The Hope that is Within You series

Raymond Friel's The Hope that is Within You is a series of unique interviews with leading Christian thinkers and activists. The series is designed to pose critical questions to key individuals in the contemporary Christian community, asking them to give an account of their faith and its relevance in today's world.

Raymond Friel  was born in Scotland and, after graduating from Glasgow University, has spent most of his professional life in England. He started teaching in London in 1990 and was a head teacher in Catholic secondary schools from 2002 until 2016. In that time, he was a National Leader of Education and supported other schools as well as his own. He became General Secretary of the Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference in 2016 and is now the CEO of Plymouth CAST a multi-academy trust of thirty-six Catholic schools. He is also a literary editor and published poet. He is the author of a number of influential books on Catholic education, including How to Survive in Leadership in a Catholic School.


David Wells is an international speaker and best-selling author of The Reluctant Disciple and The Grateful Disciple. He previously worked as a senior teacher in Catholic schools and for the Catholic Education Service.

Dominican priest Fr Timothy Radcliffe is renowned across the world for his work for social justice and human rights. 

Renowned historian Professor Eamon Duffy and former member of the Pontifical Historical Commission has lovingly told the story of English Catholic history.

Tina Beattie is Professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton University, London, a frequent contributor to the Catholic weekly, The Tablet, the online journal Open Democracy and BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day.


Theologian, broadcaster, member of the Congregation of Jesus, Sr Gemma Simmonds knew from her earliest childhood that Jesus held a special place in her heart.


Sir James MacMillan is one of the world’s leading composers and conductors whose many works include setting of the St John and St Luke passions and “European Requiem”


In conversation with Raymond Friel, Sr Judith Russi offers a passionate witness to Catholic education and the critical importance of the formation of Catholic leaders.


Padraig O’Tuama is the leader of the Corrymeela community in Northern Ireland which has been working for peace and reconciliation since 1965.

The Hope that is Within You | Trailer | Eamon Duffy

Listen to this excerpt and judge its quality yourself