On Saturday afternoon, URC minister the Revd Dr Kevin Snyman, preached from the steps of St Paul’s – he was one of many taking part in the ecumenical, interfaith, service which he described as “deeply meaningful”.
Dr Snyman delivered a children’s address on God’s Fabulous Farmyard, a parable focusing on God’s desire to see love, equality, confidence and celebration at the heart of human community. His words, although aimed at the children, were heard by around 1,200 people, the vast majority of which were supporters of the Occupy London camp in the cathedral piazza.
Asked why he supports the protest, Dr Snyman, said: “I believe these issues of economic injustice are the most important facing our Church and our world today. If the Church is not supporting Occupy, then is it not, by default, supporting the economic status quo?”
He continued: “I’m a nonconformist minister and I’m passionate about making sure the voice of protest and dissent is heard loudly – the world needs to hear it and the Church cannot afford to ignore it.”
Talking about the Occupy London camp, Nadene Snyman, Kevin’s wife, said: “The atmosphere in the camp is kind and gentle – as far as either of us can tell there has been no hint of negativity – just a positive environment where many committed, creative, people are able to democratically address things they care passionately about.”
Mrs Snyman added: “One thing that really saddened me is that it has not been St Paul’s, but Starbucks, which has thrown open its doors in welcome to provide basic amenities for the camp and its supporters. That should be the role of the Church – the role of St Paul’s.”
Dr and Mrs Snyman are planning to return to the camp next week.
Since Saturday, the position of St Paul’s has changed and yesterday, 1 November, the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral unanimously agreed to suspend its legal action against the Occupy London camp outside the church.
Photo shows Kevin Snyman preaching from the steps of St Paul’s on Saturday. © Melanie Smith