With updates at bottom of file.
The slow motion train wreck that is St. Paul’s Cathedral’s handling of its encounter with OccupyLondon has claimed another victim. The cathedral announced today that its dean, the Rt. Rev. Graeme Knowles plans to resign today.
Knowles said in a statement:
“The past fortnight has been a testing time for the Chapter and for me personally. 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. I do this with great sadness, but I now believe that I am no longer the right person to lead the Chapter of this great cathedral.
“This has not been an easy decision for me to make, at this stage in my ministry, as I have very much enjoyed being at St Paul’s as dean. I am immensely grateful to the current members of the Chapter, both ordained and lay, as well as previous colleagues, for their help, support and encouragement, but above all, their friendship.
“I would also wish to place on record my thanks to all the staff of the cathedral, both paid and volunteers, who work tirelessly, day by day, to ensure that this amazing place is maintained, and that it is indeed cherished as a place of worship and pilgrimage.
“In recent days, since the arrival of the protesters’ camp outside the cathedral, we have all been put under a great deal of strain and have faced what would appear to be some insurmountable issues. I hope and pray that under new leadership these issues might continue to be addressed and that there might be a swift and peaceful resolution.”
The release includes brief statements from the Right Reverend Michael Colclough on behalf of Chapter, and Bishop Richard Chartres of London, whose help St. Paul’s is seeking to find a way forward.
Updated: The Archbishop of Canterbury has released a statement noting Knowles’ resignation, as well as that of Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser. He said, in part:
“The urgent larger issues raised by the protesters at St Paul’s remain very much on the table and we need – as a Church and as society as a whole – to work to make sure that they are properly addressed.”
The BBC has also filed a report.