Horizons Magazine

                              

 

 

 

From the Editor: Heroes

In days of yore, as some of the best stories begin, it was easy to know who a hero was. They would always be men (I’m just describing here, dear reader, not approving), physically strong, proven in combat, mentally resilient and able to endure hardships and setbacks, usually courteous (though not always), sometimes quirky, and overall The Good Guy.  Their enemies would usually be the direct opposite: one or more people with evil intentions, scheming, unstable, unwilling to do anything positive, and often formidable when it came to the final showdown, whether that was knights in armour charging at each other, The Sherriff facing the Bad Guys in a gunfight, or the great detective grappling with his arch-enemy in the secret dungeon.  (See what books I read as a kid?)

Well, days of yore are long gone, and we are in days of now. Amongst all the anxiety and distress, it’s good to record that heroes are still around.  Let’s think and record our gratitude for people like

  • Holly and Stewart at The Chandos who are providing takeaways for people who can’t get out
  • Everyone who is looking out for a neighbour or even people not known to them to help keep them safe and supported
  • Staff in all areas of care and healthcare, keeping going despite the fatigue and personal risks they are running
  • Food shop staff, coping with spikes in demand, uncertain supplies and panicky customers
  • All public services staff, keeping our bins emptied, our services running and our streets safe
  • Your Horizons distributor, who brought you this month’s magazine, to inform, support and entertain you.

No clanking armour or spinning six-shooters.  But that’s OK with me.

Best wishes, and all of us at Horizons hope you stay well,                                                                                                                          Chris

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To inform, support and entertain

 

 

The Joy of Easter

Easter Day, the day of resurrection, is only a couple of weeks away. In the northern hemisphere it is spring time. Spring is a time of new life and hope. 

I was a London child and so had my father been before me. He had been brought up right in the middle of London, so fields and open green spaces held an extra special meaning for him. He had never forgotten this feeling, so he would drive us out into the countryside in the spring just to watch new lambs, the newer the better. We would ‘lamb watch’ and at the shout, ‘lambs!’ from the back seat, he would draw up by a field. We would get out of the car and just watch the little lambs leaping and wriggling their tails. It was especially good if there were twins. His joy and wonder was infectious. I still feel like it now if I spot a field of lambs.

Of course, the new life of spring is not confined to animals. There are new leaves on the trees, new plants and flowers, planting of new crops and generally new energy all round. Perhaps Easter and springtime would be a better time to start a new year than January!

As the quiet and reflective nature of Lent draws us through to Maundy Thursday and Jesus’ last supper with his friends and into the darkness of Good Friday and the crucifixion of Jesus, it would be easy to lose hope if the story of Jesus had ended there. We are so blessed that, unlike Jesus’ disciples at the time, that we know that this was the beginning, not the end of the story. We know about Jesus being raised on the third day, Easter Day, The Day of Resurrection.

This joyous day celebrates a turning point for the human race, the promise of new life, a new way of life and a life of hope. All we have to do is live it!

This year so far has been extremely challenging for many people and has knocked the morale of much of the country. This cannot be minimised and we need to look after each other. But as we approach Easter Day may we see this day of the resurrection of our Lord as a day of hope and new life, and look in hope for a time of resurrection for us in his gentle and loving hands.

Perhaps a trip out to just stand in the beauty of the countryside and watch new lambs?

Have a joyous Easter Day!

Rev Susan

 

 

Living in and through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

 

We are all doubtless stunned by the events of the last month.  I write this in March knowing that the situation may well be looking different by the time you read this.  

 

Please follow the advice and instructions from the Government, NHS and Public Health England. Sometimes, it’s the simple, practical things that we need to remember, like washing our hands correctly.

 

At a different level, we may use this time of crisis to pause and reflect.  Some things are constant. God constantly loves us, and God saves us not from life (in all its awfulness), but saves us in life (in its joys, sorrows and worries).

 

We could use this time for reflection, meditation and for caring not just for families and ourselves but also for our neighbours, near and far away.

 

We might also at this time read our Bibles.  If you’ve never done this before I suggest starting with the Gospel (Good News) of Mark, which is the shortest of the Gospel books.

 

To help you worship while public church services have had to be suspended, there are a variety of resources . 

