Tree of Life
Our world, our parish
Although our lives are being affected by the need to isolate, it does give us an opportunity to think about the things we value most. It also asks us how can we start to change what we do in our lives to better protect and enhance our beautiful, but fragile world.
On 24th May 2015 Pope Francis signed his landmark encyclical Laudato Si’: On the Care of Our Common Home, it can be read here. A whole year of prayer and special intentions has begun. This is a great encouragement for us, in our Parish Family, to continue the work and projects we have begun.
We have created this page to provide suggestions, summaries of what we are doing now and also a place where we can share details and ideas. Please let us have your suggestions for us to show how we are responding to Laudato Si’ and make this a great and rewarding journey for us all. Do send these to Tol.email@example.com
Tree of Life Actions … volunteers needed!
Children and adults are invited on Saturday 23rd and / or Saturday 30th October after 10 am Mass (10.45am start) to help finish off our bug hotel / plant herbs and generally tidy the church grounds.
Please bring any materials like more bamboo sticks, pinecones, old bricks, moss and anything else that you think will make the hotel nice and cosy for our visitors and of course your ideas for a name for the hotel!
We may need a few tools – a saw for cutting the bamboo sticks to length – and other garden implements – gloves, secateurs, trowel, brush etc . If the adults can help with some other cutting back/weeding/pruning on the day that would also be great.
Remember many hands make light work so it would be great to have as many children and adults there as possible. The more people contribute and get involved the better.
There will be hot chocolate and biscuits to keep the busy workers refreshed!
Sunday 10 October was a great success at both Masses school children had a special meeting during the first part of the Mass with Mary P. and guest John N. During the Homily given by the Tree of Life team group, many members of the Parish family completed a little survey the results of which we will report back to you. We have left the Questionnaires out to encourage Parishioners who had not had the opportunity on Sunday to take part independently. After the Masses the children showed their Parents and Parishioners what they have been doing! Quite amazing.
The Tree of Life working with nature group needs lots more volunteers to give a little time no more than one Saturday a month during the growing months. Or you could become an independent member watering plants and removing any weeds which risk appearing in the beautiful new flower bed, planter and herb bed! THANK YOU to all of the T of L team and everyone for avoiding parking in front of the insect friendly front flower bed.
If you have insect friendly or any plants or herb plants to donate PLEASE contact Frances on firstname.lastname@example.org or pop a note through the Presbytery door, funds are not good so free plants are a bonus.
Free solar panels and insulation for low income homeowners from Leeds City Council:
For a limited time only, households in the Leeds City Council area earning less than £30,000 can receive free solar panels and insulation from the council via Better Homes Yorkshire. Once installed, homeowners will fully own the work. To qualify, your home must have a low EPC (D, E, F or G) but you don’t need to know your EPC to apply. Call 0800 597 1500 or visit the Better Homes Yorkshire Website to learn more.
You can read the Diocese of Leeds’ Environmental Policy here.
The Diocese of Leeds Justice & Peace May 2021 newsletter can be found here, it includes:
- Bishop Marcus’ Pastoral letter for Pentecost on the challenge of Climate Change
- How we can respond to the Climate Crisis
What we are doing
Please see the progress we made in 2020 in our parish project in the Tree of life – Work with nature News item.
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 waiting for its first visitors. Please click here to find out more and see how it was designed and built.
Season of Creation
The Season of Creation runs from: September 1st, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation until Oct. 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
- It provides us a good opportunity to reflect on and pray about what we are going to do to care for creation, both at a personal level and also in our Parish Family.
- It also helps us to support the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) which will be held in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November.
In March 2020 our Parish family began our Tree of Life programme, YOU wrote down 383 suggestions of how to care for creation including reducing energy use, transport costs & waste, improving our church grounds and buying less clothing.
The last 18 months have been difficult to get these suggestions actioned, but we have made a good start including:
- outside the church entrance areas we dug up tired old plants and planted new bulbs and bee friendly flowers & shrubs
- the children planted and looked after sunflower seedlings and built bird & bat boxes
- Jack and his grandad have built a hedgehog hotel
- we installed a triple compost bin and water butts in the church garden
- two of our families have had solar panels installed on their house roofs, one family has replaced their gas boiler with a heat pump
- we have replaced a number of lights with LEDs in the church, presbytery and hall
- we have begun to replace rotten window frames and installed more effective double glazing
In this Season of Creation we would like to continue the good work we have begun and do more, in our homes and in the Parish family. We have 4 weeks to make a difference which we can sustain!
In week 1. That is now! Let’s turn to the garden and adopt one of these good actions:
- Return unwanted plastic plant pots to Courtyard planters who will use them; make sure they are in sized sets not a bag of odd ones.
- Start saving cardboard to use as weed matting. Just add to beds in autumn and cover in compost; in Spring the worms will have taken this valuable goodness back into your soil. I grew on lots of my seedlings in this way this year and there were no weeds to cull.
- Don’t put the toilet roll and kitchen roll centres in the trash, put them in the compost to aerate and to speed up the composting process.
For our sustainable actions in week 2, 3 and 4 please give us your ideas, send to Frances email@example.com or Keith firstname.lastname@example.org
Do let us know what you have done, what you would like to do and if you need any help. Thank you,
Frances, Keith and Sue
Prayer for Week 1 Please join as a Parish Family with this daily prayer
We pray for the world, our common home: that through God’s grace we may hear its cry for the damage done and be moved to protect it for future generations to enjoy.
Lord, in your mercy…Hear our prayer.
Our Tree of Life actions continue
IN WEEK 2 OF 4 our focus moves from the garden to “Saving carbon/energy at home” and also within the church buildings. Fr Michael has asked that we look at this here, we will be having a parish meeting to discuss all our ideas.
Bird & bat boxes
CHILDREN please could you ask your parents if you could bring back to church any Bird boxes you made and have not put up in your own garden. Put your initials on them somewhere so you can watch when a bird nests in your box in the back garden of the church.
“Easter is the time to celebrate Hope, Renewal and New Life
So, we Hope that you take the time to see the Renewal of our church garden and keep a watch out for New Life in the bird houses and bat boxes in the trees.
“At the first signs of Spring, some of the bird houses and bat boxes that our children put together at the end of last year have been put up. The poster shows the bird’s-eye-view of locations.
We will be adding more boxes during the year and will update you with a new plan.
“The different houses are needed for different species:
Open fronted nest box – Robins, Wrens and Pied Wagtails
Bird House, 24mm doorway – small tit species such as Blue Tit, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit
Bird House, 28mm doorway – bigger species such as Great Tit, Crested Tits, Tree Sparrows and Pied Flycatchers
Bat House – Pipistrelle
The bulbs we planted last year have been great, the bedding plants are now being established and will add lots of colour and be pollinators for insects.
We’ve bought and built a triple composter! This will be for grass cuttings, flowers and raw fruit & veg kitchen waste. We will use the compost for flower beds and other areas in the church gardens.
CAFOD’s Livesimply award
We plan to apply to CAFOD’s Livesimply award, this is an opportunity to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”. This is awarded to communities who can show how they have been living:
• in solidarity with people in poverty, and
• sustainably with creation
We are working with the diocese’s Justice & Peace climate change group to promote and share ideas, see https://www.leedsjp.org.uk/campaigns/climate-change/ for lots of information.
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 […]