Latest news, Our Parish Family

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!

A HUGE Thank You to EVERYONE for helping to make this happen and to ALL those who came along to make it such a success.
This was our first social event in a long time. Shall we do it again? And what else shall we do to continue our Friendships and Faith in Action.
PLEASE let us know. The Welcomers, the Parish Pastoral Council or Fr Michael would really appreciate your suggestions. Sue.

More details can be found here.

A DATE for your Diary: SUNDAY 21st August
Burley Praise in the Park with Churches Together 10am – 11:15am.
Venue: Grange Park, Grange Park Road.
You are invited to come along to our joint Outdoor Praise Service. Do bring a chair or rug to sit on as we worship together in
our community.

Leeds Trinity University is holding a Mass in remembrance of former Chaplain, Fr David Smith on Saturday 10 September. Initially planned for 2020, as it marked 25 years since his death, it sadly had to be postponed due to lockdown. Mass will start at 12noon, with refreshments following and networking in the Studio Bar. For refreshment purposes, please book your free place here: mass-to-remember-fr-david-smith-1.php

Rev Fr David Williams CP  R.I.P.
It is with great sadness that I let you know of the death of Fr David Williams.
During his years in retirement in Otley, Fr David became a great friend to our Parish Family, praying Mass and being a member of the Scripture Group.
Eternal rest grant to him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen

‘FIRST FRIDAY FRIENDS’ is back in our Church Hall after more than 2 years!
Everyone, young and young at heart, is welcome to come for a catch-up, a chat, tea, coffee and cake in a dementia friendly environment between 2pm and 4 pm on Friday 5th August.  Hope to see you there!
For more details or if you need a lift please contact Margaret on 01943874352.

Ilkley Half Marathon
Dear friends,
Every year, as I sign up for the Ilkley half marathon, I think that this time I won’t fundraise, I’ll just do it for fun. But then I’m reminded how difficult life is for our friends in Mali and how hard it is just to survive from one season to the next. We have so much here in Burley, yet in our twin village of Tereli, on the same line of longitude but far south, they have so little, and the little we can give makes such a huge difference to them – food, water, medicine, education, and nothing wasted on administration. So with apologies, once again I’m asking for your support for this excellent cause (see Any donation you can make, large or small, would be gratefully received. If you are able to donate, there is a JustGiving page to make it easy –
Thank you.

CONGRATULATIONS to Majella Adie and Christopher Manley who will celebrate their wedding this weekend. We wish them great joy and happiness.

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
Sue Rix

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.

CONGRATULATIONS to 2 Parish Family Members for their work in Burley-in-Wharfedale which links with the Tree of Life activities.
Alexander Hughes for winning the award for litter pickier of the year 2021!
Loraine Hughes for receiving a certificate at the LS29 Environmental Awards.

Live Simply
Sunday 22 May Trish & Paul, two of CAFOD’s LiveSimply assessors, visited our parish to discuss what we have already done and what new projects we will be doing. We also had a Children’s Liturgy centred on our Tree of Life project.  Great news: we have gained a LiveSimply award, please see the message below from Sue, chair of our Parish Pastoral Council.

A message from Sue
Many thanks and sincere congratulations to one and all and, all those I have missed off the list through lack of contact details. We left church at 1.40pm following very positive and complimentary feedback. We were pleased to receive a little useful advice too and look forward to the written feedback.
I think I am at liberty to say that the next visit from Paul and Trish will be to present the plaque as we have been successful in gaining the award. We want everyone to be there to share in the celebration.
Special thanks of the Parish Family go to Fr Michael for his enthusiasm, encouragement and presence, to Frances, Keith, Mary and Loraine (and their long-suffering husbands and wives – your rewards will be great) who have given so much time, energy, creativity and tenacity to this journey.
To the 3 groups/ strands and thus 3 teams of people who have worked throughout the 3 years and everyone who has taken an active part -adults, youth and children.
I leave you with a thought…and we would welcome ALL ideas…… How do we continue and increase our efforts in response to “The cry of the Poor” and “The cry of the Earth” in meaningful and impactful ways?
Today is a Parish Family celebration but now we need to relax, regroup and proceed with vitality and creativity looking to increase our activities associated with our Spirituality and Petitioning as with seek to “Love one another” more throughout the world.
Sue R

