Friday, 28 October 2011

on standing down from the Pastoral Team at St Paul's Cathedral

Since the summer I've been a chaplain at St Paul's Cathedral, one of many London clergy who give half a day a month to being the priest available to the cathedral's visitors, and to leading prayers on the hour. It is has been immensely enjoyable and interesting to do. Given my relationship with the cathedral I've been closely following the events arising from the Occupy London protest which pitched camp in the cathedral precinct a fortnight ago. There seemed to be a great deal that was positive and constructive about the dialogue between the protestors and the cathedral. I was therefore very disappointed to learn of today's announcement that St Paul's is taking legal action to have the protestors removed. Consequently I have decided to stand down from the pastoral team, and explained my reasons to Michael Colclough, Canon Pastor of St Paul's Cathedral, in an email earlier today (below).

I can't stress how tiny a gnat I am in the scheme of things, so my decision is not even a blip on the radar compared to Giles Fraser's principled and courageous resignation. But given the negative PR that has been, and will continue to be, generated from the cathedral's action I wanted to join my voice with other clergy colleagues and church members who are expressing disquiet with the stance being taken by St Paul's. I don't for a minute think they have been put in an easy situation, and I wish them well as they continue to work out the best way forward. 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 focussed.

Dear Bishop Michael, 
I appreciate what a difficult couple of weeks the Dean and Chapter have had following the occupation of the cathedral precinct by protestors campaigning against corporate greed. You have been much in my thoughts and prayers as you have navigated the complex issues with which you have been presented, and the negative press which arose from the decision to close the cathedral. I am delighted that a way was found to reopen the building today which satisfied the cathedral's duty of care towards its worshippers and visitors, and have been impressed by the degree of cooperation that Occupy London offered to enable this to happen. 
It has therefore been disappointing to learn of today's announcement that St Paul's will instigate legal proceedings seeking the removal of the protestors. It is particularly poignant that this announcement comes on the day that IDS report an increase in top directors' pay of almost 50% over the last year. I appreciate that St Paul's has its own means of speaking to the issue of corporate and financial conduct in the City, but am sorry that a way could not be found of - at the very least - continuing to thole the occupation of the precinct by those with a genuine and prophetic complaint that has much in keeping with the values of the gospel. 
I only recently joined the cathedral's pastoral team and it has been a privilege to minister to the building's many visitors. I was looking forward to more opportunities to do so. Today, however, I am left feeling embarrassed by the position the Dean and Chapter have taken. 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 protestors forcibly removed by police at the Dean and Chapter's behest. It is therefore with regret that I write to inform you of my decision to stand down from the pastoral team with immediate effect. 
I continue to wish you well, and a strengthening of discernment, as the situation continues to play out. All of the staff and volunteers at St Paul's remain much in my prayers at this difficult time. 
With warmest good wishes, 
Fraser.

113 comments:

  1. The church has *such* an opportunity to affirm what it stands for as well as its role and purpose in modern society.

    Wish there were more like you and Giles Fraser.

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  2. It's good to see that there are at least a few that are willing to upload the values taught in the Gospels.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this. The trajectory I expected after Dr Fraser initially allowed the camp was that St Paul's would actually do what the radical Christian founder did - serve and care for them. What they're in danger of proving to the world is that they're nothing but a talking shop, despite the enormous amount of work the church does around the world.

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  4. Good on you. As the public reaction to Giles Fraser's announcement showed, there is an vast well of sympathy for those like you across all sections of the country (even the Daily Mail could not find it in itself to be anything but complimentary about him). Thanks for showing us all that Christianity hasn't quite lost its radical edge. You set a great example.

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  5. Respect and thank you Giles and Fraser. Full marks.
    St Pauls is not representative of all of the CofE by any means, of course, and there are some principled and focused people within it. But when the chips were down, the cathedral funked it, and for whatever reasons, and under whatever additional pressures and even duress, has tuned against the very people and ideas with which it should most strongly identify. Nil Points.

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  6. I totally agree with Fraser. The church should rethink its position of siding with corrupt capital instead of the many poor victims of a ideology based on greed and selfishness.

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  7. Beautifully, and sincerely, expressed. Will you get a reply?

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  8. You sir are a shining example of what christianity could/should be about, you make me well up with pride, more power to your elbow.

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  9. Good luck to gnats everywhere!

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  10. >St Paul's is taking legal action to have the protestors removed.

    Do you have reference on that? I thought it was the City.

