Welcome to St John Fisher & St Thomas More Roman Catholic Church

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.

Our friendly parish would very much like to welcome you to our church throughout the year.

Children are invited to join their Parish Family Friends at Children’s Liturgy during the first part of the 11am Mass on Sundays in term-time.

Parents of Primary school children would be so very welcome to join the Children’s Liturgy team. Please speak to Fr Michael or send him a message.

You can find details of our parish life, how you can get involved and who to contact for further information, in our welcome pack that can be found here. Hard copies of the welcome pack are available in the church foyer.  If you think you would like to help in any role, please feel free to ask Fr Michael to pass your details to the organiser of your chosen ministries.

Do take a look through our website, we hope it will provide you with a brief insight into our church, its history and what’s going on. But if it doesn’t answer all your questions, please don’t hesitate to call us on: 01943 863179

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.

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 sat on the steps to read the children a Christmas story—called ‘Room for a Little One’. We sang lots of lovely Christmas carols, it was the perfect start to Christmas.

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!  The wet clothes were quickly forgotten as they were greeted with tea and scrumptious cakes!!
Thank you everyone for such a happy time together as Parish Family!
Diary date for next year Sunday 6th September .
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 group during the 11:00 Mass each weekend.’

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 amazing, generous support, both on the day and your donations to support Zakari and his colleagues as they strive to initiate a palliative care programme for cancer in Mali. So far we have raised £5,800, which will make a real difference and is what helped to inspire us during the run. You can donate online at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=TeamBTFT&pageUrl=2 

Chris, Keith, Tom, Colin, Neil, India, Richard, Mary, Lynne, David, & Laura

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!

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 to the destitute asylum seeking women in the House in Beeston, four bags have been retained for the new house in Harehills for the destitute asylum seeking women who will be housed there. Carol Hill (Director of Catholic Care) made the final delivery of the remaining bags to St George’s Crypt to support homeless men and women.

Martin Patterson (Development Director at St George’s Crypt) said people often forget about specific ladies toiletries and the bags were very welcome. He thanked those who had donated.

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 the parish of Our Lady of Kirkstall has achieved in their Live Simply actions
– a person from an indigenous community talking about opposition to mining
– Greta Thunberg’s address to COP24 in Katowice about political action
We finished with discussions about personal and parish actions that we can do,  committing these to paper in the shape of a leaf for our future use.

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 as it was at the gathering in the parish hall after the celebration of the sacrament. Both church and hall were filled to overflowing as the parish family gathered with Father Michael to share a party supper!

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 Parish Hall with a party for children and families – as the photos show Father got lots of help when cutting the scrumptious cakes!

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 Bishop Marcus’ letter here.
Mass readings Readings for daily Mass and prayers can be found at Universalis
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 to care for your family with love. Let us bear witness to the Good News, and be faithful followers of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen

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.


Day of Recollection

A Day of Recollection will be held at Leeds Trinity University on Saturday 21st March from 10am to 5pm. The theme will be “Where are the Scriptures in your Life” and will be led by John Arnold, Bishop of Salford. See here for full details. Please contact Chris L’Estrange on chris.lestrange@sky.com or 07740 624989 to advise if you wish to come.

Mgr Tony Boylan

It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Mgr Tony Boylan who died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday morning 20th November. Mgr Boylan was born in Bradford on the 6th May 1939. He studied at St Bede’s before going to Ushaw College to study for the priesthood. He was ordained at St Joseph’s Church, Bradford on the 24th May 1964. He was our Parish Priest from 1998 until 2006. He is remembered with love and deep gratitude. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Message from Pope Francis for the Care of Creation

Fr Michael spoke to us to about Pope Francis’ message to feel challenged to assume, with prayer and commitment, our responsibility for the care of creation. Also for God to grant us the courage to do good without waiting for someone else to begin, or until it is too late. A summary of Pope Francis’ appeal can be found here and the encyclical Laudato Si’ here.

Diocesan Justice & Peace Commission newsletter

Welcome to our February newsletter.  In this month’s bumper 12 page edition:-

  • A report from Our Lady & St Joseph of the Aire Valley about a pilgrimage with a difference
  • Hello to Sue Parsons -Coordinator for the Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Scheme
  • Goodbye (ish) to Joe Burns and hello to Helen Hayden
  • An update about the Northern Dioceses’ Environment Group (who knew there was one?)

Kim’s poem for corporal David O’Connor

Kim wrote this poem just after David’s funeral. He was Kim’s brother’s eldest son. He was a corporal in the Royal Marines. He was killed while on active service in Afghanistan on 24 October 2012. He was 27 years old.

CAFOD – El Salvador and Columbia

Our parish has supported CAFOD’s work with the Puentecitos community in El Salvador for the last 4 years.  We raised £491 from book sales in the church foyer and £2,511 from our parish team running the 2015 Great North Run.  Read here about the amazing projects that have been completed, helping to improve people’s income and food production in this very poor region of the country.  From January 2019 our parish has been supporting people in Magdalena Medio, Columbia through CAFOD’s HandsOn programme.