kirkstall abbey



Dancing the night away for The Peter Trust

An enjoyable evening was spent on Saturday 15th October in aid of The Peter Trust. Foot tapping music from The Togs encouraged many to the dance floor. A Jazz interlude was also performed by the Fr Pat Combo.



The newly completed refurbishment of Assumption Social Centre


Seniors Tea Party

On Sunday 3rd October the St Mary's SVP hosted a tea party with support from Holy Name SVP too. This was for the elders in the parish to replace their normal Christmas celebration in January.
Thirty five guests came altogether three attended from Assumption and six from holy name.
An army of volunteers from St Mary's parish who support the SVP arrived. With lovely home made cakes buns and scones. The sandwiches were made by the SVP ladies ... The tables were set and the food was beautifully presented to all of the guests.
An entertainer was booked and all the old time classics were sung and people joined in too.
All in all everyone had a lovely time. Father Pat visited and supported with calling out the raffle numbers and chatting to people on each table.
Well done everyone who supported this event it was well received and we look forward to the next Joint venture.
Judith Holy name SVP secretary




If you have a child due to start school in September 2017 and would like to visit the local school please contact them directly to book a place on their open days.

Holy Name Catholic Voluntary Academy, Cookridge
Thursday 10th November. 9.30am and 1.30pm.
0113 2936444 or (

St Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, Horsforth
Tuesday 15th November, 9.30am and 1.30pm.
0113 2584593 or (

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Kirkstall
Wednesday November 16th, 10.00am, 1.30pm and 5.30pm. 0113 3368003 or (





Our Lady of Kirkstall pilgrimage to St. Anne's Cathedral 11th June


Views of the pilgrimage

On Saturday June 11th parishioners gathered from the three churches of OLK parish to celebrate the Year of Mercy and avail of the special grace of Pilgrimage by participating at Mass, using the Cathedral Holy Door, and availing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many undertook the Walk from Kirkstall Abbey along the canal tow path to Leeds City Centre and up to St Anne's, while others came by public transport or were brought along by fellow parishioners in their private cars.

A group of our most senior members came in a special minibus singing Pilgrim Songs on their journey. The musicians and singers were drawn from our three churches and gave a wonderful lead to the congregation who joined in the many hymns and all the sung Mass parts with great vigour. Members of the Uniformed Organisations acted as Welcomers, giving out the Orders of Service while others took up the Collection and brought the Gifts to the Altar.

An important feature of the Mass was the enrolment of over 40 Altar Servers in the Archconfraternity of St Stephen. About 500 were present in the Cathedral church, filling the Nave to capacity. In the midst of several rainy days Saturday remained dry throughout the time of the Pilgrimage, which was a great blessing in itself, and the Spirit of the Lord was manifest in the joyful celebration of the Liturgy. Many thanks to all who organised the happy event, and to all who took part in this very special occasion.





Easter at the Assumption

painting info Vatican Leeds Holy Name line

Mass for Young Families

Rainbow Cross - Preparing coloured scrolls of Prayers/Promises for father/mother
Mirrors: Decorating a personal mirror which shows someone God loves!
Board Game: Playing out the Story of the Prodigal Son
Cosy Corner: A place to 'chill out' with mum/dad
Paper Pool: Having fun with pretty colours
Hand Printing: Making personalised prayer cards.

22 families attended this fourth Mass for Young Families. There were 38
children in all. After the activities everyone took part in a simple Mass at
which older children were readers and led Bidding Prayers and the Rainbow
Cross was presented at the Altar during the Offertory Procession. Everybody
sang familiar songs including the parts of the Mass learned in church.

The Gospel was the one for the Sunday (the Prodigal Son) and in his homily
Fr Pat explained that the test of real love was when we are ready to give
someone a hug of love whether they have been good, or penitent, - or not!
(like the Father did in the parable told by Jesus).
Afterwards a picnic tea was enjoyed with sharing of the various foods
brought by participants.

A happy occasion! Many thanks to all our Catechists and Helpers, and to St
Mary's School community for hosting the event again.
The next two Masses for Young Families are scheduled for Saturday June 25th,
and Saturday October 19th - note the dates in your diaries now!




Download here the Bambisanani trip story - South Africa 2015 by Elliot Mulligan

St Mary's Newsletter November 2105 download here.


Day of Recollection for OLK Ministers of the Word and Eucharist.