 

  • There are some helpful Apps (yes, the Church of England has apps!).  The Daily Prayer App gives the daily prayers for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline (a short service at the end of the day). The app costs £2.99 for a year for offline access.

 

  • Time to Pray: Prayer during the Day is another app,  presenting everything you need for prayer each day. It is free from the Apple store or Google Play.  
     
  • The clergy will continue to pray the Office (the work of prayer) in the morning and evening.  It would be good if others can join us in their homes.

 

  • Perhaps the easiest way to find out more is to search for Church House Bookshop, and then click on the tag for apps; see anything useful, use it.

 

  • Television and radio also have programmes such as, Thought for the Day and Songs of Praise.  

 

Please contact Susan or me if you have concerns, fears or just need to chat.  

 

You are in our prayers. 

Fr. David

 

A prayer at this time

 

Loving God,
We pray for all those who are suffering because of the coronavirus, may they know your healing power.
When we are afraid for ourselves and our loved ones, give us your strength and courage.
When we feel alone and isolated, reassure us with a sense of your presence.
Give wisdom to those in authority and may our community work together for the good of all.
We give thanks for those who care for others and ask you to bless them in all they do.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, healer and physician.
Amen

With thanks to the Diocese of Bath and Wells for this prayer

 

 

Weston Turville’s World of Work: Glynn White and Coronavirus testing

Dr Glynn White tells the story of his involvement in diagnostic test systems that have a link to the current pandemic.

How it all started

 

When Glynn came to live in Weston Turville in 1977, he was working at a medical science company that designed and made diagnostic tests. Initially using radioactive material, later non-radioactive, the assays tested for proteins and hormones in the blood which are used to aid in the diagnosis of conditions such as hepatitis, as well as haematology and thyroid disorders. In the early days every test was conducted manually by technicians using pipettes. By the 1990s automation was progressively introduced until the systems became fully automated, taking each sample through incubation and testing right through to a printout of the results for the clinician.  In 1995, Glynn was part of a programme management team that launched such an instrument. 

Bigger and even better

 

In 2005 whilst still with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, part of the Johnson & Johnson group, he became involved with a series of  instruments that had grown to be 8’ long x 5’ high. These high-capability machines could carry out any combination of up to 50 different tests, at a rate of 150 per hour and providing same day results to the medical teams. Although Glynn was based in the UK, the instruments were developed in the USA, so this involved a great deal of transatlantic travel.

Glynn’s role in all this

 

Glynn was part of the management team that developed these instruments. He also applied his programme management skills to the development and manufacture of the system pack that stores and dispenses the reagents needed for all the clinical diagnostic assays run on the instruments. 

The link to Coronavirus

When HIV testing became important, Ortho were able to meet the challenge with these large instruments that could look for the relevant antibodies in a person’s blood. This provides the link to Coronavirus: one of the tests currently attracting medical and media attention is to spot the antibodies that are generated when a person has been previously infected. The test is now being trialled to see whether it can detect the antibodies from COVID-19 infection.  The US Federal Drugs Administration has given it “Emergency Use Authorization”, which is a good first sign although there are still many unknowns surrounding COVID-19, as readers will appreciate. 

What the job was like

Glynn enjoyed working on projects like this, especially in a field of work that directly benefits patients.  He saw his systems engineer role as that of a positive middleman, interpreting the inputs from different disciplines and asking relevant questions.  He valued the rapport that he could build with engineers, IT specialists, the assay development teams and others.  

Sometimes, this came into play on a day-to-day basis.  On one occasion during a visit to the USA, Glynn became aware of an issue that required fixing. Once that had been done, it was important to let other users know in case this was a more widespread problem. The bulletin was sent out and by the time Glynn reached the next client, they had already implemented the fix, trusting in the company’s reputation as dependable experts.

Into the future

Though now retired, he says that he took a great deal of personal pride when he saw the press release for the Ortho test kit that uses the system pack that he had a major input into designing back in 2009. The instruments Glynn worked on are still in use in hospitals and research labs throughout the world.

 

Glynn was interviewed for Horizons by Chris Webbley

 

 


Horizons Magazine
Information and a sample page

Horizons Magazine
June 2020

Horizons Magazine
June 2020

Horizons Magazine
June 2020

Horizons Magazine
Information and a sample page