    Not that I'm opposed to an eviction.

    The right to hold a protest has been respected meticulously. The claim now is for a right to protest to be a right to disrupt the lives of thousands for months at a time.

    That does not exist so I think it is appropriate for action to be taken.

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  11. Sir, I admire your stance and courage. Thank you for making a stand.

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  12. Where as the management of St Paul's act on the advice of their lawyers I pleased to read that you acted based on prayer. It seems that many in the church have forgotten or undermined the fact that they are subservient to God and not lawyers and corporations.

    Thank you for your principled stance, and also thank you for your prayers.

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  13. @matt Wardman please explain how "disrupt the lives of thousands for months at a time." this is being done because I see no disruption to anyone.

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  14. Respect and admiration (from one of the heathen). Thank you for referencing the latest confirmation of the City's obscenity and greed: the 50% increase over one year (2010-11) in FTSE 100 directors pay - to a staggering £2.7m.

    Proud too that you are - I'm guessing - an Islingtonian!

    With good wishes and a warm handshake.

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  15. I think you have made a brave and principled decision. The camp is a bit rough around the edges but it as bought people to St Pauls, not driven them away. The message of ending gross inequality and corporate greed is very very important and i would like to see the church continue to emphasise it's support for these goals.

    Jesse

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  16. Jesus WOULD NOT evict those standing (or tenting) against inequity. Better that a house of prayer fall than the prayer from within be unchristian. May God support you as you by your action have supported God.

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  17. Dear Reverend Dyer,

    A little part of the hope in us all died on hearing that the Cathedral is to forcibly evict the Occupy London camp, and the continuing harm that this process will cause to the mision of the Church.

    Thank you for your principled approach and your gracious words in resigning. Gods strength to you.

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  18. I am an atheist, but I have been touched by the kindness and devotion by Giles Fraser to the message that Jesus brought to the world. I now have found another Christian I have huge respect for - you, kind sir. It is indeed very sad that on a day where we learn the rich are becoming even richer while all of us become poorer the Church has decided to forcibly evict peaceful, anti-greed protesters.

    Jesus himself would have stood with the protesters. I find it sad that "newspapers" like the Daily Express & Daily Mail call the occupiers "rabble" when Jesus himself made a point of hanging around with the "rabble" of his day: poor, the unwanted, the sick, lepers, etc.

    If Jesus came back today, the Mail & Express would want him banged up as a "dangerous left-wing hippy". We call ourselves a Christian nation, yet most of those in power act nothing like I believe a Christian should act: no compassion, humility or humanity.

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  19. Well done - I am sure you will be back soon - we are lucky to have you . Dont go away!

    XXX

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  20. Sir, you are an example of dignity and courage that today's so hard to find.

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  21. I am a Quaker, I can't understand how the Church of England can't see the harm it will do itself to have pictures of people being violently evicted from the steps of St Paul's?

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  22. Congratulations to you Sir for having the bravery and decency to stand up for what you believe in. You are a shining example of what it is to be a true Christian

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  23. Thank you for sharing this and standing up for what you believe.

    God bless

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  24. Even gnats can start an itch that turns into a rash that *has* to be addressed. As a fellow Christian, I applaud your decision, which reflects your belief in Chrit's teachings. God bless you.

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  25. I salute and commend you for sticking to your principles. I myself cannot see what harm the protestors are doing to St Paul's. They chose to close when they could have worked with the camp, as was seen. Instead of crushing them, why doesn't the church stand with them on inequality and greed? That seems like the christian thing to me.

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  26. Immense respect and admiration for you and Giles Fraser.A wonderful and principled stand.

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  27. Good for you. Cant say I have a particularly thorough knowledge of the Bible but the impression I got was that if Jesus was around now he would be more likely to be outside in a tent rather than inside the Cathedral with the current clergy.

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  28. Well done.As one who was ordained Deacon in St Paul's (many years ago)what is happening saddnes me deeply.
    I wrote by email to the Bishop of London, following his statement on Thursday. http://tinyurl.com/6hgxc2a I have now written again as follows:

    Dear Bishop,
    I write, now, to urge you to persuade the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral to re-consider their plans, and to withdraw from any course of action that could result in violent measures being taken against the "Occupy London Stock Exchange" group camped outside. They must remember that in all they do they are representatives of the wider church, the Body of Christ.
    The Anglican church of Holy Trinity, Wall Street, continues to set a Christ-like example by offering hospitality to the many "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, gathered close by. I have been in touch with Trinity Wall Street and they have said they will pray for all those caught up in this situation. I shall do the same.

