26/10/2011 14:32 BST | Updated 26/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Occupy London: St Paul's 'To Reopen On Friday' As Legal Action Against Protesters Considered

St Paul's Cathedral could open its doors to the public on Friday, it has been announced.

The Cathedral's Dean, the Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, said he was optimistic that the Cathedral would reopen following changes to the layout of tents used by anti-capitalist protesters.

He said a final decision would be taken on Thursday over whether to open in time for the Eucharist at 12.30pm on Friday.

He added that the Cathedral was considering all its options in response to the protest, including legal action.

The Dean said: "The staff team here have been working flat out with the police, fire brigade and health and safety officers to try to ensure that we have confidence in the safety of our worshippers, visitors and staff which will allow us to reopen.

"We have wide statutory obligations to ensure the safety of our staff, congregation, visitors and pilgrims and final checks will be made tomorrow.

"A passageway allowing evacuation procedures to be improved has been created; the kitchen providing food for those in the camp has been moved from close proximity to the building; bicycles chained to the railings have been shifted and a clear pathway restored."

He said the galleries and dome would remain closed and discussions with the police and fire brigade would continue.

He added: "We will revisit the risk assessment in the light of any overnight developments and subject to us getting the green light we hope to reopen in time for the 1230 Eucharist on Friday to which everyone is welcome."

His comments follow the City of London Corporation's announcement earlier that it will meet on Friday to decide whether to launch legal action to evict the protesters.