In October 2019 you will remember we launched our Tree of Life project as our parish family response to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si. This has given us an opportunity to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”.
Our parish family has made an application to CAFOD’s LiveSimply award programme. The award is given to parishes and schools to recognise programmes they have put in place to show how they have been living:
• simply
• in solidarity with people in poverty, and
• sustainably with creation
Over the last 2 years we have progressed your suggestions in our parish family and in our homes, and by supporting charities in our diocese and overseas. You will see displays in the foyer and the hall with details of our projects, you can also find information about these on our Tree of Life page.  This will include an opportunity for you to add new ideas to our Tree of Life, one of these will be an indoor area for recycling items such as blister packs.
Frances, Mary, Sue, Keith


Tree of Life – Easter Gardens

Mary co-ordinated a fantastic group of 3 children’s liturgy sessions in Lent which culminated in celebrating the Easter story on Easter Sunday.
We (and the children) made some Easter gardens and you will be able to see these if you haven’t already – in the structure we had previously used as a stable at Christmas-time.
Here are the children and the gardens they made depicting 3 crosses on a grassy hill and an empty tomb with the covering stone rolled away and the used shroud on top…..







17 children came to a special Children’s Liturgy at 11am mass where they started to make Easter Gardens. They used seed trays, peat-free compost, grass seeds, cress seed, moss and pebbles. It was a wonderful occasion. 

Children came on Sunday 3rd April to help finish off the Easter Gardens. They brought twigs to make crucifixes to decorate the gardens.

Good Friday – Walk of Witness with the churches of Burley-in -Wharfedale.

On Good Friday morning more than 70 people aged 5 upwards from the 4 church Communities of Burley in Wharfedale walked from SS John Fisher and Thomas More parish church via St Mary’s parish church onwards to The Methodist church and then the United Reform Church and finally St Mary’s parish centre.

Alistair opened the Walk of Witness with a wonderful welcome to all including, family visitors from Hungary!

We then listened to readings from St John’s Gospel and a prayer read by Loraine, Rosalia and Mark; members of our Parish Family who live in Burley. Finally, we were invited to be silent for one minute to reflect on the story of the Passion we were sharing through the Readings. To help us we had a piece of rope, pieces of purple and white cloth, and a nail

With a hot cross bun for sustenance, although some were fasting, we were on our way, ably led by Nathan [Cross bearer] Christopher and Daniel.

The spring weather was perfect as was the company of friends old and new. The dogs, a little one with a scooter, parishioners with walking sticks and walking trolleys, adults from far flung Guiseley and Menston, youth members, clergy, parents and grandparents reminded us how wonderfully diverse God’s Family is and how all over the world Christians were celebrating the sadness of Good Friday.

At St Mary’s church, the Methodist church and the United Reform Church we stopped for further readings, prayers, reflection and time together as we undertook very meaningful activities with the help of items from our individual brown paper bags! Thumb prints to make up the Cross of Jesus, ‘scratch art’ crosses, and twig crosses bound together with Ukraine flag-coloured yarns.

Thank you to Margaret and all who helped to bring us together to listen, pray, reflect and share. May our Friendship continue in many ways.

Parish Donations
Dear Parishioner thank you for your generous donations over the past year, and a special thank you to those who have set up standing orders as this reduces administration and cost. I urge anyone that can, to set-up a standing order. As we start the new financial year this may be a good time, if you are able, to consider increasing your offering too. I am pleased to announce that we now have a digital collection system in the foyer. This will allow you to make contactless donations to the parish and to second collections using debit/credit cards or mobile phones. Where appropriate donations can be gift aided.

Please book online: or call 01732 886666. New volunteer carers and registered nurses welcome. Full training given. Please email Anita for more information about volunteering – Please book as soon as possible.

We feel we are ready for the Readers Rota to be recommenced .
Please could we hear from NEW READERS willing to read at a Mass of their choice, about every 6 weeks or so . Please would youth members of the Parish family who are confirmed volunteer to read at the Mass time they like best ….you can be partnered with an older person and just do one reading at first whichever is the easier. Some of you are already able to do both; or 2 Young people could do it together. Please just say if you have a partner you would like to read with. Altar Servers are able to volunteer for this ministry as well as Altar Serving.
We would love to hear from people who have joined the Parish in recent years.

