Quakers back Occupy ring of prayer

The Quaker Meeting for Worship at Occupy LSX outside the cathedral of saint Paul has produced a minute backing the “ring of prayer” if the Occupy camp is evicted.

The ring of prayer was first mooted in 10/2011 but an initiative this month from Christianity Uncut, a group of Christians campaigning against government cuts, gives people the opportunity to people of all faiths to join the ring of prayer.

The idea is that those who sign up will be alerted when the eviction is about to take place and will meet in London and surround the camp and pray. Over 300 people have so far signed up to the online pledge, with pledgers coming from as far away as the US, Scotland and Cumbria.

Chris Howson, a Church of England priest based in Bradford, said: “The Occupy movement has been the most liberating experience for the Church since the ‘Faith in the City’ report in the 1980s. We cannot serve both God and Mammon!”

Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, said: “The Occupy LSX have raised vital questions about the role of finance in the modern world. They have reminded the nation that markets are a human invention, which we need to control in the interests of all people. The idolisation of the City has been one of the most dangerous developments in recent years. I will pray to God that the City is reformed to serve rather than be served.”

Quaker Symon Hill, associate director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia and a member of Christianity Uncut, said: “There is something deeply wrong when we focus more on the inconvenience caused by the campsite than on the exploitative nature of the City of London. The Gospel confronts us with uncomfortable truths. We have to witness to the realities of our financial system and to the injustice that continues when we collude with it.”

The ring of prayer is only set to support the Occupy camp by the cathedral and was not called into action when activists gave up the UBS property that was occupied for the Bank of Ideas nor any of the other buildings that Occupy activists have recently been evicted from.

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