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  29. Dear Mr Dyer,

    I am one of the people who has been camping out in, and visiting, the Occupy London protest at St Pauls and at Finsbury Square. I am moved by your decision to resign.

    It is, in my view, a brave and honorable course of action you have taken. It seems as though it is becoming more and more rare to see people's moral positioning guide their life trajectories. It is encouraging for all people, to see your example and I would like to thank you for your support.

    I wish you all the best.

    Delia.

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  30. sad day..........


    sometimes a stand has to be made. well done. i hope that your week ends well, surrounded by friends who feed you good food and just be there

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  31. Didn't Jesus eject the money lenders from the Temple and did he not say that a rich man shall no more enter the kingdom of heaven than a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle?
    This decision is an outrage to the gospels, thank you sir for standing firm in the face of greed.

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  32. I am not surprised at the supportive tenor of these comments. The Bishop of London, the Dean and Chapter are shooting themselves in the foot. Despite what they say they are siding with Mammon rather than with the radical message of Jesus. I see that some Christians are now calling for a "prayerwall" formed by Christians to protect the camp, if it is forcibly evicted. I will be amongst them.

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  33. I, like many others here, applaud your principled stand for what you believe and understand why you have taken such steps.
    Faith in what is good and true within man and the right of the individual is rarely reflected in either institutional religion or politics. Controls on society as a whole using financial, political or religious power are never beneficial to the majority and only reward those at the top with the power and the money they seek.
    As the financial and political elite have increasingly alienated the majority of society, it is now time for the church to take their moral stand and speak out for the rights of the many verses those of the few. Unfortunately, I fear the institutionalised nature of religion will strangle those voices like yours which still speak from a compassionate heart.
    I wish you well in your future and hope you will continue to provide moral guidance to those camped in and around the shadow of St Pauls.

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  34. I am saddened to hear this news as it seems all the principled people are leaving, which leaves... excuse the pun, but God only knows!

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  35. We need more people with love AND moral courage like you. Jesus has taught us through the good Samaritan parable that love without moral courage is incomplete.

    Greetings from the Occupy Social Services, Gotland, Sweden.

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  36. I find your courage and strength of character an inspiration. Let's hope that more people now make a stand against unfairness as you have. I respect you immensely , Reverend Dyer.

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  37. Thank you for standing up for what is right and just. As a Catholic who has read the bible and understands the teaching of it, it pains me to see this hostile reaction to those standing up to the "money lenders". It is indeed distracting people away from what really matters - changing our society so corporations and banks stop having so much power to ruin good peoples' lives.

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  38. Thank you so much for taking a stand. I'm too tired to go much beyond jargon at present as I am so convinced of the potential importance of the camp at St Paul's that I have become over-involved with it.

    The camp is demonstrating human values by developing a community from scratch. The homeless are being fed and clothes are being distributed. There is a high degree of organisation without hierarchical structures. It is even sustainable because so many people are giving donations of food and money since they see it being put to good use.

    Of course, the situation is explosive since the camp is demonstrating what can be achieved. Transformation is taking place and this is clearly threatening to 'the establishment.' Sadly, it appears that St Paul's, which could show a new form of leadership is taking the easy and most conventional path.

    It is for that reason that your decision is so important and we must all thank you for it and hope that you will continue to be involved since, fortunately, we are far from the 'end-game' and the camp will evolve in this next period leading up to the Court case,where the defence are likely to produce arguments that will help the public understand more fully than the current presentations what the encampment is all about.

    I write as a Rabbi, and I shall be at the Sermon of the Faiths tomorrow. I do not envy the leadership of St Paul's the difficulties which they have faced. It is simply that in these times, at this moment, their decision is so self-evidently wrong.

    However, since there is still so much further to go, let us hope that a deep change in understanding might take place.

    By the way: ...'continuing to thole the occupation' in paragraph 2 of your e-mail to Bishop Michael is the most interesting typo I've seen for a long time since I have no idea what you intended and you may wish to amend it!

    With all good wishes,

    Rabbi Jeffrey Newman

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  39. Its great to see good men are still about.
    Honor and respect to a true human bring

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  40. Thanks for standing in solidarity with the Occupy movement! After a rough few days in Occupations across the world, we need friends in abundance, you have been one. Blessings!

