LORD Lieutenant of Somerset Mohammed Saddiq visited the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station site on Friday (October 13) to meet the project’s chaplaincy team and workers from both Christian and Muslim communities.
Mr Saddiq and Deputy Lieutenant Jane Sedgman spoke with chaplaincy members about the spiritual and pastoral support available for the 10,000 people working to build the new power station.
Hinkley C is the first construction site in Britain to have a salaried chaplain, with the team recently expanding to include seven volunteer chaplains.
Spiritual ceremonies are held before major activities, including concrete pours and tunnelling works.
After a tour of the construction site, Mr Saddiq and Ms Sedgman met with members of the workforce from the Christian and Muslim faiths and took part in Friday prayers.
They were also joined by representatives from Somerset Diverse Communities and Diversity Voice, organisations which work with local minority ethnic communities.
Both organisations are supported and funded by Hinkley Point C’s Community Fund.
Hinkley C lead chaplain Ewen Huffman said: “Our workforce includes a broad mix of people from different backgrounds, nationalities, beliefs, and religions.
“We are there for everybody when they need support.
“We are honoured that the King’s representative in Somerset and his deputy have visited us to see how this works in practice.”
Mr Saddiq, who is the country’s first Muslim Lord Lieutenant, said: “Before I came here today, I realised that this was one of the biggest construction projects in Europe, and I was aware of the huge benefit it is to the Somerset economy and the wider economy of the region.
“But it is not until you get on site, you get to truly appreciate the scale of it all.
“It was fascinating to hear about the progress of the project but also to learn of the efforts the company is making to care for their workforce and to cater for the needs of people from different faiths.
“In today’s workforce that is so important.”