The General Synod of the Church of England has decided to invest its clergy pension fund in an unorthodox manner. Senior Church Commissioner, Dame Nina Tendo explains, “We have arranged to set up a ring-fenced fund which invests solely in a free-to-play, augmented reality mobile game, in return for the placing of prime gameplay characters in Anglican real-estate on a one-day-in-seven basis.”
But not all members of the Synod backed the scheme. Reverend Tiffany Facebook-Friend was aghast, “So… we’re basically bribing Niantic Inc to put rare Pokémon ポケモン in churches on Sunday mornings as part of the UK roll-out of Pokémon Go! simply to get people into Sunday services? That can’t be an appropriate mission strategy, surely?”
However, congregationalist reformers within the church, such as Pastor Paul Renewal praised the scheme, pointing out that, “‘Gotta catch ’em all’ is the kind of vision the church should be embracing. OK, it does make us look like we’re obsessed with getting folk through the door and having a fun experience rather than wanting them to actually turn to Christ, but attendance figures are where it’s at. That’s the game the media play, so… what can ya do? We can try to reinvent Jesus as a Trainer I guess… and an electoral roll is kinda like a Poké Ball モンスターボール if you squint at it a bit.”
Pikachu ピカチュウ was unavailable for comment but is believed to be a highly-evolved Methodist church mouse who will become an Anglo-Catholic on exposure to a Thunder Stone. Or incense crystals.