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  41. Dear Mr Dyer,
    I'd never heard of you before today, but you are not a 'tiny gnat', you are a principled man. That's huge.

    Best wishes

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  42. Thank you SO MUCH! I have felt truly humbled by your gracious sacrifce to the cause, I will remember it dearly xxx

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  43. Douglas said
    I find it sad that "newspapers" like the Daily Express & Daily Mail call the occupiers "rabble" when Jesus himself made a point of hanging around with the "rabble" of his day...

    Proud then to be one of the rabble!

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  44. Having today seen the individuals who act as directors of the board for St Pauls and their very obvious attachments to the financial sector; it's quite clear where the church of Englands loyalties truly are situated. Many excuses have been made, but the truth is clear to see: the church rides the back of the capitalist state. Shame on you all that worship mammon!

    Geli

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  45. A rare example of a man of principle. I admire and respect you.

    Regards

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  46. In the Occupy movement we have seen a sense of urgency, solidarity, vision and prophetic action that is rarely seen within the Church today.

    Thank you Fraser for your wisdom and courage.

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  47. I'm with you mate...all they need to do was keep the Cathedral open, go outside and give the protesters tea and soup. Much love Stu Hallam. x

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  48. Thank you. Given Sunday's lectionary readings, who could do less - but thank you!

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  49. What you did was tremendous. Personally, you gave me back my sense of belief in my fellow human beings. You helped me to be a little less cynical. You matter. Thank you.

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  50. I would like to hear an answer from the CofE higher echelons to that cliched but apposite question What Would Jesus Do?

    My knowledge of the Bible is limited, so I can only go on the impression that he would be with the camp and not with the City authorities - but maybe the management of St Pauls see it differently and if so, it would be good to have their explanation from a religious, rather than a managerial, perspective?

    These resignations are positive in keeping things in the news, especially when the Prime Minister on the other side of the planet is saying long-term protest needs to be curtailed - he must NOT be allowed to win on thst front.

    The moneyfolk and ardent corporatists, and possibly pro-Capitalists too, may not be running scared, but they cannot help seeing that their authority and way of life is being questioned like never before - or at least, not in a long time. That has to be a good thing - either they justify themselves (they seem not to be able to) or they are silent (in which case the voice of the protestors is heard better and clearer).

    Interesting to see how this develops - but well done for being a principled person!

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  51. Brendan O'Reilly28 October 2011 20:26

    I too admire and respect you and Rev. Fraser.

    Sincerely,

    Dr Brendan O'Reilly
    South Wales.

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  52. When the news first broke that the police had been asked to leave the steps of St Pauls some of my faith in the church was restored. I once again believed what I had been taught as a child that a church is a place of sanctuary. They've blown it again, but you are a shining example of not only Christianity but the oneness of humanity as it should be. You and Giles Fraser are a shining example of living what Jesus taught. Thank you for being there us.

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  53. Ken Willingale.28 October 2011 20:34

    A man of good principles is to be much admired. Thank you.

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  54. Thank you for your courageous stance!

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  55. Way to stand on your beliefs!

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  56. There are so many things I would like to say but I think I can sum it up best simply by saying thank you.

    The 'occupy' protests around the world have inspired ordinary people separated by nationality, race, religion, class and political beliefs to come together in a spirit of unity and brotherhood and unite against the injustices of our world.

    It has not been easy and sometimes it feels hopeless but in times of darkness hero's appear. You sir are one and I thank you.

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  57. I am incredibly moved by the actions of both Giles and your good self. I too had hoped that people's suffering and anguish had finally found a voice and that the greed and interests of corporations could no longer be permitted to continue. What becomes of the world when love, hope and faith in a just society and a just God is pulled from under us? ... Where do we turn when all avenues become closed and all doors are shut in our face? Thank you Fraser and Giles.

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  58. The Catholic church is one of the most powerful corporations in the world - and has been for hundreds of years. I'm surprised that so many of you are shocked over this move...

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  59. Thank you so much for your courageous and principled stance, and I wish you the very best of luck for the future. I think respect for the Church of England would skyrocket if its Deans and Bishops snapped out of their sickening complacency and took a lead in this movement instead of opposing it at every turn.