Please ring Theresa on 01943 864703 or email to put your name on the list.
Please do not be shy!
Theresa will contact all the current readers [with her fingers crossed ] and hope that you are all willing to continue your ministry. Many many thanks.

From Parish to Mission

On 10th October 2021, Pope Francis formally opened a two-year process called ‘a synod on synodality,’ officially known as ‘Synod 2021-2023: For a Synodal Church.’ In brief, the process entails bishops around the world consulting with all the baptised before coming together for a gathering of bishops in October 2023. This process also marks the beginning of our own diocesan process of consultation, From Parish to Mission.  

Thank you for coming to the special parish meeting “From Parish to Mission”.
Thank you, also to those who could not come, but filled in the on-line or hard copy versions of the Diocesan Survey. We will keep you informed as the Diocese further explores its way to: Mission in the 21st Century
(You can still contribute below)

There are 10 themes to consider:

  • Our journeying companions
    As we journey together let us look around. Who are our companions in the Church and what persons or groups are marginalised?
  • Listening
    How might our local Church better listen to lay people (especially young people and women, minorities and those who are not respected?
  • Speaking out
    How can everybody be encouraged to communicate properly what is important to them?
  • Celebrating
    How do the Mass, other liturgies and music help us in our Christian lives and how might we participate in them at a deeper level?
  • Taking responsibility together
    How can each Baptised person become a “missionary disciple” and reveal Christ to others through their words and deeds?
  • Dialogue in Church and society
    How might we improve our conversations within our diocesan family and also outside of it, (for example with people of different faiths, those who have no faith and those who have particular roles and duties.
  • With the other Christian denominations
    Are our relations with our brothers and sisters in other Christian denominations good and how might they be improved?
  • Authority and participation
    How might we develop teamwork and a sense of co-responsibility in our local Church?
  • Discerning and deciding
    How might we improve the process of decision-making in our local Church, so that we truly listen and recognise that the Holy Spirit can speak through each one of us?
  • Staying together on the same path
    What training, habits and awareness are necessary within the local Church if we are to become better at listening to one another and sharing our insights with one another?

More information and details for our Parish to follow.

Praise in the Park
Wonderful to see many of our Parish family gathered together last month. Some of us had not seen each other for 18 months!  We weathered the 2 downpours, sang and prayed together and listened to many stories of life in the very caring village of Burley in Wharfedale.
CONGRATULATIONS to Charlotte for reading her prayer, a brilliant reader, in front of a large and unfamiliar crowd, of babies through to nearly 100years of age!  Thank you to Danielle too!

Better Together
My prayer is that we will all realise that although different each and everyone of us belongs to God’s family and though our churches have different names God is with us All when we come together to pray.

I pray we will be united and stand strong as a community like the different parts of the body, we work better together.

I pray for peaceful world in which we are all accepted and loved and where we look after God’s beautiful creation through our thoughtful actions.

Lord Hear Our Prayer



Donations of household goods, small items of furniture, clothing, bedding etc. for St Vincent’s may be dropped off at Sacred Heart Ilkley church garage between 11.30 – 12.00 on the first Saturday of every month.  To donate larger items of furniture please contact St Vincent’s directly on 01274 726790 or
Any queries to Krzysia on 07906 445886.

Confirmation 2021

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!

Team BTFT have run the Ilkley Half Marathon
In July Tom Lally, Keith Pitcher, Chris and Tom Inglehearn and Richard & Lynne Woods all completed the Ilkley half marathon to fundraise for the Burley-Tereli Friendship Trust ( As you may know, last April Tereli was attacked by bandits, the animals were stolen, 12 people killed and grain stores burnt, so it was a tough year for them, but we were able to buy millet to tide them over. It was also a tough year for BTFT because there were few opportunities to fundraise, so any help, large or small, would be much really appreciated. You can donate online to or in an envelope in the church offertory marked Ilkley Half Marathon.  Thank you!

The J&P October 2021 newsletter can be found here, it includes:

  • exploring and praying about the links between conflict & climate change
  • concerns for our planet, want to do more – but how to start?
  • charity, justice & philanthropy, talk by Paul Vallely
  • in work poverty and the SVP by John Battle
  • LEEDS Palestinian Film Festival 2021

Please keep our children and their parents in your prayers by joining in the Our Father which is the first prayer they are saying together.

