Canon Dr Giles Fraser, the chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, has handed in his notice. This is believed to be because of differences over the handling of the protest camp set up outside the cathedral.
Fraser, a key figure in the Church of England’s progressive wing, was appointed chancellor of St Paul’s in May 2009.Since the Occupy the London Stock Exchange protest set up camp outside the building, he has been sympathetic, and refused to sanction the use of force to remove them. He went so far as to ask police to scale back their presence in a sermon.
It is understood that after the landmark closed its doors, he believed his position to be untenable. While it is due to reopen, Fraser opposes plans by the Corporation of London to take legal action to remove the protesters.
He tweeted news of his resignation this morning, but has yet to make a formal statement:
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:
Giles has brought a unique contribution to the life and ministry of St Paul’s and we will be very sorry to see him go. He has developed the work of the St Paul’s Institute and has raised the profile of our work in the City. 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.
Occupy LSX has put out the following statement:
We are deeply moved to hear that Giles Fraser has resigned. He is man of great personal integrity and our thoughts are with him.
From the moment, Occupy London arrived at St. Paul’s Churchyard he respected our right to protest and defended it.
For that we are very grateful, as he ensured that St Paul’s could be a sanctuary for us and that no violence could take place against peaceful protesters with a legitimate cause – challenging and tackling social and economic injustice in London, the UK and beyond.