    I think in the long run the Church will be judged more harshly for what it is doing here than any of the controversies about gender and sexuality it has spent so many years bogged down in while the world is laid to waste by the greed of a powerful few moneychangers. It's good to know there are people like you and Canon Fraser on the inside doing the right thing. Perhaps when the doddering old ivory tower folk like Richard Chartres have been pensioned off (sorry to be rude about him - you showed admirable restraint in your letter) people like you and Canon Fraser will lead the CofE to a far higher moral calling than it has managed to date.

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  60. Will Duckworth28 October 2011 21:18

    Thank you for showing that some people of The Church have principles.

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  61. Justice for All28 October 2011 21:22

    Dear Mr Dyer,

    We have written and posted the message below for other Occupations (Occupy Miami; Occupy Canada; Occupy Together; Occupy Wall Street; Occupy Orlando; Occupy Chicago; Occupy Florida) to keep inspired. You are not a 'blip', thank you for your actions! People are already expressing appreciation and admiration for your stance.

    Sincerely,
    Justice for All
    _______________________________________________

    This is Fraser Dyer, a clergy member who just STEPPED DOWN from his post @ St Paul’s Cathedral in solidarity with Occupy London. He has done so because he disagrees with the church’s upcoming legal actions to get rid of the occupiers while also pointing out an ‘increase in top [church] directors' pay of almost 50% over the last year’. He considers himself a ‘blip’, a ‘gnat’ in the scheme of things where his resignation may not seem significant—but we know it is! Spread this moment to your local movement and let them see the encouragement of this man of the church questioning authority, removing himself from the hierarchy + tenets he disagrees with. He is the 2nd clergy member to do so recently at St Paul’s—please pass this news along from London to your occupiers in solidarity—these actions are not in vain; if he’s a gnat, we must remain a swarm!!

    PEACE + SOLIDARITY

    http://thewhiffofgod.blogspot.com/2011/10/on-resigning-from-pastoral-team-at-st.html

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  62. I respect and applaud you. It's always heartwarming to see a person of principles. The Dean and Chapter and the leaders of the Christian Church have a golden opportunity to re-affirm Christian values within the Church and in turn the wider community. It is unlikely that this opportunity will ever arise again and they should seize it with all of their heart. We all know what the Lord Jesus would do here and that should be their guiding principle.

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  63. Justice for All - just to clarify, the reference to increase in directors pay in the last year related to corporate directors, not the church. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15487866

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  64. Hats off to those who are true to their convictions! The evil permeates even God's hallowed grounds it would seem. Yet, be not deterred! Like Fraser Dyer, there are principled people throughout all the lands. The Occupy movement now started cannot be stopped, swayed or silenced.

    As humans, we cannot not know what we're knowing. Soon, everyone will know.

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  65. In my opinion, the true tradition of Christ's teachings. You have my admiration and respect Fraser.

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  66. Justice for All28 October 2011 22:21

    Thank you, Reverend, I corrected by re-posting those messages. I appreciate it. FYI so many people have shown their support for you under the messages, as posted on Facebook. Thanks for all you've done, keep shining.

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  67. Thank you Fraser Dyer and Giles Fraser. You will be remembered throughout history because Love WILL conquer greed and the time is now. We are making global history and we WILL win this. How can we not? Exciting, isn't it?!! Blessings :)

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  68. Words are all we have. thank you for choosing the right ones. you have my respect.

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  69. Fraser, I went to the site today with my husband and two sons aged 1 and 8 years. You couldn't ask for a more peaceful, earnest protest really.

    I attend and Anglican church and find myself increasingly upset with the stance taken by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's.

    It boils down to money. Shameful.

    Thank you for taking a stand. Wish more people would.

    Sophie

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  70. Ian on the Hill28 October 2011 23:30

    This rabid atheist wishes you well and salutes your principled stand. I emailed the Bishop of London and eh Archbishop of Canterbury a couple of days ago. I don't expect a response :)
    "FOA:
    The Most Rev and Rt Hon The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury,
    And
    The Right Rev. Richard Chartres


    Your Graces,

    I am increasingly distressed by the appalling stand being taken by the senior church officials and clergy concerning the protests outside St Pauls. The attempts to malign the protestors and blame them for the totally unrequired closure of St Pauls has been a disgrace.

    It is clear that the reasons given by those responsible for the closure are entirely fictitious, spurious, malign and do not stand up to the slightest investigation. One must be forced to assume that these actions are entirely politically motivated and reveal where those involved feel that their loyalties reside: with those who control London’s wealth not those who suffer under economic disadvantage.

    This has been made much clearer to all today with the forced resignation of the Canon Chancellor, Giles Fraser.

