Welcome to St John Fisher & St Thomas More Roman Catholic Church
Our parish family extends a very warm welcome – through the pages of this website – to you all, whether you are a regular parishioner, new to the area, returning to the Church, a visitor, or perhaps just interested in what we do. St John Fisher & St Thomas More Catholic Church is situated between the villages of Burley in Wharfedale and Menston, we also serve Tranmere Park and Hawksworth village. Our address is Bradford Road, Burley in Wharfedale, LS29 7PX.
Please accept the prayers and good wishes of our parish family for you and for your loved ones. Do contact us if you wish to be involved in any of the activities detailed on this site; or if you are hoping to explore the Catholic faith as it is practised in the world today.
You can read News items, weekly messages from Fr Tim 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. Our Tree of Life page celebrates gaining CAFOD’s LiveSimply award. Pope Francis asks us in Laudato Si’ how the whole church – including every member of our parish family – can respond to care for creation, our common home, each and every day through prayer, simple action and hearing the cry of the poor.
Congratulations to ALEXIA, EMMELINE, IRIS, JACK, JONAH, LAUREN, LOTTIE, LUCY, MAJA, MAX, ORRY and WILL, who received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Rt Rev Bishop Marcus Stock last Thursday evening at Leeds Trinity University Chapel. The Saints names chosen for Confirmation were Maria, Madeleine, Cecelia, Thomas More, Francis de Sales, Anastasia, Cecelia, Madeleine, Faustina, Bruno, Thomas and Herbert. It was a very special occasion for all the young people and their sponsors, their families, friends, catechists and Parish Family.
CONGRATULATIONS to: Astrid, Betsy, Caitlin, Cecily, Daniel, Danni, Elenor, Filip, Freddie, Gabriel, Isabelle, Joseph, Martha, Max, Monty, Niamh Noel, Oliver, Ruby, and Zara who received the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time from Father Tim and Father this weekend. A very special moment for the children and their Parents who have prepared them so well, their families and friends.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION CHILDREN
Congratulations to all our very special young members of the Parish Family namely, Allie, Ani, Hannah, Henry, Jack E, Jack S, Krissy, Marianne, Nell, Nyla, Rosa, Rosie and Seamus who have received their First Communion.
Many, many thanks to Nicola our Parish Catechist for guiding the children and parents throughout their preparation for the sacrament.
It was wonderful to be with 18 young people in our parish family to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Marcus. Canon Michael Mahady, Rachel, Clare (catechists) and all the sponsors, parents & families and teachers witnessed the beautiful service at the Cathedral Church of St Anne in Leeds on Wednesday, 23 November.
Thank you for your great support on World Mission Sunday, helping missionaries throughout the world working with people who are poor or in need. Also, through our parish’s RED BOX collection during the past six months, we have raised £215. A huge thank you to everyone who has given so generously in these difficult times.
Please let me know if you would like to take a Red Box to collect any spare change – our next collection will be just after Easter.
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
CONGRATULATIONS to Alexia, Amity, Bo Belles, Iris, Jonah, Lottie, Lucy, Max, Orry and Will with their Catechist Nicola who received their First Communion on 12th June. The Mass was very special we all joined in the singing and responses and raised the roof with the Alleluia. Clare read the Reading and led us in the Psalm. Every First Communicant had an important part to play! 6 children read Bidding Prayers, the best Readers ever! The Offertory Procession was perfectly conducted by the other 4 First Communicants.
Thank you to Fr Michael, Nicola and all the parents for taking a full part in the Parental Catechesis style preparation.
Registration for next year’s Sacramental Preparation Programmes will be in late September.
CONGRATULATIONS to Year 3 and Year 4 children in our Parish Family, Ailie, Ani, Bo Belles, Eddie, Hannah, Henry, Jack, Marianne, Nell, Nyla, Rosa, Rosie and Seamus who received the SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION for the first time recently. It was a very special occasion for their Families and all of the Parish family.
SUNDAY 17th JULY: CELEBRATION SUNDAY
Sunday 17th July was a great Parish Family event in the church gardens. We celebrated our children receiving sacraments, Fr Michael’s golden jubilee, welcoming all our new parishioners and winning a CAFOD LiveSimply award. The biggest gathering to date, well over a 100 people came together AND lots of cakes! Please see our Tree of Life page for more details and a message of thanks from Sue, chair of our Parish Pastoral Council.
The Justice & Peace September 2022 newsletter can be found here, it includes the full story! about how our parish gained its LiveSimply award.
A Prayer for Ukraine
We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them. We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.
We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.
