27/10/2011 07:32 BST | Updated 26/12/2011 10:12 GMT

Occupy London: St Paul's Could Reopen Its Doors On Friday

St Paul's Cathedral could open its doors to the public on Friday, a week after it closed because of anti-capitalist protesters.

The cathedral's dean, the Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, said he was optimistic that the cathedral would reopen following changes to the layout of tents used by the demonstrators.

He said a final decision would be taken on 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. However, clergy at the cathedral are said to be divided over what action to take.

According to reports, the chancellor, Canon Dr Giles Fraser, who has been sympathetic to the protest camp, is prepared to resign over differences in the handling of the demonstration.

On Wednesday, the Dean said in a statement: "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."

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."

Tanya Paton, of Occupy London Stock Exchange, welcomed the news, saying: "It's tremendous that St Paul's have decided to reopen. We've have always wanted them to reopen and we've always been keen to resume dialogue with the Dean and Chapter."

The Dean's comments followed the City of London Corporation's announcement that it would meet to hear legal advice and decide whether to launch legal action to evict the protesters.