    The whole public actions of the church stink of corruption and cronyism in this matter. The Tory Party at prayer indeed.

    At a time when the government has had to issue a statement trying to find a reason for maintaining a continued presence of Bishops in the reformed House of Lords it is especially interesting to see the Church proving itself so incapable of political involvement.

    I would call on you to address this issue, re-open the Cathedral and welcome the protestors and their concerns."

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  71. Thank you for taking a brave stand and thanks for making it public too

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  72. Micah 6:8 'And what does the Lord require of you? Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God' I can't think of a more poignant way of living this out. Fraser Dyer you are not a 'gnat' and you deserve every respect, as does Dr Fraser. God Bless you.
    Sarah

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  73. If resignation is the only way to hold your position with integrity then that is what you must do - but it is shame that so principled a member of the pastoral team is to be lost while the less Christ-like management remain.

    I hope that soon the path will be open again for you to serve in Jesus name.

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  74. Your principled decision is admirable and gives hope to those of us who are horrified by the greed of the powers that be and the blindness of civic authorities.

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  75. Good for you, well done.

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  76. God bless you - as Christians we don't have a choice in whether we support the poor and needy and those who would fight for them; it's central to who we are.

    As for gnats - ever shared a tent with a mosquito?

    My prayers with you and Giles at this time, and also with the 'powers that be' at St Paul's that they may ask for and receive Christ's guidance at this time.

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  77. The City would sooner see St Paul's disgraced and disowned than to suffer even the slightest loss to its profit making and power! Don't be fooled it was easy prey and the corporates won't shed a tear.

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  78. Thank you so much for taking a such a strong stance in support of the protestors and at such a great personal cost to yourself - you have made me a little less cynical.

    I wonder if St Paul's decision to remove the protestors is in any way connected to the banking fraternity on it's Board of Trustees.

    Best wishes
    Catherine

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  79. @Noel

    Thanks for your reply.

    "@matt Wardman please explain how "disrupt the lives of thousands for months at a time." this is being done because I see no disruption to anyone."

    There are 200+ tents plonked down taking up one of the busiest public spaces in London threatening to stay there for months and you ask me how it's interfering with the daily lives of ordinary people?

    Sorry, but that's almost funny.

    No one has questioned the right to protest, and have gone out of their way to recognise that right.

    But this occupation is an encampment, not a protest, and we shouldn't forget that stepping outside political protest is one of basic tactics of the movement.

    If you go back to any point in the last 18 months of the movement, 'demonstrations have failed so we need a different tactic' has been a srandard justification.

    For me the point is made, the protest has been held, and this is now simply a public order question.

    It would help if there had been anything politically coherent put forward, but I've been listening for over a year and I'm still waiting.

    Rgds

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  80. Bless you for your principled position.

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  81. thank you so much i understand how difficult it must have been for you to take this decision when you loved what you were doing. however i must say i admire your courage in the face of the odds, sad that you and Giles Fraser are an inspiration. i was brought up a catholic but throughout the years have questioned things, mainly with the catholic church taking from the poor and being one of the richest organisations on earth.
    i applauded st.Pauls when they originally accepted the protesters and sent the police away. i was then saddened by their stance to close the cathedral. i was then incensed to find out they charge for entrance into a church and emailed them saying it was a disgrace and Jesus would throw them all out. Jesus would be with the protesters and would not be in favour of them being evicted.
    I admire the stance you and Giles Fraser have taken and you have given me back some faith in Christianity that at least some people do take it seriously. God Bless you both
    Christina

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  82. It seems quite obvious that the quiet protestors camping outside St Paul’s Cathedral represent the ethical concerns of a significant part of the UK and global population. Those concerns will only be worsened by evicting the protestors. At this critical point, the Church has a great opportunity to act as a mediator between the people and the City banks. In this role, the Church can have an important healing influence. I imagine that the Church must have sufficient influence in the City to prompt the formation of what could be a great new, socially healing, ethical foundation, using charitable money from the City banks. The Church could perhaps take the chair of such a foundation in order to start a mature, peaceful and productive dialogue between the banks and representatives of the protestors and representatives of the wider UK population. The foundation could have an on-going role to consider how banking can serve the people in the 21st Century, rather than being seen to be taking from the people. If by this means, real changes are brought about, and at the same time the banks are seen to become more responsive to peoples’ concerns, and the protesters feel they have been given a voice and can de-camp, then this would surely be a great outcome? Bishop Michael still has time to steer this important little piece of history in a better direction than the current trajectory. He has time to change his mind about the evictions and seize a great opportunity for moral leadership at what is a key moment. Well done Fraser Dyer and Giles Fraser for resigning and by doing so, gently urging Bishop Michael to think again about how to solve this difficult problem.