Sunflower Seedlings have all been Collected


We would like you to nurture a seeding plant, water it, love it and name it! (can be any name- your own, someone else’s, just a name you like, or any made up name). Then, in a few weeks’ time, we will invite you to bring it back (it could be planted into another larger pot if needed…) and place it next to, or near the raised bed at the front of the church steps. This will hopefully be in time for the sunflowers to grow and start developing their Beautiful Bright Yellow Sunny Flowers!
We hope that this will coincide with the building and habitation of the new Insect Hotel (Bug House) which we hope to build together with anyone who is interested. We aim to create and develop lots of Insect friendly plants, and a house/home for the insects, encouraging and nurturing nature in our community and helping it grow.
This will be of ongoing interest alongside any activity in the Bird and Bat Boxes made by some of our children – which have been put up on trees in the Church Grounds. We intend to have a little competition for the Best Sunflower Plant Name, the Tallest Plant, and the Plant most visited by Insects!

I hope as many people as possible will join in the fun and enjoy Nature in the world around us.

P.S. Still WANTED: Small pallets, old tiles, bits of bricks, wood off-cuts, bamboo sticks, dry branches/sticks, pine cones – for the Bug House.
Can leave anything like this just behind the raised bed, under the bushes there, or contact me on if further questions

Appeal to younger children on behalf of the little ones who listen to Catholic Care Story-times, especially during lock down.
Have you any story books which you could donate to Catholic Care to help them with their story time sessions? Unusual titles [not the well-known Fairy Tales] which you enjoyed but have outgrown.  If Mum or Dad could drop me a text 07939063120 [Sue] we could arrange legal pick up or drop off in the next couple of weeks.

When you cannot come to Mass here are some activities on our Youth, family and children’s webpage which will help you follow the Church’s Year and Feast Days.

  • ICHTHUS weekly sheet – to help us think about this week’s Mass readings & prayers
  • LOOK –children’s weekly activity sheet

“Not everything is Locked down”
If you have one spare minute you might like to view a video in the News section. In just 1minute and 17 seconds it reassures us “Not everything is Locked down”.

This weekend completes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021, 18 – 25th January. Sadly, our usual celebrations and events cannot take place but do pray especially for our Churches Together in Burley and Menston.
Give thanks to God for the spirit of love and cooperation we have as we try together to witness to God’s love.


  • Zoom Coffee Morning. Friday mornings at 11am starting on 22nd January. A place to have a chat, become part of a community and have some fun! Meeting ID: 882 6618 1071; Passcode: Hello21
  • Relax and Revive. Join Janet Kent every Monday afternoon at 4pm for a friendly online relaxation group. Meeting ID: 820 5307 5411; Passcode: 655300


Throughout October we celebrated First Holy Communion, Covid style. Our children who had been waiting for several months had happy celebrations in a very safe way with a few of their First Holy Communion group friends. They were all wonderful occasions despite the limitations of only bubbles of parents and siblings, and no group photos with families on the Sanctuary steps. The children prompted teary eyes among their parents and Catechists as they received their First Holy Communion in the most reverent way. It was so very special to each family as these snapshots portray. Congratulations to the children and their parents who with Nicola’s guidance prepared their children under the new programme of Parental Catechesis. Thank you to Gabby for her help and to Fr Michael for his extra special guidance.


Burley churches are praying together….
Praying in Burley is a Facebook page, located at for anyone to post something they would like prayers to be said for.  Each day at 4pm a person from one of the village churches will pray live using those prayers.  Everyone is encouraged to join in prayer at that time for each other’s needs.

How do we discover the church in a time of social distancing?
John Sullivan has shared his thoughts about this, you can read John’s article here.

 Our page for children
A page for the YOUNGER MEMBERS of the Parish Family, a wonderful way to help everyone feel our Parish Family is alive and still growing together. 

Mary  and the Children’s Liturgy Leaders have designed a new Children’s Liturgy page which brings the Gospel story and activities to celebrate Sunday Mass themes. It will bring smiles between parents and children, and a with one extra click as directed a range of activities which children can choose from according to the age and interests , from colouring to a  wordsearch. 

CAFOD continues to offer a CHILDREN’S LITURGY at 10am EVERY SUNDAY MORNING. It is quite short, see

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


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 […]

Bug Hotel

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

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 […]

Lenten Activities

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 […]

Sacraments 2021

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

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 […]

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: 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 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

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 […]