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.
In today’s First Reading, Isaiah’s fourth servant Song, ‘The Servant’ offers his life to atone for the sins of the people. His death will crown him in glory and will become a source of blessings for others. The early Christians were quick to realise that these prophetic words spoke of the saving sufferings and death of Jesus. In the Gospel we see that the apostles were not quick to learn the message. They are still driven by worldly ambitions and desires. Jesus sets the example himself. He came “not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” All authority in the Church must follow his example.
DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE CARE OF CREATION – WEDNESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER
The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation was celebrated on 1 September. The idea of 1st September as a day of prayer for creation began at the wish of the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios in 1989, and was endorsed by Pope Francis in 2015, following his encyclical in May of the same year:
Laudato Si’ (Blessed Be), On Care for Our Common Home. The Season runs from 1st September to 4 October, Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi. The theme for the Season of Creation 2021 is Restoring Our Common Home, a theme that addresses how as people of faith we must urgently act to not only protect but restore God’s beautiful gift of creation.
The Day of Prayer kicks off the Season of Creation, which lasts a month and four days – a time when Christians of all denominations unite in sustained prayer and action. During this Season we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events in order to deepen our relationship with our God, our neighbour and the earth we share, being ever more attentive to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
The global Christian family is called to awaken to the urgent need to heal our relationships with creation and with each other and to encourage our parish communities to do the same, “for we know that things can change!” (Laudato Si’, 13).
This year we celebrate this season mindful of the fact that our world continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic as well as a devastating climate and biodiversity crisis. We look towards two UN Conferences in the Autumn in hope that world leaders will take the urgent action that is needed to Restore Our Common Home:
COP15 on Biodiversity is due to take place in China this October, when world leaders can set meaningful targets to protect creation;
COP24 on Climate Change, will take place in Glasgow this November, when countries will announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris agreement of 2015.
Catholics are urged to sign the Healthy Planet Healthy People petition as a key action for this year’s Season of Creation. This petition has been endorsed by the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development in the hope that millions of Catholics will raise their voices in the public sphere to help Restore Our Common Home in the run up to these vital UN Conferences.
To sign the petition, go to https://thecatholicpetition.org
Season of Creation
We have entered the Season of Creation, it runs from 1st September, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation until 4th October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Please let us know what you will be doing or would like to do, both at a personal level and also in our Parish Family. You can find out more on our Tree of Life page.
With the easing of the Covid-19 regulations Fr. Michael has decided to return the church to a more normal arrangement, whilst still being aware that we are not yet in normal times and the virus is not yet beaten. Please see our Latest News, our Parish Family page for full details.
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).
You can 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 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.
Diocesan Justice & Peace Commission
You can read this month’s newsletter on our Diocesan news & events page.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]