Sr Margaret Atkins was the guest speaker at this year's special Day for OLK Ministers of the Eucharist and Readers held last Saturday February 20th and hosted by St Mary's church, Horsforth, in the School Assembly Hall. Sister made full use of the sophisticated projection facilities installed in the hall to engage her audience of over 60 Ministers and Readers in her presentation which was on Pope Francis' recent Encyclical Letter 'Laudato Si' - Care for our Common Home'.
In the morning session Sister made direct links from passages of the Encyclical to the exercise of the two Ministries and in the afternoon she provided an excellent summary of its overall teaching.
Sister illustrated the main points she was making with attractive photos taken in the chapel and grounds of Boarbank Hall Pastoral Centre (Allithwaite, Cumbria) - where she lives with other members of her Augustinian Religious Community - of groups visiting the Centre, and of residents from the adjoining Nursing Home participating in Liturgies celebrated during the year.
Sister Margaret was formerly on the teaching staff of Trinity and All Saints College (now Leeds Trinity University College) and felt at home in Horsforth, taking the opportunity to meet up with some former colleagues and friends.
In 1995 she had written a booklet for the CTS on the very same subject and an updated version of this with citations from Laudato Si' has now been reissued under the title Catholics and our Common Home - Caring for the Planet we Share (CTS £2.50). It is the best way of accessing her scholarly but accessible input, and as an introduction to the Encyclical itself. Some copies will be made available shortly in the churches of Our Lady of Kirkstall Parish.
Mass was celebrated in St Mary's church as part of the day and Fr Pat's short Homily can be accessed here.


Sylvia Wright - A wonderful, new project in 2016 - A new Education & Therapy Centre

After long deliberations, a new day centre is to be built for the disabled children in Sylvia’s care. Building will start in January and be completed by September 2016. The ETC, in the grounds of the school, will accommodate 100 children with a range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and other mental and physical difficulties. It is being designed to provide space, light and colour and a stimulating environment. There will be 9 classrooms (some with sensory, music and art facilities) and also a physiotherapy room. Each classroom will have its own toilet, shower facilities and outside play area. It is hoped that there will also be a small therapy pool. The ETC is being championed by Miss Lee Morgan, an osteopath from San Francisco, who has been raising money in the USA and has been working on its design. Lee has been visiting India for more than a decade to work with local children. Tereza Heckenberger from Munich has also joined the team. She is an expert in methods of rehabilitation and education of disabled children.
Specific UK donations are also supporting the project, topped up by a legacy. Several West Yorkshire Rotary Clubs are planning to fund equipment. It will be a marvellous service to the children and their families in the absence of any other worthwhile provision for their care, development, dignity and happiness. Tony Allinson accompanied Sylvia and Lee Morgan to meet the architect in Bangalore during his visit to India in November.

Tereza Heckenberger & Lee Morgan




A Chequered Parade!

Black and White check patterns helped demonstrate the Theme of Sunday's Church Parade. The message was that life is - has to be - a chequered experience with times of darkness (black) and light (white) but Jesus shares these times with us and we should bring them to him in each Mass we attend so that he can help us in the difficult times and rejoice with us in the delightful ones. In the Gospel he teaches us that the wheat and weeds must grow together: our sufferings and problems must be faced with courage and faith because they are essential for our spiritual growth - to coming fully alive.

The young members were involved in a number of activities involving the check design: a family meal with a chequered table cloth; a game of chess; the final circuit of a Formula One car race to the chequered flag; Balinese boy dancers wearing chequered costumes illustrating a story from the Hindu epic Ramayana - in which monkeys rescue a hero from evil powers; and a display in a Chinese science museum of a youngster seemingly disappearing via a wash basin through check-patterned walls!
The spiritual message was shared with adults via a poem written by a Jewish convert to Catholicism as the dark night of Nazism spread over Europe.
About 50 members of the Parade were involved, assisted by leaders from each section. Well done to all for your participation!

chequered church parade



Appeal in aid of The Peter Trust – Autumn 2015

Click here to read the appeal


Rainbows Celebrate 25 years at Holy Name


It was 25 years ago that Rainbows started at Holy Name. The anniversary was celebrated at 9.00am Church Parade Mass. Fr Pat presented Helen Oliver with a special rainbow bouquet in thanks for many years of service to the group. After Mass, parishioners joined the girls in the hall to view a special display of pictures from the past 25 years. They were also treated to fantastic cakes and buns, all decorated in true Rainbow style.

Link Here for Fr Pat's Rainbow Homily


Fr Boniface’s Statue is now in the Assumption Grotto


The Assumption Grotto was vandalised some years ago and the statue stolen. It has now been repaired.
Fr Boniface’s leaving gift to the church was a small new statue of Our Lady which he hoped could replace the stolen one.
It is now installed behind toughened glass at the grotto. We would like to thank him again and hope and pray his statue will last at least as long as the previous one !


