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 weekly messages from Fr Michael and from Sue, our parish council chair and download the latest bulletins.  Please see our new 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’, encouraging us to do more to care for creation.

A message from Fr Michael – 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time Yr A.
“Keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus”
Another wonderful reading from Matthew’s Gospel today (14 22 -33). We have the story of Peter walking on the water towards Jesus. This is a story about faith – Peter’s faith journey and our faith journey too. Peter’s faith journey had moments of wonder and clarity – You are the Christ, the Son of The Living God! But there were also moments of failure when doubts and fears made him sink. “Jesus put out his hand at once and held him.”
Jesus invites us to come to him across the stormy waters of life. We must keep our eyes firmly on Jesus. We must keep listening to his words of love and encouragement. If we do this, and it is not always easy, we will find that Jesus has reached out to us and is holding us safe.
Fr Michael

Re-opening of our church for Masses from Monday 6th July

You can register here to attend Mass at weekends, it allows individuals, families and groups to secure seats at Mass.  The new system will help 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 from August 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.

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 Mass times or attend during the week
• the stewards do not need to book tickets to attend Mass
• we will keep a register of all who visit to aid contact tracing
• you will now need to bring and wear a mask when attending Mass
• there will be no singing in church
• the stewards /cleaners will clean the church on a regular basis before and after each Mass
• the stewards will wear PPE
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 safe and enjoy your holiday.
If any other parishioners would like to help and offer to be stewards and share the load; please let Fr Michael know.
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 in the cliff overlooking Tereli. The day after, the bodies of 12 young men were found and a further 6 are still missing. With your help, the BTFT will of course do everything we can to help the people of Tereli, but it also means a great deal to the people of Tereli that we are all praying and hoping for their safety.  More details and a prayer for Tereli can be found on our Charities page.

CAFODUnite against coronavirus to support our brothers and sisters in developing countries.
As we cope with coronavirus in the UK, we think of our sisters and brothers in developing countries who are facing this pandemic with fragile health systems, some of which have almost no intensive care beds or ventilators.
Food prices have already risen with borders closing, the poorest are losing their jobs and income with wholesale shutdowns. Furthermore, inadequate healthcare, lack of access to washing facilities and limited ability to social distance will result in loss of life on an intolerable scale. The likely impact will be devastating.
We are one global family. In order to continue protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities, your prayers, gifts and voices are needed now more than ever. Please visit cafod.org.uk/coronavirus to find out ways you can give, act and pray in response to this crisis.

Parish Offertory
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

Holy Mass is being live-streamed each weekday at 10:30am and on Sundays at 11:00am.  There will also be a live-stream of the Angelus at 12.00 noon each weekday, followed by praying the Rosary. To participate online, please access the Leeds Cathedral Live YouTube channel www.leedscathedrallive.org.uk where the words of Prayers, Devotions and Orders of Service may be viewed.

Mass and daily bulletins from Pope Francis can be read at http://www.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html 

Special prayers for us to say during this time of ‘flu and illness can be found here.  Readings and prayers for all daily services including Mass can be found here.



Book your place at weekend mass here


Anne Judge

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 […]