Pew Sheet – 18th October 2020

The Rector writes  ‘ As part of our Service today, the group of people in our Healer/Prayer group will , via a video recording, introduce themselves  and speak a little about this specialised ministry in our parish. I’m so grateful to all of them for having given so much of themselves since they were trained back in July 2014.   I find it such a comfort and support to have this group of people share with me  prayers for our community and beyond. 

I will speak more about this in my sermon during the service but for now thank you to John Sweeney, Joy Keefe, Kay Treacy, Richard Dring, Simon Woodworth, Hilary Dring and Peter Coughlan.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings should be made for everyone  1 Timothy 2:1


Music Notes 18-10-2020

Hymns for today at the Carrigaline Union online service are:

517   Brother, Sister let me serve you  

Pewsheet   This sudden Sabbath 

567  Forth in thy name. O Lord          

Our hymn of the Gradual today is a newly composed hymn ‘This sudden Sabbath’ inspired by the coronavirus pandemic. The author is Andrew Pratt who edits the bulletin of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland. It is one of two hymns composed by Society members in response to the pandemic. I hope to introduce you to the second one in next week’s service.

The melody chosen for this hymn is Coe Fen, written by Kenneth Naylor and named after an open space near the Leys School in Cambridge where Naylor was music master for most of his life. This is a truly lovely tune and brings to mind a remark I heard recently made by Martin How (organist and choral education director of the Royal School of Church Music) that the tune in a hymn praises God just as much as the words.

The hymn text is given here below for you to sing along.

1.This sudden Sabbath gives us pause       3. When people safe-guard all they have, to rest and to reflect.        while others queue in fear,
What is the focus of our lives        when those who have are given more,
and what is its effect?         while hunger’s drawing near;
We live within a common world,        where is our faith, our common love.
whatever race or creed;        as cries become more stark.
for things maintaining life and health When poverty crowdsround our door
we share a common need.         the future clouded dark?

2.For some a love of God becomes the      4. Now is the moment for us all
centre of their prayer,        to live what we confess,
but such a love’s a hollow boast       to live within community
when neighbours have no care.       the faith that we profess.
The early Christians took the lead Then let us stand us stand as one with all
of Jesus as their style,      we share a common birth,
to hold in common all they had,      that on until eternity
to go the second mile.      love holds each life on earth.

Words © 2020 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England,

The final hymn, 567, is sung to the tune ‘Angel Voices’ which you will also hear in the concluding voluntary by the Irish composer Stanford. The tune is in the pedals so you’ll have to listen hard to hear it!


087 228 5965

Random Notes CCCLXII

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated some changes in care for pregnant women in Cork University Maternity Hospital. In particular, some concern has been raised about exposure risk during regular clinic visits, specifically to check blood pressure.

Hypertension in pregnancy is a problem that can lead to more serious conditions like pre-eclampsia. Shamefully, the precursors of pre-eclampsia have been known for over a century but research in the area remains seriously underinvested, as it does for other pregnancy issues.

Going against this trend, several years ago a research team including the author was awarded a grant of €1.3m to develop a system to facilitate home blood pressure monitoring for pregnant women.  The resulting system is called LEANBH: LEarning to manage AnteNatal Blood pressure at Home. This consists of a Bluetooth-enabled Home Blood Pressure Monitor, validated for pregnancy, as well as a smartphone app which automatically relays blood pressure readings to a server in CUMH. The original system was trialled on a cohort of 75 women, with a control group of 25.

The study demonstrated that home blood pressure monitoring compared favourably in terms of reliability and accuracy with blood pressure readings taken at a clinic. And there the project ended, with findings being presented at a conference in Berlin in 2017. The research equipment (20 blood pressure monitors and 30 urine analysers) ended up in my office, slowly gathering dust.

When the pandemic hit Ireland, it rapidly became apparent that keeping pregnant women away from hospital as much as possible might actually be a good idea. There were two reasons for this: First, to reduce COVID-19 exposure risk to the mother and, second, to provide COVID-19 positive pregnant women a means of monitoring blood pressure at home without exposing anyone else. Therefore, Science Foundation Ireland funded LEANBH with an additional €130,000 as part of a national rapid response programme to deal with the pandemic.

What followed was 6 weeks of intense work in the INFANT research centre in March and April to rebuild the needed servers, update the software and make sure the smartphone apps were published in the App Store and Google Play Store. This included a St Patrick’s Day raid on my office to retrieve all the blood pressure monitors, the purchase of the entire UK stock of the same monitors from the manufacturer, and the shipment of additional devices from Taiwan.

At the time of writing (October 13th), 51 women have been recruited on to the LEANBH system and 9 have now given birth. 32 more blood pressure monitors are available for more pregnancies and even more women can be recruited as monitors are returned and re-issued. While this is a research project, the significant change here is that a prototype system is now being actively used to help with pregnancy care. Needless to say, the system is being closely supervised and backups are always available should it fail.

The next stage of the project is now underway with the integration of LEANBH into CUMH’s Electronic Maternity Record system. This means that blood pressure readings will be instantly available to the pregnant woman’s care team, without the need to consult a separate system.   This is pregnancy care as it should be.


Categories Parish Notices | Tags: | Posted on October 19, 2020

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