May we walk in your ways
so that peace and justice
become a reality for the people of Ukraine
and for all the world.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR CONFIRMANDII
Alice, Alister, Annie, Christopher, Cora, Devon, Evie, Finnegan, Francesca, Ina, Isaac, Poppy, Sebbie, Sofia and Sophia who received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Canon Michael here in our church, a week last Wednesday. It was wonderful to welcome so many family members. Many thanks to all who made this service a special time for our lovely Youth members. May the Holy Spirit continue to inspire them to choose wise, kind and loving ways. We wish them many blessings and much happiness in all they do.
READING at Church
Last year and this year, several Confirmation candidates said they would offer to read at Mass.
We would love this to happen! You can choose the Mass you prefer to attend and if you all come forward …you would read once a month or less.
You can read with another young person; one of your Parents or Siblings or another adult in the Parish Family or just by yourself. The more info you give to Theresa the better. Theresa’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
In a message recorded for the BBC’s Thought for the Day programme, Pope Francis has called on world leaders meeting next week at the UN Climate conference in Glasgow (COP26) to provide “effective responses” to the environment emergency and offer “concrete hope” to future generations. You can hear Pope Francis’ message and more information here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-59075041
A small Parish Church building but a large group of youth members of our Parish Family chose to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at the end of May.
The photos show Fr Michael having Bishop Marcus’s special permission to bestow the sacrament of Confirmation on Year 6 students of the Parish Family and lifelong friends now confirmed as friends forever!
What a splendid choice of Confirmation names …… Anne, Anthony of Padua. Bridget, Cecelia, Christopher, Edward, Frances, Francis, Irene, Mark, Oscar de Romero, Patrick, Peter, Philomena, Sebastian and Therese; so many great saints!
Bishop Marcus’ Pastoral Letter for Pentecost talks about the role we all have a part to play in the routines, choices and decisions of our everyday lives and our aspirations for the future. We have either been ignorant of, or ignored, the systematic exploitation of our planet and the unsustainable consumption of its resources. Bishop Marcus asks us to “keep this Feast with that enduring hope that we can begin to repair the damage we have done and provide a healthy home for future generations.”
Novena on the Care of Creation
We are invited to respond in prayer and action to the urgent climate change issues that we all face. The God Who Speaks team offers this Novena of readings and prayers drawn from the Bible and recent Papal teaching. Between Ascension and Pentecost, the Scriptures tell us: “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers…” (Acts 1:14) while they awaited to be “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49).
Diocesan Justice & Peace Commission
You can read this month’s newsletter on our Diocesan news & events page.
Thank you Fr Michael
A Wonderful Weekend What a wonderful weekend our Parish Family enjoyed. So many people came to celebrate Mass together. On Saturday evening we gathered after Mass for the blessing prayers for the newly installed defibrator. On Sunday a Mass we welcomed Josephine and Colin with their family to give thanks to the Lord for their […]
New fruit trees
In December 2022 Frances and Keith bought two fruit trees, an apple and a Victoria plum, a bag of soil conditioner and stakes to hold the trees in position. Mike and Keith dug out two holes in the garden (they are to the left of the presbytery) and placed the trees (still in their pots) […]
Fr Barrie Holmes
With great sadness I have to let you know that Fr Barrie Holmes died in St Gemma’s Hospice on the evening of Friday 19th November. He was our Parish Priest for some very special years. It was he who re-ordered our lovely Church, and help make it the lovely place / centre we all love. […]
Pope Francis’ on Thought for the Day for climate change
Dear BBC listeners, Good Morning. “Climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic have exposed our deep vulnerability and raised numerous doubts and concerns about our economic systems and the way we organise our societies. “We have lost our sense of security and are experiencing a sense of powerlessness and loss of control over our lives. “We […]
We have built a bug hotel from an old wooden pallet, a milk crate and some unused fencing panels. We gave it a new roof and covered it with roofing felt to make it last a long time. It is in place and now open for visitors! Our children will be filling it soon with […]
Jack’s hedgehog hotel
Jack and his grandad John have teamed up to build an amazing hedgehog hotel for their holiday project. Jack cut the tunnel and legs to size, he then drilled, glued and screwed the box and tunnel together leaving grandad to cover the box and fit the lid. The hotel is now in the Parish garden […]
Under the Gaze of God
Fr David Williams C.P. (who lives in Otley) has written a book which may be of interest to our parishioners. It is available from Amazon books.
