Church looks to Pokemon Go to encourage young people through the doors

Pokemon are often spotted at churches
Pokemon are often spotted at churches
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CHURCHES can face a struggle to get young people through their doors.

But that’s changed since Pokemon Go came along.

Pokemon Go truly is amazing, we now have the chance to interact with people that we otherwise never would have.

Curate Father Darcy Chesterfield-Terry

The game sees people hunt beasts in an augmented reality world, with churches being common spots to catch them, and now the Curate at St Mary’s Church in Fratton has decided to take advantage of this

Father Darcy Chesterfield-Terry, 34, is a big fan and is hosting an event tomorrow with the aim of increasing interaction with young people.

He said: ‘When the game first came out a colleague of mine mentioned that we were a part of the game.

‘I think it’s a nice change to have a game that’s so popular but isn’t a violent game, and also manages to get people up and about.

‘I’ll be honest, I’ve become a real fan of the game myself actually – I’ve been playing so that I could get to know the game a bit more.

‘I have caught around 60 different pokemon and a total of over 300.

‘I have quite a few of the rarer ones as well, just from walking around through Portsmouth as I go about my day.

‘I wanted to take this new-found passion and do something positive with it.’

Father Darcy admitted that one of the main challenges that modern churches face is appealing to children and young people – but also believes that his church is succeeding in this regard.

‘Churches do tend to have a problem with getting the support of young people, and it’s a common issue,’ he said.

‘We’re finally starting to get this previously elusive group through our doors.

‘It truly is amazing, we now have the chance to interact with people that we otherwise never would have.’

Tomorrow, the church will be hosting a ‘lure’ afternoon, where every user who comes in will activate an in-game item to make as many pokemon appear as possible.

The event will be taking place between 2pm and 4pm at St Mary’s Church, which is both a Pokemon gym and a pokestop – which means that people can come to the church to stock up on in-game items and battle one another..

Pokemon Go is an app which lets you capture virtual Pokemon characters hidden in real-world locations.

The ‘Pokemon Go Portsmouth’ Facebook page has over 3,000 likes and the game itself has more daily users than dating app Tinder.