Occupy Closes Cathedral for First Time Since WWII

St. Paul's in London closed yesterday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2011 12:30 PM CDT
Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters play jump rope outside St Paul's Cathedral, near the London Stock Exchange in London, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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(Newser) – St. Paul's Cathedral has seen major crowds: Charles and Diana married here. Alexander McQueen's memorial service was held here. The queen marked both her Golden Jubilee and 80th birthday with a service here. Still, the famous London landmark can no longer withstand the growing number of Occupy protesters gathering outside its doors. The cathedral yesterday announced it would close for the first time since a WWII bomb-scare shuttered it for four days in 1940.

Some 250 people are camped outside it, and are a fire hazard and risk to the thousands who visit daily, said the church's dean. "We have done this with a very heavy heart, but it is simply not possible to fulfill our day-to-day obligations to worshippers, visitors, and pilgrims," he explained. The move will cost St. Paul's more than $35,000 a day, he said, and he implored the protesters to move on. The Telegraph reports that though the Occupiers felt the decision was a "shame," they voted to remain. Sky News reports that a couple was permitted to marry there today, but weren't able to walk up its grand front steps. (Another Occupy side effect: A canceled speech by...)

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