27/10/2011

St Paul's Chancellor Resigns In Support Of OccupyLSX

The chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral has resigned from his post in support of the protestors still camped outside the churches grounds.

Reverend Canon Dr Giles Fraser had been vocal in his support of the Occupy the London Stock Exchange movement, telling police they were "not needed" when officers prepared a barricade.

However, church officials closed the Cathedral to the public claiming the demonstration, which is aligned to similar concurrent worldwide protests, was presenting a risk to health and safety.

On Wednesday the Bishop of London said the camp’s presence is threatening to eclipse the issues it was set up to address, and asked the protestors to leave. The church also claimed it had lost £20,000 in income.

It then emerged on Wednesday evening that Reverend Giles Fraser had said he would resign if church officials forced the protest to move, and this morning officially quit his Royal appointed post.

The church has since announced it will reopen this Friday after protestors offered to rearrange their tents and facilities to make way for church goers.

Occupy spokesperson Tanya Paton said: “It’s tremendous that St Paul’s have decided to reopen. We’ve have always wanted them to reopen and we’ve always been keen to resume dialogue with the Dean and Chapter. It’s just really good news.

“At the same time, as the Cathedral had closed, we had been planning to mark our third weekend of occupation with a special event bringing people of different faiths, beliefs and none together to look at what we all have in common and why we’re here – to bring about real social and economic justice for every single person in society."

Ms Patton said that the movement had already invited members of the Cathedral to the 'Sermon on the Steps' event this Saturday, and that the movement would like to extend a hand of friendship and bring together the members of the occupation, Churchgoers and others, "to restore the historic legacy of St Paul’s Cathedral as a place of debate and focus on the important issues of the day".

(DW/GK)

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