Talks continue on St Paul's and protest closure decision


The BBC's Ben Ando says the protest outside St Paul's is costing the cathedral £16,000 a day in lost tourism revenue.

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Senior staff at St Paul's Cathedral are continuing to meet City of London Corporation (CLC) officials over the decision to close it - the first time since World War II.

Up to 300 protesters from Occupy London Stock Exchange have now been camped in the churchyard for a week and have refused to leave.

The dean has cited health and safety concerns for the closure decision.

One CLC member called on them to disband in a peaceful manner.

The cathedral would normally attract thousands of visitors on a Saturday but they will be turned away although some weddings and other services are expected to take place.

Sunday services have also been suspended.

The action by the cathedral authorities and the Dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, follows appeals to the group whose numbers have grown during the week in protest at what they call "corporate greed and inequality".

Dean Knowles: "The decision to close St Paul's Cathedral is unprecedented in modern times"

In a statement published on the cathedral's website, Dean Knowles said they were left with "no lawful alternative" but to close St Paul's.

The decision had been taken "with a heavy heart" but it was "simply not possible to fulfil our day to day obligations to worshippers, visitors and pilgrims in current circumstances".

"With so many stoves and fires and lots of different types of fuel around, there is a clear fire hazard," he said.

"Then there is the public health aspect, which speaks for itself."

'Not a stunt'

"The dangers relate not just to cathedral staff and visitors but are a potential hazard to those encamped," it added.

But the protesters claim they have tried to answer such concerns, reorganising their camp "in response to feedback from the fire brigade".

OccupyLSX said in a statement they had been working "to accommodate the cathedral's concerns in any way we can".

The protesters have however, decided to continue with the action following a meeting which is thought to have taken place on Friday.

One of the group, who gave her name as Lucy, said: "This protest is massive, it affects everybody, everyone's watching at home right now.

"It's not just about a few people who have got some tents in St Paul's, it's not a stunt, it's not a spectacle."

Stuart Fraser, policy and resources committee chairman on the CLC, said he was still hopeful "common sense will prevail" and that those camping around the cathedral "will recognise that they are damaging the integrity of their protest by their actions - and they decide to disband in a peaceful manner".

The area around St Paul's Cathedral

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  • rate this

    Comment number 279.

    276. CryFreedomMachine

    You're wrong, the reason we are where we are is because they didn't profit from it. That's why we're in debt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 278.

    seems to be an orchestrated campaign to support the soap dodgers etc etc

    disgraceful that st pauls should close

    as for weddings being allowed -they are 'private' events not subject to the same 'risk assessment' etc

    at the end of the day this 'sit it' will achieve nothing apart from loss of business and a large clean up bill

  • rate this

    Comment number 277.

    Who on earth decides the topics for consideration and debate on HYS?

    I think you'll find there are plenty of other, more interesting and important, matters than shutting the doors to St Paul's Cathedral. Just because those who live in London still think it's the centre of the universe, why should others have to be bored to death about this item?

  • rate this

    Comment number 276.


    If you want to go right back it was the retailers who didn't bother going out to value the houses and gave it arbitrary values.

    No, it was lenders & estate agents & government who greedily profited by/from over-inflated prices & factually FRAUDULENT values derived from manipulated shortages of specific housing needs, & created greed trend

  • rate this

    Comment number 275.

    The Church of England invests heavily on the London Stock Exchange and that is probably why the Occupy St Paul's movement have occupied one of their cathedrals.

    Lets all protest against the clergy getting pensions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 274.

    stop press: Protestors have found the key to economic enlightenment:
    1. Financial inactivity
    2. Destroy the banking system
    3. "Redistribution"
    4. Sing Kumbaya
    Utter, utter tosh. A sixth former could do better.
    On my way to work next week - i think I'm going to get a wad of notes and throw them at the protestors. After buying a warm cup of coffee for all the coppers standing in the cold.

  • rate this

    Comment number 273.

    Keep it up protesters greedy selfish lot that you are. The more the public see of you the less they will have any sympathy at all. Do not like banks? Vote with your handouts, do not put your benefits in banks.

    Protest about those not paying back their debts, they are solely responsible for the difficulties including nations the likes of Greece.

  • rate this

    Comment number 272.

    Having just met with some of the protesters, I am happy say that all the venom spouting water canon proponents on here are the ones who are in the wrong, and are sad victims of their own prejudices. It didn't really come as a surprise, but I wanted to find out for myself. It's nice to have an opinion based on fact, you should try it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 271.


    If you want to go right back it was the retailers who didn't bother going out to value the houses and gave it arbitrary values. And through out the whole chain not one person ever thought to see the house in person.

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    It is time for the demonstrators to move on. Surely they can find a more appropriate camp site.

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    I get up earlier so I can hate demonstrators for longer.

  • Comment number 268.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    A man call Jesus throw the money lenders out of the temple. Could it be possible that the money lenders own the Temple?

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    258this is england
    again a classic mistake as you presume that many are students.
    so it is fair for me to presume that the others are not.
    not interested in the banks and student debt ect on this blog .
    i just want to know am i paying for the many who are not students your words not mine to camp out for days and not look for work.
    yes or no.

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    I take it that all not in favour of the protesters are subsequently in favour of paying off EU debts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    247.This Is England

    The banks sold them, but it was the fraudulent credit rating agencys who work with & for some banks who did all the fraudulent packaging.

    These FRAUD agencys/banks/financiers who caused the crisis are now effectively mugging those who saved them & banks from annilation, namely citizens/taxpayers via government taxpayer funded bailouts & NOT 1 arrest.

  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    So thats where the ex Dale Farm residents ended up!

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    All we need is a mobile job centre.

  • rate this

    Comment number 261.

    Seems many people here beleive our, 'Democracy' should be enforced by a police state, nice one,...Not. Hitler endorsed democracy, as a means to gain power and then denied it to all when he took contriol through its process. Poeple can be both blind and shortsighted, but by heaven I truly hope not always.

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.

    Why all the venom against a peaceful protest in the grounds of a Christian church adjacent to The London Stock Exchange?

    There are no obstructions to anyone wishing to enter St Pauls, only the Dean himself? I don't know who owns the Church of England, of which St Pauls is just a part. It's such a pity for the Church of England, with declining congregations, to take such a cynical stance?


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