Churches have long been heralded as a sanctuary for anyone and everyone, and in this day and age it seems that includes Pokémon Go players.

St Peter’s Church in Waverton is adopting an open-door policy for fans of the augmented reality app which has taken the nation by storm.

Rev Jules Beauchamp, rector at St Peter’s, put up a sign on the door to let players who stumble across the church during their efforts to catch critters that they will be welcomed with open arms.

“A very warm welcome to anyone playing Pokémon Go,” it says.

Pokémon Go is currently the most popular smartphone app in the UK

“We hope you are successful in catching the Pokémon you’re after!

“Please do feel free to come into the church.

“If there is a service or funeral going on, we just ask that you are quiet and respect our act of worship.”

Decorator and part-time wedding photographer Adam Day, from Huntington, spotted the sign when he was scouting the church out with some of his clients.

“As I approached the main church door, I saw a sign pinned to it,” he said.

“Its content made me smile so much that I had to share it with others.

“Credit to Jules Beauchamp for such a welcoming and humorous notice.”

Posting it on Facebook and Twitter, Adam added that it has reached more than 13,000 people in addition to receiving hundreds of retweets and likes.

Anglican churches have been encouraged to welcome Pokémon Go players.

Tallie Proud, from the Church of England, issued guidance which said: “Pokémon Go is giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church.”

Chester Cathedral is also getting in on the welcome party act.

“We are happy to embrace Pokémon and see it as a positive thing if more people are engaging with the building and visiting us,” said a cathedral spokesperson.

“We have seen lots of people who are obviously playing the game – especially coming through Abbey Square.”