And you thought the modern church was out of touch?
With the launch of Pokémon GO, the Church of England has become unexpectedly relevant to many gamers: as the augmented reality app pulls in details from real-world locations, it will often establish Pokéstops and Pokégyms - both key locations for the game's players - at churches.
Realising the app has presented many churches with a "great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church", the Church of England's digital media officer Tallie Proud has issued a set of guidelines on how churches can catch 'em all.
It makes for brilliant reading...
It explains what churches need to know about the game...
It's all really sweet
Under "How do you know if your church is a Pokestop or a Gym?", Proud explained...
"Download Pokémon Go on your mobile or tablet. Through the game you will be able to see if your church is a PokéStop or a gym.
"You might also spot people standing outside the church on their phones who may be playing the game and at your ‘PokéStop’."
A charitable way of saying "If you notice a load of people milling about outside your church not engaging with the world, you're probably a spot of interest."
Which is where the church gets extra charitable
In order to get involved, Proud has some suggestions bound to please any Poké-player: battery top-ups and snacks.
"Place welcome signs outside: encourage them to come inside and offer them drinks and snacks. The game also uses a lot of battery so why not create a battery charging station? If you’ve got it, let them connect to the church’s wifi."
Some church's have even started holding Poképarties, which is just lovely.
Go ahead, hate on Pokémon GO if you will. We'll be over here chilling with the C of E, catching all the Pikachus and having all the fun.