Tree of Life

Tree of Life
At our parish meeting in October Fr Tim asked us to include Caring for Creation as one of our main priorities. This would mean building on what we did to gain our CAFOD LiveSimply award with new ideas from all our parish families. At our Mass on Sunday 18th October you wrote your suggestions on card leaves, these will be added to the Tree of Life in the foyer. We will be repeating this at a Saturday Mass early in the New Year to give everyone in our parish the opportunity to contribute to this work. In the meantime, you can add your ideas on card leaves in the basket in the church foyer. Please include your name and email/telephone so that we can contact you.

Laudate Deum
On 4th October 2023 Pope Francis issued Laudate Deum, “Praise God”.  In this Apostolic Exhortation he asks us to help bring about large processes of transformation rising from deep within society to tackle the climate crisis.  Laudate Deum can be read here.  

Laudato Si’
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.

Despite much hard work we still have to take our blister packs in small personal size amounts to Superdrug pharmacies in Harrogate, Keighley or Leeds Kirkgate or Leeds Merrion centre.
If you ever go near one of these pharmacies please take a small bag or 2 bags and empty into the boxes or bags in the pharmacies.
We are working hard with councillors and others to achieve blister pack recycling similar to glass so please continue to help us with the drop off at the pharmacist.
Thank you

Please find the link to the #WharfedaleWombles Recycling Drop-Off Points Map:

Fruit Trees
Our parish children helped to plant the two fruit trees (an apple and a Victoria plum).  It was a great event, we look forward to picking the fruit in the next few years.
The Live Simply and the Gardening Team



During the children’s liturgy we discussed  Pope Francis’ letter where he talked about God’s love for the world which is our home and how we are, as Christians, need to look after it.  We also talked about the work we have done in church to try and follow the Pope’s messages  by creating our Tree of Life project where we have tried to respond to Francis’ messages by Living more simply, caring for others around us and looking after the environment
To live out the messages of living simply, live sustainably and live in solidarity with others in the world we created the “Live Simply Advent Calendar”. We thought this Advent instead of asking for more things which use up resources we would try and do other more sustainable things. The children came up with some great ideas like, use last year’s Christmas cards to make decorations , walk or carshare rather than drive, switch off lights when you are not in a room and make a Christmas present for someone rather than buying one. We have displayed this in church with all the ideas so please take a look and see what changes you could make.

We also gave our children’s liturgy advent wreath a makeover, replacing all the plastic on it with foliage collected from road side areas.

The Call of Creation
On the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the Bishops’ Conference launched a new edition of its environment document “The Call of Creation”. It talks to us on the need for the care of creation and protection of our common home. Do let us know how our parish family can act on its message. The forward and link to the document can be found at call-of-creation/

Writing in the foreword, Bishop John Arnold, Lead Bishop for the Environment, and Bishop Richard Moth, Chair of the Social Justice department, say:
“We are a people of hope who believe in redemption. We must study the signs of the times and take the action that is needed to repair our relationship with God’s creation. As is made clear in The Call of Creation, the exercise of the virtue of solidarity and the promotion of the common good, which are so needed at this time, are the responsibility of each and every individual and institution in society.”

Sunday 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, including our Tree of Life cake!
The Justice & Peace September 2022 newsletter can be found here, it includes the full story! about how our parish gained its LiveSimply award.

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.

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 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. Do add your new ideas to our Tree of Life in the church foyer.

Continuing the Action!

Memory jog …When we originally wrote on the brown “leaves and hung then on the Tree many of us said were wanted to and were going to Recycle more/
We have extended what we are doing at home by creating a mini-recycling area. Initially we will concentrate on used batteries and blister packs [from medicines] & contact lenses and old pens.
Thank you Judith for the collection bags.
We have a handout prepared within the Burley-in-Wharfedale Community to help us recycle virtually everything, please see the display for full details!
Thank you,
Keith, Frances, Sue

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…..

LiveSimply – Sunday 22 May

In October 2019 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. In the next few weeks we will have displays in the foyer with details of our projects. 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.

On Sunday 22 May between 10am – 1pm two of CAFOD’s LiveSimply assessors will visit our parish. They will meet us to discuss what we have already done, what new projects we will be doing and be with us for the 11am Mass. Do join us!

Two young parishioners busy at work during Children’s Liturgy in December
Two young helpers adding straw to the manger outside the Church Hall in preparation for the birth of Jesus.  Thanks to 3 members of the Parish Family the stable was made with recycled garden fencing and a delivery pallet was given a new life! 
The straw was donated from the local riding stables managed by a parishioner as are the cuttings of greenery … the work continues.


At the end of the Season of Creation four-week period in October we asked our parish families to let us know what actions they would be taking.  We had a great response, and your top 10 suggestions are listed below.
1. No littering
2. Switch off lights
3. Reuse/recycle more
4= Use a jumper instead of turning up the heating
      Change old lighting to LED bulbs
6 Grow fruit, herbs & vegetables in the garden
7 Take shorter showers
8 Eat less meat & dairy
9= Reduce plastic
     Avoid using the tumble dryer

We want to help take these forward, both at an individual level, but also as a parish family. We would like to share your ideas and what you have already done, so suggest we form a few groups to make this happen. These would be based on
– Tidy up, reduce plastic, recycle more
– Reduce energy and water use
– Grow and eat more sustainable food

Could you let us know which one you would like to join by signing one of the sheets in the church foyer. In the meantime please contact us at if you have any questions.
Thank you, Frances, Loraine, Sue, Keith

Pope Francis’ message for COP26
In a message recorded for the BBC’s 
Thought for the Day programme, Pope Francis has called on world leaders meeting next week at the UN Climate conference in Glasgow (COP26) to provide “effective responses” to the environment emergency and offer “concrete hope” to future generations.  You can hear Pope Francis’ message and more information here: or read the message here.

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 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.

Environmental Policy
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.

2021 programme

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 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 or Keith
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.

Loraine has done a fantastic job in planning, preparing and putting up the bird and bat boxes we have already on the trees in the church grounds.  Hopefully we will have a few more to put up when we can arrange for some of the children who made them, to put theirs up too.  Here’s Loraine’s message:

“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

Spring bulbs
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:
• simply
• 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  for lots of information.


Thank you Fr Michael

A Wonderful Weekend What a wonderful weekend our Parish Family enjoyed. So many people came to celebrate Mass together. On Saturday evening we gathered after Mass for the blessing prayers for the newly installed defibrator. On Sunday a Mass we welcomed Josephine and Colin with their family to give thanks to the Lord for their […]

New fruit trees

In December 2022 Frances and Keith bought two fruit trees, an apple and a Victoria plum, a bag of soil conditioner and stakes to hold the trees in position.  Mike and Keith dug out two holes in the garden (they are to the left of the presbytery) and placed the trees (still in their pots) […]

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 […]