Pokemon Go fever grips Portsmouth church as it throws open day for community

Daniel Davis and son Sidney, six, get involved in catching pokemon characters    Picture Mick Young (161078-01)
Daniel Davis and son Sidney, six, get involved in catching pokemon characters Picture Mick Young (161078-01)
From left, Terence Rierkert, Matt Chapman, Steve Kramer, Dan Deeks, Theresa Newstead, Simon Freeman and Josh Roux
Picture: Ian Hargreaves (170948-1)

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IT’s taken the world by storm.

And yesterday fans of the hugely popular smartphone game Pokemon Go got the chance to mingle with budding ‘trainers’ and catch some pokemon they wouldn’t normally see at St Mary’s Church, in Fratton.

People have come into the church and made a great day of it. We’ve seen parents out with their kids, young couples and youngsters too, it’s fabulous.

Father Darcy Chesterfield-Terry

An item in the game called a ‘lure’ was placed on the grounds by organisers of the pokemon bash to entice different types of creatures to pop up.

And that gave visitors plenty of joy as they compared phones to see who had got caught what and how strong their collection were.

Even local PCSOs got in on the act, attaching their smartphones to their push bikes to play.

St Mary’s Church is designated as a pokemon gym, meaning players can come to do battle against elite pokemon.

Peter Pushman, his wife Tracey and their son Michael Waters had a great time catching different types.

Peter said: ‘It gets us out walking, it’s exercise. We really enjoy playing the game. Our son has been into the pokemon games for years.

‘We go to Victoria Park a lot, that is an absolute haven for pokemon.’ Michael said: ‘It’s a different experience to the other games, but it’s something that people who have been into the series have dreamt of, getting out in the real world catching pokemon.’

Daniel David, of Eastney, had fun with his son, Sidney, six. Daniel said: ‘The area has had a bad reputation, so having these events where families can come, and see a police presence too, is nice.’

The News joined in and captured a range of pokemon including; Bellsprout, Meowth, Psyduck and Ekans.

The church and its impressive tower was also open to the public to tour.

Father Darcy Chesterfield-Terry, one of the curates at St Mary’s Church, had a great time exploring the pokemon world.

He said: ‘It’s a nice, fun way of getting involved with other people.

‘I’ve seen people playing all day long.

‘People have come into the church and made a great day of it. We’ve seen parents out with their kids, young couples and youngsters too, it’s fabulous. Plus there’s people taking the opportunity to go up in the tower and have a wander about the church.

‘It’s breaking down barriers and the assumption that church is a scary place.’