By Suffolk Gazette Staff
A bell-ringer was sensationally sacked after ringing out the Star Wars theme from his village church just before a service.
Steven Jacobs, 27, and a pal played the Imperial March from the bell tower at St Gregory’s Church in Bildeston on Tuesday – but locals failed to see the funny side when the imposing tune rang across the village, and complained to the vicar.
The Rev Evan Elpuss, although a Star Wars fan himself, was furious because churchgoers were due to arrive at any moment.
Mr Jacobs, who has seen the latest Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, 13 times already, said: “We thought we’d do it for a laugh before everyone turned up. It sounded awesome – the lunchtime drinkers in the nearby Crown pub said they loved it – but the next thing I know I’ve been sacked.
“I’ve been part of the bell-ringing group at Bildeston for 15 years, and am very upset. The church has gone completely over the top.”
The Imperial March, composed by John Williams, is more associated with the first Star Wars trilogy and is the theme used to accompany Darth Vader and his evil dark side associates.
Mr Jacobs, who works as a carpenter in nearby Hitcham, said that dark side links may have been why the vicar sacked him.
But a source close to the church told the Suffolk Gazette Mr Jacobs had “deliberately distorted events”.
“We appreciate that Steven is a bit of a joker,” he said. “But there comes a point when you have to draw a line.
“The Darth Vader’s Imperial March is not an appropriate rallying call for a funeral, and Steven knows it. He might think the family didn’t notice but believe me they did – we all did. The bells could be heard for miles around.”