Hackney curate’s resignation amid St Paul’s clerical furore over Occupy London protestors

A religious man who works at De Beauvoir church resigned his post at St Paul’s cathedral last week, amid the furore surrounding the anti-capitalist protestors camped outside.

Rev Fraser Dyer, curate at St Peter’s in De Beauvoir Road, also worked part time as chaplain for the pastoral team at St Paul’s, but quit on Friday.

He said he felt “embarrassed” at the controversial stance taken by the Dean and the Chapter, who were threatening legal action to remove the 200 tents forming the Occupy London Stock Exchange.

The group set up camp in the cathedral precinct on October 15 to protest against corporate greed.

Fraser Dyer’s resignation followed that of the cathedral chancellor, Canon Giles Fraser, on Wednesday, who said he would not lend his name to a policy that may end in violence.

In Rev Dyer’s resignation letter, published online, he wrote: “I do not relish the prospect of having to defend the cathedral’s position in the face of the inevitable questions that visitors to St Paul’s will pose in the coming weeks and months, particularly if we are to see protesters forcibly removed by police at the Dean and Chapter’s behest.”

“More than anything I am sorry that the story has become one about the Church and not about the City, which is really where the attention must be focused.”

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Both resignations ended a week of rows between St Paul’s officials over the presence of demonstrators and the closure of the cathedral last month by the Dean of St Paul’s, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles.

The cathedral reopened last week but the dean said on Monday his position had become ‘untenable’ amid the ongoing row and became the third person to hand in their resignation.

The cathedral’s hierarchy has now said it is ‘committed to a peaceful solution at all costs.”

The City of London Corporation had planned to serve eviction notices on the protestors today but suspended legal action in solidarity with the church.

The protestors said they did not want to cause friction within the church but instead wanted to ‘challenge the unsustainable financial system that punishes the many and privileges the few.”