Occupy London Spend Christmas At St Paul's
Protesters camping outside St Paul's Cathedral did not let Christmas go unnoticed - attending a morning service, eating Christmas dinner, and being treated to presents.
Members of Occupy London, who are protesting against cuts and saying ordinary people should not pay for the financial crisis, received a present from the Bishop of London, as well as other wellwishers including Radiohead.
Supporter Naomi Colvin said she and other protesters had attended a Sung Eucharist at the cathedral this morning.
"We didn't go as any sort of organised thing, just those who wanted to go," she said.
"It was really nice. We have had so many dealings with the cathedral and meet with members of the cathedral fairly often but to see it used in that setting was quite something."
She said no special mention was made of Occupy London, but there may have been some "oblique" mention as it discussed praying for the poor, and the homeless.
"The Bishop of London gave us a Christmas present - but we are waiting until later to open it," she said,
"He came out of the cathedral after the service and came to say hello to everyone and have a Christmas present.
"We've got a few presents from various wellwishers and some quite well-known people - I think Radiohead have given us one."
Earlier this month, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke showed his support for the activists with a top secret gig with 3D of Massive Attack.
Protesters today also enjoyed Christmas dinner at the camp outside St Paul's.
"There's been a meal made, some people have come down and brought turkeys and stuff, so we still get that," Ms Colvin added.
"It's a different Christmas but it's still sort of a family Christmas in a way.
"It's been a very busy few weeks for all of us so it's a chance to sit down and relax and spend it together, like an extended family."
She said relations with the cathedral were "pretty good": "Things are quite productive, we meet them regularly to talk over things."
The campaigners have been camped in the courtyard of St Paul's since October 15. The group also occupies Finsbury Square in Islington, north London, as well as the "Bank of Ideas", an abandoned UBS-owned office block in Hackney, east London.
Other famous faces to have shown solidarity with the protesters are playwright Alan Bennett and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who both visited them at St Paul's.
On Friday at 6pm, Occupy London will present a reading of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the steps of St Paul's.
The group claims it is motivated by a similar strength of conviction over the gap between the rich and the poor as Dickens was.
Supporter James Sevitt said: "We are here, like Dickens, to creatively disrupt, and to make Christmas mean something beyond a consumerist spending frenzy.
"This Christmas, and in the year ahead, we invite you to combine irreverent fun with spiritual contemplation and a continuation of the fight against social and economic injustice and the creation of real, direct democracy. Please join us."