Saturday, October 29, 2011


Fraser Dyer, who volunteered as a chaplain at St Paul's Cathedral announced his resignation. He blogs at Kiwianglo's blog.
Since the summer I’ve been a chaplain at St Paul’s Cathedral, one of many London clergy who give half a day a month to being the priest available to the cathedral’s visitors, and to leading prayers on the hour. It is has been immensely enjoyable and interesting to do. Arising from my relationship with the cathedral I’ve been closely following the events arising from the Occupy London protest which pitched camp in the cathedral precinct a fortnight ago. There seemed to be a great deal that was positive and constructive about the dialogue between the protestors and the cathedral. I was therefore very disappointed to learn of today’s announcement that St Paul’s is taking legal action to have the protestors removed. Consequently I have decided to stand down from the pastoral team, and explained my reasons to Michael Colclough, Canon Pastor of St Paul’s Cathedral, in an email earlier today (below).
Read the rest of the post, which includes the email which Fr Dyer sent to the Canon Pastor.

Sam Norton, who blogs at Elizaphanian has an excellent post on St Paul's Cathedral and the protest:
I've been pondering this whilst following the events outside St Paul's. There has been much criticism of the Occupy movement for not having 'clear goals' (on which see this great cartoon. That is immediately to try and force the rebellion to conform to the dominant discourse, to be co-opted into the patterns that pose no threat to the establishment. Specific claims will, I do not doubt, follow in due course. For now, however, it is enough for there to be the protest, the rebellion - the saying 'No' to manifest injustice, arrogance, ignorance and greed.
Read it all, and click the links when you get over there.

You may think I'm overdoing the posts on St Paul's, but the situation there is about more than protestors and tents around the famous London cathedral. The leadership at the cathedral was forced to make a choice. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they came down on the wrong side. I hope other churches take lessons from them on what not to do.


  1. Thank you, margaret.

    Lapin, I read the article in the Guardian. I hope it happens if it comes to forcible removal of the protestors.

  2. Me wants to hear more, Mimi.

  3. It is about so much more...that christians attest to be in the world but not of it, is one of the greatest get out clauses of the whole game. Moments like this, when the symbolic presence of Christ in the world, is asked what that really means, are pivotal.

  4. theme, thanks for the link. The opinion piece is powerful.

    Moments like this, when the symbolic presence of Christ in the world, is asked what that really means, are pivotal.


  5. "The Struggle for St Paul's". UK right-wing politics as usual. From today's Telegraph.

    "“This is a very conservative place, where no one wants to rock the boat, and no one is bigger than the team,” says one cathedral source.

    One figure who is understood to have taken a particularly dim view of Canon Fraser’s outbursts is the cathedral’s registrar, Nicholas Cottam, a retired Major-General.

    He has, so far, managed to keep a low profile, but he is described as “the power behind the throne”, and central to convincing the dean to support evicting the protesters.

    Having served as a Commanding Officer in Northern Ireland in the early Nineties, he is said to have acted as an enforcer who didn’t like the clergy stepping out of line.

    “He runs the cathedral like an army operation and sees the canons as his troops who should follow orders and not speak out of turn,” says one insider.

    The Dean and his former Canon Chancellor only live a few houses apart, but they have been pulled in different directions, with Dean Knowles being leant on by senior political and ecclesiastical figures, in addition to his registrar.

    As Canon Fraser argued for the size of the camp to be reduced through negotiation, the Dean is understood to have already been told by Mayor Boris Johnson that he hoped the cathedral would back stronger action.

    Senior figures at the City of London Corporation had decided that the protesters must be evicted, and backing from the cathedral Chapter was the last touch needed to give it moral authority."

  6. Where are you when we need you, Gilbert and Sullivan?


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