Friday's Child

Friday's Child

poems of suffering and redemption

Writing that connects those who have suffered, questioned meaning and struggled with pain, but found an ultimate hope.


Brian Mountford has chosen thirty five poems which explore the human experience of suffering and redemption, accompanied by his own thoughtful and witty commentary.

The collection contains secular and sacred pieces in equal measure and came into being as part of a programme to bring a sense of seriousness, in a non prescriptive, open-ended way to the Easter holiday crowds in the University Church, Oxford, where the poems were read on Good Friday with dignity and panache by senior school children. The selection has not been augmented in any kind of attempt to provide a fully representative anthology, but kept exactly as it evolved in response to this specific need.


Thank you for your book, which I am enjoying enormously. It fits my attention span perfectly and is making me look again at things I had long taken for granted or never thought about at all. ~ Nigel Hamway, email

Brian Mountford has written a short reflection on each poem in this wonderful collection - insightful, often understated and spacious so as to encourage our own response. What a clever idea and so beautifully done. This is an anthology that will feed the soul throughout the year. ~ Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury

Brian Mountford’s engagement with religion, and with the world, and with the human aspects of them both, has been something I’ve long admired. In this inspiring collection of poems and readings for Good Friday he brings all his experience of literature, and of the needs of readers and listeners both young and old, together to create a tapestry of great brilliance and a commentary of calm wisdom. ~ Philip Pullman

It was interesting having poems that you wouldn’t normally associate with Good Friday; yet including them made you reflect on them in a different way. It’s good not to compartmentalise religion or to say only ‘religious’ things can be spiritual. (Jerome Gasson) Reading these poems on Good Friday was always an important part of my year. They opened up discussions about doubt, religious doctrine, and human nature for me. This is how young people want to be treated; we never felt patronised, but our voices were, in every sense, heard. (Aphra Hiscock) Saying poetry aloud and thinking how you are going to make it sound (or how others might hear it) makes you think much more about what it might be trying to say. (Julius Gasson) Being part of the group gave a chance for us to offer something to a wider community. We liked the way visitors chancing by might stop and be moved to listen. (All) ~ Teenagers who originally read these poems in public on Good Friday

Brian Mountford
Brian Mountford Brian Mountford MBE is a Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford and a free lance writer and speaker. Until 2016 he was the Vicar of the univer...

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