Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The St Paul's protesters: new developments

On Monday, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke at the annual Lord Mayor of London’s Banquet. The full text of his speech is available here.

This was reported by Riazat Butt in the Guardian as Archbishop pays tribute to St Paul’s cathedral clergy for ‘holding balance’.

And Nick Spencer of Theos published Comment: St Paul’s protest has revealed pressures at the heart of the Church at

Earlier, the Church of England Mission and Public Affairs Council had published The Church and capitalism (press release, leading to PDF document.)

On Tuesday, Riazat Butt and Shiv Malik at the Guardian reported Occupy London camp given 24 hours to disband or face legal action

Activists camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral will be given 24 hours to remove their tents and equipment before high court proceedings are issued, the City of London corporation said on Tuesday.

Occupy London, which arrived in the churchyard on 15 October, last week rejected a request to scale back part of its camp to allow better fire engine access. The notice applies to tents standing on public highways.

St Paul’s is meeting on Wednesday to decide how to respond to the corporation’s decision. A spokesman said the cathedral was still “working towards a peaceful outcome”.

Stuart Fraser, policy chairman at the corporation, said: “We paused legal action for two weeks for talks with those in the camp on how to shrink the extent of the tents and to set a departure date – but got nowhere. So, sadly, now they have rejected a reasonable offer to let them stay until the new year, it’s got to be the courts. We’d still like to sort this without court action but from now on we will have to have any talks in parallel with court action – not instead…

Cathy Newman at Channel 4 News interviewed Stuart Fraser, see Talks break down between St Paul’s protesters and officials.

The protesters have issued this: Occupy London statement on renewed legal action from the City of London Corporation.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 at 8:22am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

I am relieved that at last the majority of protestors will be removed from the vicinity of St Paul's. They only chose to be there because there was nowhere else nearer the Stock Exchange. Then came Giles Fraser's gratuitous welcome which instantly compromised the cathedral's independence and ojectivity. The disastrous consequences need no description.

None of these are of the slightest concern to the protestors. If anything, they have given publicity to the camp that otherwise would not have been achieved. They are impervious to reason and wilfully reject all requests, however polite, to go away. They intend to stay until they are forcibly removed and they long to act up in front of the television cameras when this happens. Wait for the sensationalism to come.

I hope that the Chapter will authorise the police to remove those who stay on cathedral property. Enough is enough.

As for the saintly Giles, I have been amazed, but not surprised, by the extent of his journalistic opportunism since his widely-publicized resignation. The money he has made from this must be considerable.

Posted by: John Bowles on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 at 10:34am GMT

What a nasty, sneering post from John Bowles. having failed to persuade anyone to his ignorant views on the Gaystapo, he has taken to impugning the motives of Giles Fraser. What a sad and unhappy life John Bowles must live.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 at 9:31pm GMT

Richard. don't be too hard on John Bowles.

What you say is true. but it seems that he has been touched by the infectious acid from the likes of Damian Thompson.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 17 November 2011 at 12:37am GMT

I think that is a persona attack of the nastiest kind.

Posted by: Rosemary Hannah on Thursday, 17 November 2011 at 7:31am GMT

Just in case anyone here is ignorant of the charism of Damian Thompson, mentioned above; this is the banner-line floating over his Telegraph articles:

"Damian Thompson is Editor of Telegraph Blogs and a leader writer for the Daily Telegraph. He was once described by The Church Times as a "blood-crazed ferret". Perhaps he is a friend of our Mr.Bowles.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 18 November 2011 at 9:27am GMT

I am glad to have the link to Damian Thompson's website because what he writes confirms my suspicions of Blessed Giles Fraser's activities. Thompson is not responsible for my opinions about him, nor do I know him, although I enjoy reading his work when I come across it. I don't look at his blog regularly.

But one thing for which I am grateful to the protestors is Fraser's resignation from St Paul's. His previous post as Canon Chancellor was entirely inconsistent with his views, as the recent predictable piece in the Guardian cited here demonstrates. When Conrad Noel expressed similar opinions at Thaxted before the First World War they were new and fresh. They are now conventional, suit the Guardian's secularist agenda, but I doubt if his articles are read by many on the staff, least of all the female correspondents.

The next few days will be interesting. The sooner the protestors and their malodorous camp are gone the better. Their proximity to St Paul's has given them publicity they would never otherwise have achieved. The destructive consequences on the life of the Cathedral are lost on them.

Posted by: John Bowles on Friday, 18 November 2011 at 7:22pm GMT

Mr. Bowles, you do seem to be lagging behind the times, You really do need to read the papers. In them you will find that the Saint Paul's Institute is working WITH the Protesters to take up their legitimate complaints with the City Financiers.

Your lack of empathy with the disenfrachised is noted, and deplored.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 18 November 2011 at 10:42pm GMT

There's one in every crowd.

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Saturday, 19 November 2011 at 12:52pm GMT

You can commit larceny on a metaphysical scale from the comfort of your expensive office suite, and there will not only be no consequences, the government will cut you a check.

Step off the curb or bump into a police barricade, and God help you.

Ah Justice, in an age where EVERYTHING is for sale.

Posted by: Counterlight on Saturday, 19 November 2011 at 1:27pm GMT
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