The Last Jedi? Fire service loses power of the force as number of Star Wars religion followers goes down
The number of Jedi serving with Tyne and Wear’s firefighters have slumped.
The power of the Force is not as strong as it once was in the region, with the number of lightsabre-wielders falling by two thirds.
According to figures for the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue service, there were six self-identified followers of the Star Wars religion in 2017.
But last year (2018) the number was just two full-time employees out of 793 included in the statistics.
The figures also showed over the same period the brigade lost its only two Pagans.
The period included a significant increase in the number of workers ticking options for ‘Prefer not to say’, ‘Atheist’ or simply opting not to declare anything when asked for their religion.
Speaking at today’s meeting of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority Human Resources Committee, Newcastle councillor Tom Woodwark said: “The number of Jedis has gone down from six to two.
“It shows the difficulty this organisation and others have had in terms of statistics.”
In the 2011 census, about 177,000 people described themselves Jedi, making it the UK’s seventh most popular religion.
But in 2016 The Charity Commission refused to designated Britain’s Temple of the Jedi Order a religion on the basis it did not ‘promote moral or ethical improvement’ under the term of charity law in England and Wales.
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service