Leeds & West Yorkshire

Star Wars-themed nativity for Leeds's St Philip's Church

A man and three children dressed as Star Wars characters Image copyright Jon Bliss
Image caption The nativity will culminate in a light sabre battle between the congregation and Darth Vader, organiser Jon Bliss says

A church is hoping the force will be with it when it tells the nativity story using Star Wars characters.

St Philip's Church in Leeds is swapping Mary and Joseph for Princess Leia and Han Solo during its service.

Traditional carols will be mixed with Star Wars quotes and the congregation has been invited to dress in costume, organiser Jon Bliss said.

He said he aimed to make the service "fun and engaging for young families" - but said it was not a nativity parody.

Mr Bliss said there were similarities between the stories.

"Both Star Wars and the nativity are about good overcoming evil and that's what we will focus on," he said.

"There are lots of parallels to be drawn out but what I do not want to do is parody the nativity, that might be appropriate elsewhere but not in a church.

"I believe worship should be fun and what we're trying to do is engage the children with Bible stories but make them interesting."

Image copyright Jon Bliss
Image caption Jon Bliss says worship at St Philip's is "always fun and we work hard to ensure that a lot of our services are engaging for people with young families"

The nativity at the church in Scholes will culminate in a light sabre battle between the congregation and Darth Vader.

Mr Bliss said worshippers would be asked to take on the roles of some of the main characters from the latest film, The Force Awakens, to help tell the story.

"The traditional story will be punctuated by cameo roles from Star Wars characters along with a Darth Vader narrator," he said.

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