Response from St Paul’s Cathedral
On 13 March, St Paul’s Cathedral received a letter from five Christians who were removed by police while they prayed on the cathedral steps during the eviction of Occupy London Stock Exchange. The following reply has been received from the cathedral’s Canon Pastor, Michael Colclough, dated 15 March. We will be responding very shortly.
Thank you for your letter dated 13 March. In response to your request for further clarity I refer you to a letter sent to Jenny Jones who was asking similar questions to yours.
“Following an approach from the Corporation of the City of London, we gave consent to clean the area around the cathedral, including the steps, after any removal of the protest camp. In order to do this, the Corporation asked the police to clear the area temporarily of people so that this could be carried out.
The Corporation had explained to the protesters, in one of the many joint meetings which the cathedral had with the camp and the Corporation, that this would be the case but that protesters could come back, without tents, afterwards. We understand that they were reminded of this by the police early in the course of the removal. We regret that those praying on the steps may not have been aware of the Corporation’s plans.
And, later that day, in the evening, about 150 protesters did return and held a general assembly on the steps of St Paul’s.”
We plan to meet Occupy London’s church liaison group from time to time so that St Paul’s can assist Occupy in promoting their call for social and economic justice. We must therefore decline your invitation to meet as we believe that looking backward to events of 28th February would not help to further Occupy’s aims.
The cathedral will not be issuing any further “statements” on this issue. Indeed we are now moving forward and focussing on continuing our work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope that the issue you raised can now be put behind us so that we can all continue our work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yours in Christ,