St Paul's Cathedral is to close to visitors for the first time since World War II because of the anti-capitalist demonstrators camping on its doorstep, its dean has said.The decision was taken with a "heavy heart" for health and safety reasons, said the Reverend Graeme Knowles.
The Occupy London Stock Exchange movement has been located in Paternoster Square since Saturday.
The dean has asked the activists to move on from the area by the entrance.
"We have a legal obligation to keep visitors safe and healthy," he said.
Police presence The cathedral will close to members of the public after a service on Friday afternoon.
On Sunday the cathedral's canon chancellor, the Reverend Giles Fraser, said he had asked for the police presence outside the building to be scaled back.
By Wednesday, the increased number of protesters at the site meant officials had to review "the extent to which it can remain open for the many thousands coming this week as worshippers, visitors and in school parties".
Speaking outside the cathedral on Friday, Reverend Knowles said: "I have written an open letter to the protesters this afternoon, advising them that we have no lawful alternative but to close St Paul's Cathedral until further notice."