Bishop urges St Paul’s camp to keep peace

THE Bishop of London yesterday urged activists to remain peaceful if moves to evict them from outside St Paul’s prove successful.

Dr Richard Chartres told activists that “nobody wants violence” as the 200-tent camp entered its third week.

But last night protesters instead promised a new form of dissent – flash mob dances, with Occupy London activists today set to dress as “zombie bankers” in the City “in protest against the actions of the bailed out banks”. The Halloween themed protest is set to start at St Paul’s at 3pm.

Yesterday Chartres issued a staunch defence of the Church of England, which is taking legal action against the protesters, following criticisms St Paul’s was too close to the City.

“It is sometimes said in the newspapers that the Church is a business and what we are really worried about are the business aspects. Can I say that is totally untrue. This Church belongs to God.

“If you have got a notice up saying ‘what would Jesus do?’ that’s the question for me as well.”

Chartres and the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, the Dean of St Paul’s, offered protesters a chance to hold a debate on finance in the cathedral if they cleared away their camp.

Members of the group said they were glad Chartres had visited them but demanded further assurances. Muhammed, who declined to give his surname, told City A.M.: “We were expecting him to talk down to us but he spoke to us on a level playing field. He did not give any categorical assurances relating to the eviction.”

Separately St Paul’s has strongly denied claims it had “suppressed” a report on banking which was expected to be published this week.