Over 250 people have already pledged to join a circle of prayer around the Occupy camp near St Paul's Cathedral if it faces forced removal by bailiffs or police. A court in London ruled yesterday that the camp could be evicted on or after 27 January.
The ring of prayer, which came about following discussions on Twitter, is organised by Christianity Uncut, an informal network of Christians campaigning against the UK government's cuts agenda. The idea has been welcomed by the Christian thinktank Ekklesia.
Organisers set up an online pledge, hoping to gain at least 100 signatures. The numbers shot up after the court ruled in favour of eviction, and have already passed 250.
Christianity Uncut say they are delighted with the numbers, and with the enthusiastic response that the idea has generated. They emphasise that they wish to be guided by the decisions of the occupiers and to visit the camp as their guests.
Chris Wood of Christianity Uncut described the ring of prayer as “an act of of nonviolent witness and a display of love and reconciliation”.
He said that the occupiers are “witnessing against injustice”. He added, “As Christians, we're called to witness against the injustices of our society”.
Christians of widely varying backgrounds, as well as people of other faiths, have signed up to join the circle of prayer. They include several clergy as well as the Labour MP Helen Goodman. Church of England priest Chris Howson plans to travel to London from Bradford to join the ring of prayer.
Many others have told organisers that they are unable to attend but will be praying in solidarity as the ring of prayer is formed. Christianity Uncut has received messages of support from as far away as Greece and the United States.
The group have appealed to supporters to send copies of hymn books, prayer books and scriptures that can be used by participants in the ring of prayer. Quaker Peace & Social Witness (QPSW) have offered to receive them if posted to their address.
The online pledge for people wishing to join the ring of prayer can be found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/ring-of-prayer-at-eviction-of-ocupy-....
Hymn books, prayer books and scriptures can be donated to the ring of prayer by posting them to: Ring of Prayer, c/o Quaker Peace and Social Witness, Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ.