Bishop of London to St Paul's: distance yourself

Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, "is expected to urge the chapter of St Paul's... to dissociate itself from the legal action [brought by the City of London] to expel the [Occupy London] protesters." Three senior clerics have resigned their postings at St Paul's in protest over the planned use of force to compel protesters to leave the area in front of the cathedral. The Archbishop of Canterbury says, "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."


  1. Wise words, well to be remembered in times of war and other such extreme strife. It’s good to see high figures putting their careers on the line for such a cause. “Not in my name” is still a powerful thing.

  2. The Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. Sadly I won’t be able to assist as there’s a luncheon with business and political leaders I must attend. Ps. 140:12. – Bishop of London Version

  3. The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst and thus I’ve requested that the riot police bring firehoses. Is 41:17 – BoLVersion

  4. While this suggests that the bishop of London is finally getting the message(only took three resignations, good work there…) I am baffled by the fact that this wasn’t his original position.

    It just seems like a no-brainer:  Politely ignoring, or even making bland statements supportive of, letting the “occupy” group camp on your lawn is scoring ‘social justice’ points on easy mode. Is team CoE really so feckless at this point that their original plan was to cozy up with the usurers and the forces of Public Order and hope that the little people go away?

    1. The first (default) allegiance of powerful men has, for a long time now, been to other powerful men. One of the beauties of the Occupy movement is that it is questioning the fundamental dynamics of power (and is eating its own dog food in this regard through its decentralised, consensus-oriented approach). So seldom has this been questioned, that it has caught a lot of people in power off guard. They don’t know how to deal with Occupy (regardless of whether they want to help or hinder it) because it is not playing by any rulebook they’ve seen before.

  5. What happens when the consequences are totally FORESEEN?  Does that mean that the people making the decisions are bad people operating in bad faith?  Because it sort of starts to seem like that.

  6. Not usually one to quote the bible, but as these C of E chaps seem to think it worth something – “When Pilate saw that he could gain nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see you to it.”

  7. 494 years ago yesterday (31st Oct 1517) Martin Luther nailed his 95-theses to the door of a church in Germany protesting of corruptions such as selling “indulgences”.  I wonder what he’d nail to the door of St.Pauls today? 

  8. Yes, and the protestant reformation took off in England because of cynical machinations by the elite and powerful – more like the 0.001% than the 1%. Among the actions taken were quelling dissent and peaceful assembly with incredible violence. Let’s not get *too* utopian.

  9. The bishop does not yet get my vote.

    Only a couple of days ago, he took to the microphone to lecture the occupiers on the theme of there not being any violence when he set the evictors on them … i.e. we’re going to send people to throw you off the site, but _you’ll_ look bad if there’s any violence. – –  =fail.

  10. These resignations are such a milquetoast response.  How can a “man of God” walk away from trouble on the doorstep of his p(a)lace of worship?

    The CoE has massive shareholdings so doesn’t want to annoy the City gents.  They’re historically bound to the Establishment (it’s only 50 years or so since the first-born son of the well-to-do was still expected to become a priest, or join the army, or whatever the four things they were meant to do were – priesthood was one).

    They’re in the gang.

    Henry VIII eliminated the old church-guard to assure exactly this kind of response in the face of danger, and it seems a bloody good job he made of it:

    Run away!  Run away!  What’s Max Clifford’s number?!?!

      1. If that’s standing up for protestors, I’m Anne Boleyn. (That, also, was sarcastic, and similarly, the lowest form of wit).

        Have a wee look at this from 2010 reporting (by the CoE)

        The Church of England’s Top 20 Shareholdings (figures in £millions)

        HSBC (94.8)
        BP (90.7)
        Royal Dutch Shell (82.1)
        Vodafone (69.1)
        GlaxoSmithKline (54.8)
        Rio Tinto (37.8)
        BHP Billiton (34.4)
        AstraZeneca (33.2)
        Tesco (29.8)
        BG (29.5)
        Unilever (29.4)
        Anglo American (28.9)
        Standard Chartered (27.2)
        Barclays (24.6)
        Nestle (23.0)
        Reckitt Benckiser (18.4)
        Microsoft (17.8)
        Xstrata (17.4)
        Treasury Variable Rate Index Linked 2017 (17.0)
        Wal-Mart Stores (14.0)

    1. Henry VIII eliminated the old church-guard to assure exactly this kind of response in the face of danger…

      The old church guard would have burned the protesters at the stake on day one.

  11. Is it me, or is this praising with faint damn?  “distance yourself”?

    “We’re not to be involved with the possibly violent removal of protesters from outside St Pauls.  But the City of London can do it; that’s okay.”

    It’s not as if they’ve actually come out in favour of the protesters, is it?

  12. That is, just in case you were wondering, 3/4 £ billion – just the top 20 holdings.  Really, no need to ask whether the Church actually has a relationship with any of those firms.  Why would you?

  13. Of course.  They be witchies.  Eache and every one of them.  Which is why the City is so bedevilled.

    One useful comment I had from a City chappie – not doing ‘too badly’ as it happens, in one of the lovely banks the CoE invests in – I subtly mentioned in an appropriate context some months back (post London ‘riots’) that when the populace picks up their pitchforks and marches on Chelsea, it’s time to pay attention.

    He nodded semi-sagely, and agreed.

    You see, the funny thing is, bar the psychopathic minority mentioned in other posts today – they actually know and understand that they ride on a wave of hyperbole and emotion, and don’t really deserve to be so well paid.  But they can’t help themselves – we all give them the cash.  But they know, perfectly well, that it’s all somewhat silly.

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