Canon Fraser of St Paul's resigns over Occupy protest

Oct 27, 2011

As pressure mounts on St. Paul's to support eviction, Canon finds his liaison job with City untenable

CANON Giles Fraser, the only senior church official at St Paul’s Cathedral to openly support the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) camp, has stepped down. He announced his resignation as the cathedral’s chancellor on Twitter this morning. “It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St. Paul’s Cathedral,” he wrote.

Dr. Fraser’s position is understood to have become untenable. He has refused to countenance using force to remove the protesters whose prime complaint is corporate greed and social inequality. Yet his job as chancellor is to manage the cathedral’s relations with the City’s financial institutions.

The occupation has become an increasingly divisive issue for the clergy. The Bishop of London is demanding that protestors leave, while St Paul’s is being pressured by the Corporation of London - which part-owns the land – to support an eviction.
The cathedral, one of London’s major tourist attractions, is currently closed to worshippers and tourists, at a loss of £20,000 revenue per day. It is expected to re-open on Friday, with the OLSX camp having agreed to move any tents that obstruct access.
Canon Fraser has a reputation for being a radical, according to the BBC. He is the founder and president of Inclusive Church, which aims to make the CofE open to all “regardless of their sex, race or sexual orientation”. He is also a prolific writer, penning regular articles for The Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Socialist Worker.

Sign up for our daily newsletter