St Paul’s Dean Graeme Knowles resigns over protests

September 26, 2020 0 Comments

first_img Sharing is caring! Share Dean Knowles said his position had become untenableThe dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London has resigned, saying his position had become untenable.The Rt Rev Graeme Knowles said the past fortnight had been a testing time.It follows weeks of protests outside the cathedral by anti-capitalist protesters, which led to the building being closed for several days.The news comes as the City of London authorities prepare to order protesters outside St Paul’s to remove their tents and equipment within 48 hours.Dean Knowles, who occupied the most senior decision-making position at the cathedral, said he was stepping down “with great sadness”.In a statement, he said: “It has become increasingly clear to me that, as criticism of the cathedral has mounted in the press, media and in public opinion, my position as dean of St Paul’s was becoming untenable. “In order to give the opportunity for a fresh approach to the complex and vital questions facing St Paul’s, I have thought it best to stand down as dean, to allow new leadership to be exercised.”It follows last week’s resignation of Dr Giles Fraser, who had been sympathetic to the activists.The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said he was sad to hear the news of Dean Knowles’ resignation.“The events of the last couple of weeks have shown very clearly how decisions made in good faith by good people under unusual pressure can have utterly unforeseen and unwelcome consequences, and the clergy of St Paul’s deserve our understanding in these circumstances,” he said.He added that the wider issues raised by the protesters “remain very much on the table”.Dr Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, said he was sad to hear the dean’s decision, adding that he had “acted honourably in a very difficult situation”.In a statement responding to the resignation, Occupy London described the management of St Paul’s Cathedral as “deeply divided” over its response to the protests.“But our cause has never been directed at the staff of the cathedral,” the statement added.The statement went on to urge an “open and transparent dialogue” involving all parties.The notices to remove tents and equipment from around St Paul’s follows a decision by the City of London Corporation last week to go ahead with court action to clear the area.The corporation has insisted that the protesters themselves are not being asked to leave the area.A spokesperson for the corporation confirmed that a letter would be served to protesters.Earlier, it had said the letter would be served on Monday afternoon, but a spokesman said it had been “delayed in drafting”. A spokesperson said if the protesters did not comply the case would go to court.The Planning and Transportation Committee of the corporation last week voted to go ahead with proceedings to remove the encampment on the grounds that it constitutes an unreasonable use of the highway.Ronan McNern, a supporter of the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest, said it would be up to the general assembly of the protesters how they responded to the notice.He said: “Every time that the occupiers have been challenged, they have remained calm. We have a just cause and there is absolutely no reason why we would be intimidated. We trust in the people.” BBC News FaithLifestyle St Paul’s Dean Graeme Knowles resigns over protests by: – October 31, 2011 42 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Tweetlast_img read more