UK

St Paul's protests: Clergy's view

Image caption Protesters have been camped outside St Paul's Cathedral since 15 October

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has said the protests outside St Paul's Cathedral have "triggered awareness" of the unfinished business between government and banks, and the need to deliver a more just and rational economic system.

He said the public had the feeling that changes to financial institutions were not coming fast enough.

Here, two members of the Church of England clergy react to the protests and their handling by St Paul's.

The Reverend Marcus Ramshaw, York

Image caption Reverend Marcus Ramshaw says he is ashamed by the conduct of St Paul's

The dean and the Chapter of St Paul's completely mishandled the protest, and it was clear that the dean [the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles] had to resign.

He simply was not up to the job and his actions were contrary to those of the gospel.

The Church should have invited the protesters to set up their tents inside the cathedral. That's certainly what Jesus would have done.

I have been a Church of England priest for 16 years and I'm ashamed by the chapter's conduct. I can't believe they mishandled it so badly from the beginning.

The Church must be on the side of the poor and marginalised. The bankers have caused this crisis and it is not going away.

Had the Church taken a stand, they could have put the focus firmly on what this is all about.

Most of my clergymen friends are also appalled by this and it has left many churchgoers confused. It has also damaged the image of the Church of England.

Canon Giles Fraser is the only member who has acted honourably. If anything he should be appointed the new dean.

The Reverend David Swain (retired), Oxford

It was disastrous how it all unfolded for the Chapter of St Paul's.

But I feel members of the chapter have shown great humility in taking a different and more sensitive approach to the demonstrators.

It is something that is sadly lacking in our society today, and a bit more of that humility in our culture would be a very good thing.

I have a great feeling for the former Dean of St Paul's, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, who resigned. He has shown great humility himself, and must be feeling terrible.

But who on earth has handled every situation the way they should have?

As human beings, we have to learn to look at things in different ways.

We need to have more of a positive view of making mistakes. A mistake is not the worst sin.

The Church of England is emerging with some credit, and I don't think its image has been affected.

It has been a learning process for St Paul's. It is an immense challenge to run such a large chapter.

I wouldn't have liked to have been in their shoes.

Good will come out of it all.

Interviews by Stephen Fottrell.

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