St Paul's protesters reveal plans for 'touring occupation' of UK's cathedrals


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The Independent Online

The diocese of St Albans has welcomed proposals by protesters camped outside St Paul's Cathedral for more than a month of a "touring occupation" of Britain's cathedrals.

The suggestion, made in an email to diocesan bishops, raises the possibility of some of the Occupy London demonstrators leaving St Paul's.

Campaigners have suggested a "winter Carnival, to roll through all of Britain". It would begin with a candlelit walk from St Paul's and go "through London to St Albans, Southwark, Westminster, and beyond". The note, written by Rachel Mariner, a member of the Occupy London group, suggested that the camps could "go from town to town, following the Putney Debates and opening the carnivals in each town".

A spokesman for the Diocese of St Albans said: "It is good to see the protesters have joined the Church of England and others who are making their voices heard about some of the sharpest injustices in the UK." Protesters would also march from each cathedral to government buildings, where they would hold a "general assembly, airing their grievances in this winter of our discontent" as well as giving lessons on what they see as the church's traditional role "in securing greater liberty for the people". They would also provide help at local food banks, homeless shelters and elder-care centres, according to a report in the Church Times.

The email, which was sent earlier this week, said: "The Occupy movement is at the beginning of accomplishing a great moral awakening in our land; a movement that undoubtedly needs your help now to grow in moral authority and certainty." It is believed that bishops will consider the plan but none is thought to have responded yet.

The writer Alan Bennett visited the site of the occupation yesterday to give a reading. The celebrated writer joins fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and her son, the Agent Provocateur founder Joseph Corre, in expressing support for the demonstrators.