Fr.B Nephew

Many thanks to all contributors to the MARY ANNA Trust Fund for the children of Fr Boniface’s late sister. The family are very grateful for your support and send these pictures of the youngsters - looking very cheerful!



Official portrait of Bishop Marcus.

Bishop Marcus Stock Biography Click Here

Diocese of Leeds Press Release Click Here

Bishops' Conference Press Release Click Here

Letter to the Diocese of Leeds from Mgr Marcus Stock, Bishop-Elect Click Here




Young artists at Holy Name School

A recent art project by our Year 2 school children (aged only 6 or 7) involved producing a painting in the style of pointillism. What better subject could we choose than our own Holy Name Church which they see each day out of their classroom window.
This was a collaborative piece, every child contributing to create one large painting made up of dots. They used small dowelling sticks to transfer paint to paper and it took a few weeks to finish. The children worked on top of a very simple pencil drawing of the church, gradually adding colour to each different section. They were very interested in the creation of light and shade using colour and how the image became much more ‘real’ when they stepped back to look at it.  There was a strong sense of responsibility for everyone to do his or her best for the group – and of shared pride in the end result.
It has been lovely to see the care with which every child has tackled this ambitious project and I hope you’ll agree the results are impressive!

The finished painting is now on display inside the main entrance to school and I imagine that any one of our young artists could tell you which dots they painted!


St Mary's Year 5-6 study project on East Timor

model village
sm school

On the last day of the Spring Term pupils from Year 5 and 6 at St Mary's
school met 3 young men from East Timor - Germano, Ignacio and Prudencio. The
boys and girls have been working hard on a special project about this
distant country and finding out why the people there are so poor. Accessing
the internet at school and at home each youngster had produced a work book
full of information about East Timor and its people. In groups they had
contructed typical East Timorese houses. They were delighted to know that
their buildings were very true to life, and that their guests had actually
lived in homes like this before travelling to England in search of work to
provide for their families. During the End of Term Mass which preceded the
class visit the young men received a cheque for £220, funds raised by the
children for projects of The Peter Trust in their homeland.

More information and pictures will be found on the school website.

Photos depict 'Awaiting the Procession bringing the Cheque during the Rite
of Offering at Mass'; Questions being put by pupils in class to their East
Timorese visitors; Models of typical East Timorese houses made by the


The young East Timorese men send their thanks to parishioners of Our Lady of Kirkstall and of Our Lady of Unfailing Help for the help they have received.



The men are depicted in Holy Name church and in the living room of one the
houses in which they are now accommodated.
They are being supported by parishioners in various ways as they seek work
to provide for themselves and their dependents in East Timor.
They say: Obrigadu barak - terima kasi atas (Thank you very much - in
Tetun, and Indonesian languages)

lineSpirituality in our Parish

Why Spirituality? Click here


Assumption Latin American Evening in support of their CAFOD Connect2 El Salvador projects.

latin Night

Over 70 people came along to a Latin American evening at the Assumption Social Club on Sat 5th October. The CAFOD group had decorated the tables and put South American flags on the walls. They had also prepared a range of S American snacks including empanadas, cheese bread and sweets (with some invaluable help from Julia Palacios). Music was provided by local group Mestisa who soon had people doing a Peruvian folk dance.

Including a raffle, some £800 was raised to support the work of CAFOD in the areas around Puentecitos in the West of El Salvador.


Joe meets Fernando Llort


This is the Artist, with Joe of Assumption church (taken in November in El Salvador).

Blessing of new icon at the Assumption Church.


On Sunday Oct 6th a special ceremony was held within the mass at the Assumption church in order to bless the new icon that the church community had obtained.
The icon is made of 4 ceramic tiles and is by the renowned El Salvadorean artist Fernando Llort (who is known as the “National Artist” of El Salvador). It is titled “Maria Uniendo los Pueblos” – which roughly translates as ‘Mary uniting the Nations”. It contains folkloric elements that are typical of his style.
The Assumption CAFOD group suggested the idea of sourcing something from El Salvador. The idea was fully supported by the Assumption Church Council. It not only links with the CAFOD projects that the church community supports but also acts as a concrete reminder of our link to the church in the world. It also provides a new focus for the Marian dedication of the church. Previously there was a statue of Our Lady in a grotto in the grounds – but this had been stolen.



Graduation for Ajerino do Carmo Vieira at Bradford University.

