A bus driver from East London was arrested when staff complained about his reading the Bible aloud from the front steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. Allan Coote, 55, drew the ire of cathedral staff.

“In order to provide as prayerful and safe space for all, including on the cathedral’s land at the entrances of the building, St. Paul’s has a policy of limiting any form of public oration, protest or demonstration, preaching or other source of disturbance,” cathedral staff said in a statement.

They later conceded that Coote had not breached the peace.

Coote said he hoped his arrest might be a “wake-up call for them to start teaching the Bible instead of becoming a museum for visitors to pay money.” Coote said he had a natural booming voice and “I can’t speak softly.”

Coote and the cathedral authorities have reached a compromise. He will be allowed to read from the steps of St. Paul’s, but he will be limited to 30 minutes each week.

John Martin

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