The Rt Revd Sarah Clark, Bishop of Jarrow, visits and blesses the reopened Tyne Pedestrian Tunnel. (Picture: Keith Blundy)

The Rt Revd Sarah Clark, The Bishop of Jarrow, has blessed the historic Tyne Pedestrian and Cyclist Tunnels and celebrated their role in historically and symbolically linking communities across the river.

The ceremony was performed at the mid-point of the Tunnels next to the Northumberland and County Durham tiles.

Bishop Sarah praised workers who have been engaged in the six-year long refurbishment for their courage and tenacity, and said the tunnels were a testament to their labour and skills.

The tunnels reopened to the public in August.

“The tunnels connect communities and enable lives across the Tyne,” she said.

“We are here to celebrate their reopening and in doing so we should also pray for those who had the original vision to build the tunnels, for those whose skills and labour brought them into being and for those who use them for work, for leisure and for bringing family together now and for generations to come. 

“We pray for the flourishing of the North East through employment and work which the tunnels enable.

Bishop Sarah was welcomed by Cllr Gladys Hobson, vice chair of the Joint Transport Committee of the North of Tyne and North East Combined Authorities, and Deputy Mayor of South Tyneside.

Cllr Hobson said: “It was a great honour to welcome Bishop Sarah to the tunnels to help us celebrate their reopening. The refurbishment was a tremendously complex and challenging project, and it was a great opportunity to acknowledge the labour and skills of those who worked on it.”