27 Oct 2011

Canon at St Paul’s resigns amid protests

Canon Dr Giles Fraser, who has been sympathetic to the protest camp, has resigned amid reports of divisions among clergy over the handling of the protesters.

Canon at St Paul's resigns over protest (getty)

Giles Fraser, the canon chancellor, had expressed his support for the demonstrators’ cause and refused to sanction the use of police force to get rid of the Occupy London protest. He also asked police to scale back their presence outside the cathedral.

When the protest first started 12 days ago, Canon Fraser gave a Sunday sermon welcoming the protestors.

However the Cathedral was then forced to close over health and safety concerns, and divisions are thought to have emerged among the clergy.

Canon Fraser tweeted his resignation this morning, saying: “It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St Paul’s Cathedral.”

The Dean of St Paul’s, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles said yesterday that St Paul’s clergy are considering all options in response to the protest, including legal action. Clergy hope that the Cathedral will reopen in time for Friday’s Eucharist service at 12.30pm.

‘Disappointed’ by resignation

Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, said today that he would be sorry to see Canon Fraser go.

“He has developed the work of the St Paul’s Institute and has raised the profile of our work in the City,” he said.

“We are obviously disappointed that he is not able to continue to his work with Chapter during these challenging days. We will miss his humour and humanity and wish Giles and his family every good wish into the future.”