May the Fourth be with you

Every ten years, data is collected from every household in the UK to provide a snapshot of various facts and figures.  

At the time of the 2001 census, I was working in IT for a large children’s charity. Some of you who were around at that time may recall that there was an internet campaign (of sorts) centred around what you recorded as your religion. Apparently, if enough people stated that their religion was ‘something or other’ – then it had to be recorded as an official religion! And so, internet nerds grouped together and organised themselves (a little, anyway) to try and get people to record that they were Jedi Knights (from the Star Wars films). 

Of course, being a Star Wars fan myself, and not having allegiances to any faith/religion at the time, I thought this was a fantastic idea, and so I put down that this was my religion. Having just checked, some 390,000 people in the UK recorded their religion as Jedi Knight in the 2001 census, making it the fourth most popular answer that year for the ‘religion’ of the UK – not bad going for the group who started this campaign.

Sadly, although perhaps thankfully, the rumours were not true. A religion cannot be created purely on the basis of how many people state it, and so ‘Jedi Knight’ is not an official UK religion – yet! Just think, 4th May might well have become a religious holiday (from the Star Wars phrase “May the Force (4th) be with you”)! 

The popularity and success of the Star Wars franchise and its universal appeal could be a result of us aspiring to the values and ideals it promotes. For example, Jedis dedicate their lives to helping others, and upholding peace and justice across the galaxy. They prioritise the greater good over personal desires. Jedis show empathy and kindness towards all living beings. They act with understanding and seek to help those in need.

These values aren’t unique to a galaxy far, far away. They resonate with the core values of many faiths and religions across our own world. Whether you call it The Force, God, or simply a belief in the goodness of humanity, that guiding principle towards a better world is something we can all connect with, something that we all desire.

If you’re longing for a connection to that guiding force, a path that values kindness, service, and building a brighter world, I invite you to explore the Christian faith. Our church community here in Luz welcomes all who seek a deeper understanding of God’s love and how it empowers us to live a meaningful life.

May the Force be with you!

God Bless

Fr Rob

Services are held on Thursdays  at 10.30 am and Sundays at 8am and 11.30 am


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