St. Paul's Cathedral raises doubts over protesters

By the Associated Press | October 22, 2011 | 3:16 PM EDT

Fallen autumn leaves lie in the foreground as a protest banner put up by the Occupy London Stock Exchange group hangs besides tents pitched outside St Paul's Cathedral, as protesters continue their demonstration that started on Saturday near the London Stock Exchange in London, Monday, Oct. 17, 2011. Hundreds of anti-capitalist protesters mingled with bemused bank workers outside London's St. Paul's Cathedral Monday, as welcoming but wary cathedral staff urged demonstrators not to deter tourists wanting to visit the historic building. Thousands of people demonstrated against corporate greed in cities across Europe on Saturday, along with much smaller protests in cities across the U.S. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) — St. Paul's Cathedral says it may be time for the Occupy London Stock Exchange protesters gathered outside the iconic church to leave.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the London landmark over the weekend as part of the global Occupy Wall Street protests.

Many have since hunkered down outside the cathedral, pitching tents and setting up a makeshift kitchen, toilets and an information center.

Until now, church staff have allowed the protesters to remain. But in a statement released late Wednesday, St. Paul's said that the "increased scale and nature" of the camp could make it more difficult for the cathedral to stay open for worshippers and tourists.

The statement asked: "Is it now time for the protest camp to leave?"