Fr Pat spent a day at the Graduation for Ajerino do Carmo Vieira at Bradford University.
Fr Pat writes "He arrived from East Timor at my house in Rothwell with a supermarket
plastic carrier bag containing a spare pair of jeans and a couple of T shirts, no money, and only a smattering of English. He lived with me from 2002-2006 at St Mary's Presbytery (Rothwell) during which time he studied English at Park Lane College and stacked shelves in Morrisons at night. He moved here to Holy Name with me and Germano in 2006 and continued in part time work and English studies.
For the last 4 years he has lived in the Catholic Chaplaincy at Bradford University.
He formally graduated with an Honours Degree in Peace & Development Studies.
He has worked very hard and it was an emotional day for both of us!
He hopes to be accepted to do an MA at Bradford in the next academic year and will then return to East Timor to help in the building up of his country

Ajerino has now arrived back in East Timor and is currently staying with his brother Amorin in the capital city Dili before travelling to his home village of Pereira in the far eastern part of the territory to spend Christmas with his mother (68) and his oldest brother. He has not seen his family since he returned home for the funeral rites of his father in 2005.


Holy Name Celebrate 60 years

Jubilee cake Children gather as Fr Pat cuts the special 60th anniversary cake to end a weekend of celebration that culminated with a Mass led by the young people of the parish, which was followed by a picnic and games in and around the church hall. See video here

Friday nights Celebratory Mass saw the return of many of the past parish priests. Pictures of the Mass can be viewed by clicking here


Below is a selection of pictures from the afternoon.
Top Left: Gospel class present their drawings for the altar.
Top Right: Children from Holy Name School enact the Gospel.
Children animate Fr Boniface's homily.
School choir and musicians
The offertory procession
Families enjoy the sunshine.

Click here to see a slide show of the young peoples Mass and celebration.


Visitors from Puentecitos at the Assumption

To download more details of the visit click here


“Words for the Soul”
Spiritual Reading Group

This informal and welcoming group meets 5 times a year to discuss inspiring books which explore and strengthen our faith.
All are welcome.

All meetings are held in Holy Name presbytery from 7.30-9pm
Lifts to & from meetings can be arranged.
Group members can be contacted via the parish office.

If you have not been before, it would be helpful if you could let Su Goodyear or Fr Pat Smythe know if you intend to come to a particular meeting and/or wish to be on our contact list. Tel 0113 2678257 or email
Reminders will be placed in the parish bulletin and on the OLK website close to the date of each meeting.

We try to choose books that are available second-hand or for less than £10. Some books may be available in Kindle or audio format. It is of course always worth trying libraries!
Happy Reading!



Kate says "Hi from India"

Kate Burton together with Hannah Wilson are currently on gap placements working in Rangammal School for Deaf Children for 3 months. They write: “It has been the most amazing experience of our lives! Bring on the next two months! The children are absolutely wonderful and they approach everything with such enthusiasm (especially if it involves cricket, dance or drawing).
It looks like they are big hit with all the children!

To find out more about the work of The Sylvia Wright Trust click here or follow the Our Charities link above.




stained glass windows

To find out more about the imagery in the new stained glass windows on the sanctuary of the parish church (Holy Name) click here.


Our Lady of Kirkstall - A prayer for the Parish Formation (click here)



Bishops Letter on Safeguarding can be downloaded here

lineThe masthead is based on this view of the parish......kirkstall abbey painting

Thomas Girtin, Kirkstall Abbey, a watercolour
Yorkshire, England, AD 1800

This watercolour is signed and dated 1800, late in Girtin's career. A ruined abbey is set in a wide valley through which the River Aire meanders. In the background are hills and clumps of trees crowned by a typical English summer sky of moody clouds. In the foreground, a few farmers go about their work. Individual elements often regarded as 'picturesque' are treated with unexpected grandeur and seriousness.
The landscape appears unconfined, with the suggestion of great distances extending both to the sides and to the far horizon. Yet the viewer is drawn to focus on the white stones of the ruined abbey and the river which bends at this point, its water lit, the left bank in shadow. This effect of light and shade (chiaroscuro) is reinforced by the clouds which are dark and light, broken up by the clear blue sky and sunlight.
Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) and J.M.W.Turner, born in the same year, knew each other well. Both artists painted fine watercolours of English cathedrals and antiquities. Between 1793 and 1795 they worked side by side, copying watercolours by John Robert Cozens, learning from his subtleties of mood and technique. Girtin toured England on sketching trips, the tones of his watercolours developing from the cool grey blues of Cozens to his won warm browns and reds. He dies at the early age of twenty-seven, described by his contemporary, Joseph Farington (1747-1821) as 'a genius'.
J. Rowlands, Master drawings and watercolou (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)
L. Stainton, British landscape watercolours (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)
D. Hill, Thomas Girtin: genius in the N (Harewood House, Leeds, 1999)

(There is no sign of Cookridge tower on top of the hill! But interestingly it depicts the area of the new parish of Our Lady of Kirkstall rising up from the Aire valley - it hasn't changed a bit!).