Work on Tideway Tunnel Site Stops for Blessing of Saint Barbara

Fr. Bill Browder visits Fulham's Carnwath Road for tunnelling industry tradition

Work on the Tideway Tunnel site on Fulham's Carnwath Road came to a halt on Wednesday 2 May, as workers gathered for a traditional tunneling ceremony - the Blessing of Saint Barbara.

Fr. Bill Bowder, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Fulham's Stephendale Rod visited the riverside site on Carnwath Road to bless the project's shrine of Saint Barbara, invoking protection for everyone working on the 'supersewer' project.

Saint Barbara, who is said to have lived in the third century in Heliopolis of Phoenicia, the present day Baalbek in Lebanon is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and is traditionally the patron of armourers, military engineers, gunsmiths, tunnellers, miners and anyone else who worked with cannon and explosives.

Within the tunnelling industry, as a long-standing tradition, one of the first tasks for each new tunnelling projects is to establish a small shrine to Santa Barbara at the tunnel portal or at the underground junction into long tunnel headings. This is often followed with a dedication and an invocation to Santa Barbara for protection of all who work on the project during the construction period.


May 4, 2018