Rhidian and the Light

Lessons Ideas:

Learning Objectives:

To appreciate that some people’s actions and behaviour are influenced by their religious beliefs.
To enable pupils to become aware that how they behave affects the way others treat them.
To explore the ideas of the importance of symbolism.


A natural light e.g. a candle or lamp,
the drawings of the story of Rhidian (go back to menu)
Good News Bibles (lesson 3),
material for recording written ideas,


This work is in the form of three lessons (but of course, you may adapt them to suit your own needs). The first lesson introduces the character Rhidian, a priest who made a pilgrimage to St. Davids where he took some of the oil burning at the shrine of the saint. The story continues in the second lesson and is completed in the third lesson.

This unit of work could also be used as part of a topic celebrating Advent, showing the importance of light in our lives and the lives of Christians.

Lesson 1

Create a story telling atmosphere e.g. gather pupils around you. Show the pupils the candle / oil lamp. Discuss with the children the importance of light. Why do we need light?

Tell them that you are going to light the oil lamp and then tell them a story about the importance of light to a man called Rhidian, a priest who lived long ago. It is important that no one but the teacher talks whilst the lamp is lit; if anyone breaks this rule the flame will be blown out.

Read part 1 of the story.

Questions to discuss

What is a pilgrimage?
Why did Rhidian want to visit St. Davids?
Why do you think he made an offering (a gift) at David’s shrine?

Why was the flame so important to Rhidian?
What was he going to do with it?
What does the word ‘sacred’ mean?

Rhidian has a dilemma: His friend wants to share the sacred flame. Should he do this or not?
What do you think Rhidian will do? Explain your answer.

Further ideas:

Discuss dilemmas which pupils might have faced e.g.
finding out someone has stolen something
witnessing an older children bullying a younger pupil.

How did they deal with this? Who helps them?
Record ideas on paper if appropriate.

Lesson 2

Recap the story so far. Read the next part of the story.

Ideas for discussion:

Rhidian decides to share the sacred flame with his friend. Is sharing important? Why?

What is precious to you?
e.g. a teddy which a pupils has had since infancy, a pet,
a photograph of gran or grandad, a favourite book

How would you feel if you lost something which was precious to you?

How do imagine Rhidian felt when the snow storm blew out his light?

What do you think will happen next?

Ideas for other activities:

* The two priests prayed to God. Write a prayer which each priest might have said to God. (This idea could be adapted as role play for younger pupils).

* Write a dialogue between the two priests.

Lesson 3

Recap the story so far. Read the final part of the story.

Ideas for discussion:

Why was Rhidian so glad that he had shared the flame with Gwynor?

Why was he so keen to take the flame back to his church and keep it burning?

Jesus once described himself as the "Light of the world." Why do you think he chose to describe himself in this way?

How would you describe yourself?

What makes you happy? What makes you sad?

How do you feel when you help someone?

Jesus said his friends should be like a light for the whole world to see. He told them that their light should shine so that everyone could see it:

"You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden.
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead he puts it on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house.
In the same way your light must shine before people,
so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5: 14-16.

What do you think Jesus meant?

(Outward appearances are not important, what you are inside is what matters. If you are a good person light will shine from you - not a physical light, but a warmth which tells people that you are a good person. What your are like inside affects the way you behave).

Ideas for written work:

Write a poem about feelings e.g. what makes you feel happy / sad / angry / excited?

Write a thank you letter to someone who has helped you.

Design a card reflecting the light from St. David’s shrine which Rhidian shared with his friend.

Re-tell the story in comic strip form.

Imagine you are Rhidian. Write a letter to a friend describing your journey. Remember to include your feelings of joy when receiving the light, the despair when you lose it, the hope when you realise you might be able to share the light you have given to Gwynor and the peace of the church with the light burning brightly.

Imagine you are making a pilgrimage to St. Davids. Write about your journey. Think about:

the time of year you visit,
the people you travel with,
the people you meet on your way,
how you feel when you finally reach your destination,
what you do at the cathedral e.g. say a prayer, buy a gift to remember your visit,
your thoughts about your visit