Guest blogger, The Rev’d Humphrey Blytherington is Vicar of St Hilda’s, Little Snoring with All Saints, Great Snoring. He is a graduate of Plymouth University. He completed his studies for the ministry at Latimer Hall, Durham. He is married to Daphne and enjoys home brewing, model railroading and is an avid member of the Great Snoring Morris Dancers.

Yesterday morning, as I was just enjoying a dippy egg with soldiers, Daphne made a disconcerting choking sound from behind her copy of the Daily Telegraph. She found an article about religion in Britain. Seems when it comes to alternative religions the most popular one is “Jedi Knights“.

I must say, I wasn’t too sure what Jedi Nights actually are. Sounded slightly off colour to me, but Daff informed me it has something to do with a Star Trek motion picture or some such. Not too up on the latest pictures I’m afraid. I’m rather fond of sitting down to an old Carry On film of an evening, but not big on science fiction.

Then I realized she meant “knights” of the Round Table sort. Fellows in armor with swords and what have you. She seemed rather alarmed that there were so many folks who put that down as their religion. It’s not my cup of tea, but I can’t see there’s any harm in it.

After all, Great Snoring church has a couple of table tombs topped with recumbent knights. Carved in stone. Splendid old artifacts. One of them is Sir William de Beeste Bt. He went out on the first crusade and came back a wealthy man. Built the deBeeste chapel on the north side. The Major was telling me all about it. Family history sort of stuff. Seems that’s where the family name Wildebeest originates. Goes way back. Major said when he and his brothers were up at school they were called the Beastie Boys. Har har.

Anyway, I can’t see why one ought to be fussed about fellows who want to be Jedi Knights. I expect they’re good, honest lads who are looking for a way to raise some money for a good cause, and enjoy ceremonial and dressing up. A bit like the Freemasons or the St John’s Ambulance I suppose. Archdeacon Slaughter is always asking my pal Huppo to join the Freemasons. Never invited me. Not sure why, but its not my cup of tea in any case–not that it does any harm of course.

P’raps I’ll ask Lavinia about it. We have one of those clergy lunches coming up, and she’s usually pretty well informed in the whole area of “alternative lifestyles” as she calls it. Come to think of it, I don’t see why we couldn’t incorporate some of these knights of Jedi into our church in some way. It could be a new sort of youth group for the parishes in the area. They could use the deBeeste chapel for their all night vigil before being dubbed. Maybe even set out on a quest to find the holy grail or rescue a fair maiden. It would certainly keep the village lads out of trouble for a bit. P’raps I’ll ask Lavinia to draft a liturgy of some sort to bless the knights before they embark on one of their quests. For special music that German exchange student fellow named Hans could sing a solo…