The rector of St Wulfram’s Church says he is proud his church is now a Pokémon gym.
Father Stuart Cradduck has spoken to his congregation about the latest craze which he says has brought more members of the community to the building playing Pokémon Go.
Fr Stuart says he is among people of all ages who have been playing the game at the church and around the town where more gyms can be found, including a few at Wyndham Park.
Fr Stuart said: “This is something we think is brilliant. We are seeing so many people around the church playing the game. People are talking to each other who would not normally talk to each other. Our visiting numbers have gone up which is good.
“I have let the congregation know and a number of them, young and old, are very keen.”
Pokémon Go is played on mobile phones and allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.
Ellie Newton, 18, of Grantham, played the game at the church and says she has been amazed by how many people she has met in the town playing Pokémon Go.
Ellie told the Journal: “Pokémon Go gets people of all ages out and about which provides lots of benefits, such as being active. The game allows interactions to go on within your own location.”
Another young player, Thomas Baker, said: “I’ve been addicted to Pokemon Go. It’s such a great way of getting people out of their homes and with the community all coming together from different cultures it is a great scene.”
While St Wulfram’s recognises the appeal of the game to many, Fr Stuart says the church is also asking people to be diligent, especially the young, and is backing advice given by the NSPCC.
An NSPCC spokesman said: “Children should make sure their parents know where they are going when playing and parents should look to speak to their children about associated risks.
“People using this new app should exercise caution and just take a minute to think about where they are going and what the environment around them is like.”
Police have also issue a warning, asking people to make sure they are not trespassing on private land while playing the game.