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That Lost Feeling

Looking for direction

by Vicky Scott (revised, originally published in 2009)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of help and guidance in our lives.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (That Lost Feeling) and the means to display them.
  • Optional: you may also wish to display various items that help to show people the way, such as a satnav, torch, map, compass and bell.


  1. Show Slides 1-5.

    Optional: you may also wish to display the various way-finding items.

    Ask the children what all the items have in common.

    The answer is that they are all a means of helping us when we are lost, ways of providing guidance.

    Explain to the children that you are now going to tell them a story about a lost traveller, William Davis.

  2. Show Slide 6.

    Back in the eighteenth century, in Hampshire, a man called William Davis was riding home when a heavy fog surrounded him. He soon found that he had lost his way. Suddenly, however, he heard the bells from his church start to ring, so he followed the sound and arrived safely home.

    Some time later, he worked out that he must have been close to the chalk pits, which had very steep sides. If he had gone any further, he might have fallen in and been killed.

    When Mr Davis died in 1754, he left some money in his will. The money was to pay the bellringers to ring the church bells twice on 7 October every year, at 6.30am and 7pm, in gratitude for the help that the bells had given him when he was lost.

  3. Ask the children whether they have ever been lost.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Ask them to think about how they felt when they were lost. If possible, share a story about when you were lost and how you were found.

  4. Ask the children what they would do if they got lost. Go through different scenarios and encourage the children to think about safe actions to take.

  5. There are often stories in the media about people who have been lost and found. There are also many adventure stories about the subject, such as Robinson Crusoe, a story about a sailor lost at sea who had to survive on a desert island.

  6. Show Slide 7.

    In July 2023, an Australian sailor called Tim Shaddock was rescued after spending three months stranded at sea with his dog.

  7. However, there is another way of being lost and that is to be lost in a crowd. Most people feel like this at some point in their lives.

  8. In the Bible, Jesus told several stories about things or people that were lost and then found. There was the farmer who searched for his one lost sheep, and the woman who lost one precious coin and was overjoyed when she found it.

    Possibly the most famous story that Jesus told about lost things was about the lost son. In this story, a young man takes his inheritance and leaves home, travelling a long way from his father who really cares for him. The son wastes his money on worthless things until he finally realizes that he has made bad choices and done wrong. Then, he returns to his family to be welcomed by his father with open arms.

  9. These stories reflect what Christians believe: that human beings sometimes wander from God, but God is always waiting for their return. Jesus promises to be our light in the darkness to help us and guide us in our lives if we trust him. He said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ (John 14.6) Jesus also said that he had come ‘to seek and to save what was lost.’ (Luke 19.10)

Time for reflection

Perhaps we sometimes feel a bit lost or lonely; maybe we feel that we have let people down by something that we’ve said or done.

Words can be painful, but not forgiving people breeds bitterness and misery, whereas forgiveness leads to peace and freedom.

Let’s try to understand other people’s points of view and not leave it until it’s too late.

If we’re feeling lost or lonely, it’s important that we find someone to talk to. There’s always someone we can turn to.

Identify the people who are available in school if children want to talk, and encourage them to speak with their teacher.

Remind the children that we all have our roles to play in looking out for those around us. Encourage the children to look out for people who are on their own or seem sad.

Dear God,
Thank you for those bellringers whose ringing guided the lost traveller out of the fog and safely back home.
Please help us when we feel lost and alone.
Please help us to seek help when we need to.
Please help us to be there for others in their time of need.
Please help us always to think about other people, and how we can make their lives happier.

Publication date: November 2023   (Vol.25 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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