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  83. I am truly heartened that both you and Giles have taken such a position on the arguably hypocritical and unnecessary decision taken by St Pauls.
    I am not a religious person myself (at least not in an organised religion way) but it is extremely refreshing and encouraging to see religious people practicing what they preach.
    May your god go with you Fraser Dye.
    Much Peace and Love to you x

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  84. Fraser

    I so admire your principled stand on this, and your integrity. I so hope St Paul's finds a different way to engage with the protests - dialogue and understanding goes so much further than injunctions.

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  85. May God bless you Sir.

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  86. I'm told there is the suggestion that a line of clergy be asked to stand between the protestors and the police should the Corporation and the Cathedral Chapter resort to violence.

    What is happening at St Paul's will reverberate for years and the dear old C of E's established hierarchy doesn't look like it's going to come out well.

    As ever - it is the principled stand of indviduals that will make the difference.

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  87. I can only admire and respect your courage to a degree that words cannot effectively convey. Thank you for your support! :)

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  88. I am an atheist, not least because I despair of humankind's propensity to distort the words of their respective religious teachings and use them to justify acts of bigotry, intolerance and sometimes worse.

    The actions of you and Mr Fraser are amazing: not only a rare and commendable occurrence, but whilst the Church are publicly shooting themselves in the foot over this matter, you two, in your stance, have brought more positive PR to the Christian faith than they could dream of achieving. So very far from being a gnat, Sir.

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  89. How reassuring that there are those in the Church who listen to the people and are willing to take a stand for us. I am also really heartened by people's comments on this page - people from all faiths, or even no faith.

    Occupy The London Stock Exchange is growing into something amazing. Due to protesting against corporate greed, it is bringing up other very relevant issues. It is uniting the people regardless of colour, race, creed, even cult (referred to by the media). In the eyes of our respective Maker we are all equal, we each have something of value to offer. Violence and anger achieves nothing. This united peaceful front can move mountains. Thank you to all present who are representing those of us who unable to be there.

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  90. Well done, for your honorable stance.

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  91. I write as a fellow gnat!

    You hardly need my support as well, but it is very encouraging to see such a wide range of positive reactions to your courageous stand. Needless to say, please count me among your admirers.

    I also echo David Goss:

    "I write, now, to urge you to persuade the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral to re-consider their plans, and to withdraw from any course of action that could result in violent measures being taken against the "Occupy London Stock Exchange" group camped outside. They must remember that in all they do they are representatives of the wider church, the Body of Christ."

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  92. There have been MANY of us on facebook supporting you and respecting your choice. I hope that helps.
    Am I right in reading that the church is selling cufflinks at outrageous prices, etc? So...St Paul's is earning less money selling 'Jesus stuff'....should they be doing that? I haven't been to St Paul's since the early 80's (been very sick since and unable to visit) and was horrified at the commercialism THEN of goods on offer to buy - and some of those were 'pagan' symbols. Many of us sick and disabled have been living on such little monies for such a long time and it's only going to get harder. Aspects of the media will not report and support.
    We support the occupiers and we, in turn, support you.
    Peace and hope....

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  93. You are no gnat. You are part of the 99%.

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  94. Fraser, you are one (Christian) in a million and I do hope you find work with an organisation that appreciates your beliefs and faith in humankind!

    Unfortunately, I lost faith in Christianity many years ago, I failed to understand the hypocrisy and selfishness which is evident throughout it's modern existence.

    You did well to stand up to the bullies and charlatans.

    I know your God would be casting his blessings on you and your family.

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  95. Let us pray that more priests like you and Giles Fraser enter the hierarchy of the CofE. Until then we must be constantly urging change and open mindedness, in solidarity.

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  96. Many of those people camping at St Pauls & Finsbury Square,whether you agree with thier methods or not,are making a big sacrifice in the cause of social justice.The comments on here from christians are indeed admirable,but they mean absolutely NOTHING unless backed up by actions! If you are a Pastor,Vicar,Deacon,Canon,church member etc,don't just express your support from the safety of your keyboard,get yourselves down to St Pauls when the Elites private army,the Police,commence the evictions! Place yourselves between the innocent,peaceful protesters & the Met,put your bodies on the line in the cause of humanity & justice,show that you're serious in supporting the message of your Bible's teachings! If you do,you might just gain some real respect in the eyes of the exploited & downtrodden-empty words & hand-wringing are nots what required here,who's side are you on?

