St Paul's cathedral staff have to clean up human waste INSIDE the cathedral as "occupiers" use it as a latrine
By JR on Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Staff at St Paul's have been forced to clear up human waste inside the cathedral, it emerged today. They have made several trips with mops to remove the mess found on a carpet inside the church near the West Steps - just yards from the anti-capitalist protest camp.
One cleric furious at the use of the building 'as a latrine' said: ' This is desecration of a very holy place. it hurts me and it hurts the staff.' The cathedral workers have met senior clergy to vent their feelings over the clean-up.
St Paul's has blamed 'hangers on' and not protesters at the tented camp which closed one of London's most iconic attractions for a number of days last month.
Cathedral spokesman, The Rev Rob Marshall, told the Sunday Times: 'We are aware of these kind of problems and raising them in our daily talks with camp members who we are not presuming at all are responsible.'
Two senior clerics have quit since the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp was set up on October 15 as part of a global campaign against corporate greed. The cathedral was shut on health and safety grounds, but reopened on October 27.
Today shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said the cathedral was wrong to shut its doors. He claimed the job of the church was not just to 'comfort the afflicted, but afflict the comfortable.' Speaking to Jeremy Vine, on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Alexander said the demonstrators were speaking to a 'general unease' in the country.
Meanwhile, vandals have spray painted '666' next to the main entrance.The provocative 'number of the beast' was daubed in silver paint on a wall to the left-hand side of the Christopher Wren masterpiece. It was painted at head height in the middle of a silver painted heart near to the entrance and tagged LCDG! with an anarchist logo.
Protesters were pictured trying to scrub off the paint but were told to stop in case they damaged the building.
Worshippers and visitors to the historic place of worship, outside where anti-capitalist protesters are camping, reacted with outrage. June Burton, who has been worshipping at the Cathedral since she began working in the City in the 1970s, said: 'It's absolutely disgusting. There are no words really to say, just disgusting.'
Referring to the protest camp, the 69-year-old, from Essex, added: 'The whole thing is unbelievable. 'Where is it going to end? It's an absolute eyesore.'
Tourist Ian Tomson, 59, from Melbourne in Australia, said: 'I am not a Christian, but I find it horrendous - the devil's number on the church.'
Photographer Will Hilton, 26 from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, who is camping with and documenting the protest, said: 'I don't like it. 'We should be respectful to the Cathedral. I think most people are. But there are always people that take it too far.'
Annabel Watson, 75, from Devon, said: 'It's terrible, but I feel people are doing it to discredit these people.
One of the protest organisers Charles, 22 from the Isle of Wright, who has camped out for two weeks, said: 'We condemn this. 'We are trying to work with the Church as much as we can, but I can't imagine its from us as there are no spray cans on site.'
Reverend Bob Marshall, speaking for the Cathedral, said: 'It is abhorrent that anybody will do this. 'We condemn those who deface the Cathedral in this way. 'We have no evidence who is responsible for this until our security guys look into it. There are cameras around.
'We just have to investigate. It's not the first damage that's been caused to the Cathedral since this whole story began. We are investigating each case and we are logging them. 'But there is some evidence people are doing this because of our relationship with the protesters.'