Protesters camping outside St. Paul's Cathedral will stay in place over the Christmas holidays after a judge presiding over an attempt to evict them deferred a decision until the new year.

Around 50 protesters said they would stay in their tents over the festive season, with plans for a traditional turkey dinner on the steps of St. Paul's on Christmas Day.

A significant number of people will be staying here this Christmas, up to 40 or 50, and some people have made overtures about bringing in a Christmas dinner, said Jack Dean, a camper who took time off work to come to help at the group's information tent.

Speaking at the High Court on the fifth day of proceedings between protesters and the City of London Corporation, Judge Lindblom said he would not make a decision on the case until the new legal session begins in January.

Given the hearing has taken as long as it has I feel that I will need to reflect on my decision in any event. It is likely I will give the reasons in the new term which begins on January 11, he said.

As a two-hour queue of worshippers lined up outside the Cathedral for its annual carol concert, campers walked into the food tent for a snack of bread and butter spread with marmite.

We're bringing in a Turkey dinner with parsnips and everything, said one camper serving in the kitchen, Everyone is welcome.

No kind of weather is going to scare us off, said Evahi Emanon a camper who is staying out over the Christmas period.

If it snows we will just put on extra layers, hats and gloves, he added. The London weather on Friday was damp but mild and snow is seen as highly unlikely this Christmas.

WORSHIPPERS WARY

The protest camp of around 150 tents, which was set up on October 15 outside London's famous landmark, may well go into its third month.

Lawyer for the Corporation of London David Forsdick said the camp had caused disruption to worshippers leading to a 40 percent drop in the number of attendees at St. Paul's.

He said in other countries such as France authorities used a water cannon to clear protesters, while in the United States the police were called. The London camp had attracted homeless, drug abusers and people with mental health issues, he added.

But Occupy's defence lawyer John Cooper challenged the claim.

There is no evidence in this case that people have been deprived of their right to worship, he said, adding that the protest should be decided by the court unlike in countries mentioned by the claimant.

Whatever the result of this case I have been reassured that still in this country the law can allow for all sides of the argument to be heard, he said.