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  97. I entirely support the stand you and Giles Fraser have taken over this issue. It is time the Church stopped all the in-fighting about who can join the ministry/episcopate and who can marry whom: such obsessions only make the Church a laughing-stock. It is time to act against social injustice and bigotry in this country and elsewhere.

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  98. I'm very surprised to find so little of your brave action within the mainstream media. However, the social networks are pushing this news far and wide and your intelligent and profound letter of resignation is being heard and retold across the globe. Well done. We can only build a better world of standing up for what is right and true.

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  99. Reading the article and the subsequent comments, it's so clear that so many of 'us', the 99%, the ordinary people, are craving people with integrity to speak for us.

    Unfortunately, we have to rely on the media to be heard and our truth is often distorted, so it is heartwarming and optimistic to hear such brave, honest words from both you and Giles Fraser.

    I may even return to the church if it rediscovers its commitment to Jesus' morals and integrity.

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  100. Colin Heber-Percy30 October 2011 09:51

    The failure of the Chapter at St. Paul's to present even an adequately Christian response to current pressures has been one of the most depressing spectacles I can remember witnessing. As a committed Anglican, I feel a profound sense of gloom. Like most people in this country I am disgusted by the continuing display of greed, incompetence and arrogance that characterises the financial services industry. Here was an opportunity for the CofE to live up to its pastoral responsibilities, to offer a moral and Christian response to the behaviour of the City. And what does it do? It closes the door. Literally. Disgraceful. Good for you, Fraser Dyer for making a principled stand.

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  101. Mazeltov,from a campaigner of the Jewish faith.
    (well done,good luck)

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  102. You and Giles Fraser deserve respect for what you have done.
    Seeing a church man with principles is heartwarming.

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  103. God bless you and keep you safe xx

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  104. A breath of fresh air and inspiration. We all need to collectively take responsibility for humanity and the gifts of the world around us.Thank you for being you. Prepared to act with humility.

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  105. Thank you, I am a deist and while I believe in God, I tend to reject organized religion. This is the exact reason for that.

    If you follow the teachings of Christ, then you would know that a movement of non-violence and of social justice would be something Jesus would stand for. Let's not forget that what Jesus was doing was a crime, and he did it because it was the RIGHT thing to do.

    Most Christians / Catholics (especially those who are devout enough to be pastors / clergy) believe that the bible is the direct word of God, and as such should remember that God respects a life of godlyness over richness.

    Also, I wish I knew the book and line number of the story... but there was a story where Jesus took a couple of guys with him on a boat to kinda get a way for a while, but alas when they got to where they were heading, there were thousands of people who were starving.

    Jesus and the disciples only had a few loafs of bread, but instead of living on that comfortably... they split it up and shared it with everyone.

    This story, for me, is a story of your occupy situation. There are people without homes (and without food) and instead of sharing with them... what you have, it is more comfortable for the church to kick them out.

    I am not a man of the book, but a man of God, and I hope that these final passages are not out of context. Thank you for your time in reading this and hopefully it is passed on.

    Mark 10:25
    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    Luke 6:24
    "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.

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  106. Proud to be one of the rabble.

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  107. Thank you very much for standing up for your beliefs , your a true hero :)

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  108. Thank you for your stand.

    I am saddened that presumably the cathedral celebrates the Eucharist daily, and tet the Bishop and Dean don't seem to 'get' that sometimes a symbolic action is more important than a reasoned debate.

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  109. It pleases me no end to see a member of the church acting in a truly Christian manner. Please do not let your voice be silenced by this action. Fight for change within the church, and you could be the catalyst for huge good to come from this. There are very powerful people who want to see this fight for justice end in a whimper. Please do not let this happen!

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  110. May God bless you and keep you safe. Your voice reflects that of so many and your courage is exemplary. Please may your decision be not in vain.

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  111. Karen Schousboe: Thank you for your stand. It takes a lot of courage to do such a thing. People used to be burnt at stakes:

    http://europeanhistories.com.linux5.unoeuro-server.com/give-it-willingly

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  112. what a beautiful thing, and what marvellous comments! I am happy for this and I hope you the best,

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