Fr Michael – “A Golden Priest”
Fr Michael – “A Golden Priest” We at SS John Fisher and Thomas More are one of the lucky ones. We have the privilege and joy of celebrating a priest’s Golden Jubilee. Congratulations Fr Michael! Fr Michael as an altar boy at St Patrick’s, Fr Michael at his Ordination Mass […]
A poem to celebrate Fr Michael’s golden jubilee
From Us to You The Lord asked you to follow Him and serve with grace and love To minister to those in need of blessings from above To watch His flock and guide us and to teach us how to pray To understand the Gospels and to follow in His way This task accepted graciously […]
Youth take part in Father Michael’s Golden Jubilee Mass celebration
At Mass, on Sunday 7th March at SS John Fisher & Thomas More church Burley-in-Wharfedale, we gave thanks for and celebrated the Golden Jubilee of a Golden priest. Exactly 50 years ago, Father Michael Mahady was ordained a priest at St Patrick’s Church, Leeds on a wet Sunday in Lent. Father Michael celebrated his Golden […]
Catholic Care – Annual Review
Catholic Care’s 2020 annual review has been published, you can read it here. This is Bishop Marcus’ summary of its amazing work. “Despite all the phenomenal challenges and restrictions of the last year, the leadership, staff and volunteers of Catholic Care have diligently continued to provide an outstanding range of services and support to people […]
Fairtrade Fortnight starts on Monday 22nd February. Unfortunately, this year we will not be able to have a stall as we would usually do but can I encourage you to change one of your store cupboard items to Fairtrade, whether it is your tea/coffee, biscuits, honey, rice or toilet roll and there’s more!! This year […]
World Day of Prayer Service – 5th March 2021
The World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical woman led movement. This years’ service, written by women from Vanuatu (a group of islands in the South Pacific) should have been held in the Salem Church. As we are not able to meet together the Burley/Menston committee have compiled a service on-line. To participate, log […]
It’s always hard to think of things to do for Lent and, if you are struggling, we have attached some ideas for you here. You can cut them up and put them in a jar and draw one out each day or each week. There is something there for everyone. Don’t worry if you can’t […]
CAFOD – A special Lenten fast
Give up harsh words: use generous ones. Give up unhappiness: take up gratitude. Give up anger: take up gentleness and patience. Give up pessimism: take up hope and optimism. Give up worrying: take up trust in God. Give up complaining: value what you have. Give up stress: take up prayer. Give up judging others: discover […]
New benches around the Round House
There are now four benches and lots of lovely extra planting around the Round House. This has been a lovely collaborative project, and each of the four churches has supplied a bench. Each bench will have a little plaque on it. It is hoped the renovated gardens and comfortable seating will cause many friendships to […]
Pray Fast Give
This Lent our parish children and their families can find out here how we can look out and help each other, thinking of ideas based on the themes of prayer fasting and giving. Also we would like you to create an Easter garden and tell us just in a couple of sentences what you have […]
Not everything is locked down!
Still Unlocked! Thanks to Mary we have this video to share… Our church may be closed for just a little while but our prayers, like many other beautiful things, are not locked down. Let’s all use this one minute video to pass on the 3 wishes we have for each other in the last chapter […]
Tree of Life – Work with nature
In 2015 Pope Francis signed his landmark encyclical Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home, it asked us to think about the things we value most, how could we start to change what we do in our lives at home and in the parish to better protect and enhance our beautiful, but fragile […]
6th December 2020 Dear Parent or Carer, Below you will read the letter from the Diocese, this is different to previous years for 2 reasons. Firstly, the Diocese of Leeds have produced their own programme of materials including books to help you as the parent to play a main role in the preparation and learn […]
Tree of Life – Reduce, reuse, recycle, renewable
Reduce, reuse, recycle, renewable – or not wasting resources Examples include buying only what we need, lowering temperatures a little in our homes, installing solar panels on roofs, changing lights to LEDs, carshare or walk to church, use showers rather than baths, insulate our homes better, stop single use plastic & waste, recycle more and […]
Tree of Life – Petition & educate
Examples of what we can do include asking supermarkets to stop using single plastics, petition for better & cheaper public transport, come to an extra mass each week, work to save animals that are in danger, and publicise and share what we are doing. Our Parish Council thought engagement with our students and children should […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Celebrating Mothering Sunday
Children of the Parish Family presented all the ladies with daffodils galore. Thank you to this year’s Flower Fairy Godmother Pat for preparing all the lovely daffodils!
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’ annual appeal for Catholic Care
Bishop Marcus has asked us to support our diocesan charity Catholic Care. You can read Bishop Marcus’ letter here.
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 […]
Catholic Care is one of the charities we support. A link to a short video describing its work can be found here and further information is given on our charities webpage.
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 […]