Father Alex McAllister from St Thomas à Becket Catholic Church in Wandsworth visited Dormay Street last month to bless the statue of Santa Barbara ahead of tunnelling.
It is traditional on tunnelling jobs to place a statue by the entrance to protect the tunnellers working underground.
Tideway's Dormay Street team gathered at the bottom of the shaft as Father Alex delivered the blessing to the statue.
In the mid-third century, so the story goes, Santa Barbara (not then a saint) rejected her father’s paganism for Christianity. He then locked her up for her apostacy before lunging at her with a sword.
Miraculously, Barbara was transported through a small opening in the stone and into a distant mountain gorge – hence becoming the Patron Saint of tunnelling.
Nowadays, tunnelling projects always begin with a blessing of the tunnel to protect those working deep underground.