all forms of the abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience’. You can read Pope Francis’ letter here and […]
Our parish prayer
God our loving Father, You made us your children in baptism. Pour out on us the gifts of your Holy Spirit. Help us as a parish to know the paths we must follow so as to build up your kingdom. Teach us to grow in faith, to encourage one another with words of hope, and […]
Catholic Care Bulletin Spring 2019 – SS John Fisher & Thomas More parish family receives a mention … Bags of Dignity
A huge thank you goes to Parish Family of SS John Fisher and Thomas More Parish, Burley-in-Wharfedale; who had the novel idea of filling used handbags with toiletries, ladies products and men’s personal hygiene and shaving necessities for those in need. Six bags have been given to Sheila Pickles from St Monica’s Housing to give […]