Peter Hulme

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Peter Hulme is current Vice Chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom, and received an OBE in the 2011 Birthday Honors list for his work in the field of mental health[1]. From 1988 until 2001, Mr Hulme was Head of the Psychology Mental Health Rehab and Recovery Service within the Hereford PCT. From 2001 till 2006 he was Head of the Herefordshire Psychology Services, and from 2001 until 2004 he was an elected member of the Professional Executive Committee representing the Clinical Professions within the Trust [2]

Mr Hulme describes the various responsibilities in his current role with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom as including "helping improve a pastoral care system, helping establish an effective child safeguarding system and being part of the team setting up the beginnings of a Bahá’í NHS Chaplaincy service."[3]

Consultation and editorial review of the 1996 "National Curriculum for the Education of Baha'i Children in the United Kingdom"

In 1996, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom released a document they had commissioned, entitled "Waiting upon the Blessed Beauty: A National Baha'i Curriculum for the United Kingdom, Commissioned by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom, and approved for use in all schools and educational institutions."[4] In the preface to this document, the document's author, Trevor R.J. Finch (a then member of the The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom, and the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) of the London Borough of Wandsworth[5]), stated that he "would like to express my thanks for the careful reading of the draft document by the members of the National Assembly review panel, Peter Hulme and Barney Leith, and the suggestions they made for certain quotations and alterations."[6].

In introducing the document, the National Spiritual Assembly writes:

"Dear Friends,
We commend to you this first National Bahá’í Curriculum as a document which we hope will promote the development of Bahá’í education in the United Kingdom and beyond. It is to serve for the :duration of the Four Year Plan, at least, and while it is not exhaustive, it is, nevertheless, comprehensive. It sets out aims and topics for study in a systematic way which we feel would :greatly assist those who are engaged in drawing up Bahá’í courses, of whatever kind, for children, youth and, indeed, adults.
It is a major step forward in the process of the maturation of our educational institutions and we hope that, in time, it will stimulate the production of a range of syllabi suited to every :region and to each delivery system which serves for the human resource development of our community.
We are grateful to Mr. Finch for producing this document on our behalf; a task for which he is amply qualified. He draws upon an experience, over a period of a quarter of a century, in both :Bahá’í and state education, as a trained teacher of Religious Education, and as a curriculum development specialist - a result of his M.A. in Development Education from the University of London Institute of Education.
As well as having served on this National Spiritual Assembly since April 1991, Mr. Finch has served from October 1991 on the Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education (SACRE) of the :London Borough of Wandsworth. More recently he has been appointed an adviser to the Citizenship Foundation secondary curriculum panel and is a member of the Values Education Council, :representing the Faith nationwide.
Every part of the content does not, necessarily, reflect the view of the National Spiritual Assembly, but this document is approved by us for use in the Bahá’í community. We urge you to read it :carefully and to allow it to guide you in your work as educators of children and young people, whether as parents, as teachers or as those who facilitate education in other ways.
The National Spiritual Assembly of
the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom

In outlining the projected outcome of the developments in Baha'i related education, Mr Finch states that:

"The creation of a well-organised, systematic and balanced Bahá’í educational service for the children and youth of the United Kingdom is probably the single most important task that faces the U.K. Bahá’í community at present. Once such a service is in place we can look forward to long-term success in the teaching field, in the maturation of our divine institutions, and in the first stirrings of the development of a distinctive Bahá’í identity and civilisation. The production of a National Bahá’í Curriculum is an important element in the establishment of such a service"[8]

Numerous perspectives and quotations regarding the Baha'i teachings are laid out in this document-- subject to acknowledged review and editorial guidance by Peter Hulme and Barney Leith-- including the asserted authority of the Baha'i teachings in solving the "personal, moral, social, economic, political and environmental ills from which humanity is presently suffering"[9]

"The world will continue to suffer unless and until sufficient numbers of people, especially those of capacity, come to hear of and accept the teachings enshrined in Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation :and in the writings of His appointed successors.
These teachings are the only effective medicine for the personal, moral, social, economic, political and environmental ills from which humanity is presently suffering. They are the ark which :will rescue the human race from the deluge of its own making.
The Bahá’í student must be so educated in the teachings of their Faith that they may be enabled to know and understand them, live them out through their lives and apply them to the situations :and problems of the world, as well as to share them in a meaningful and relevant way with others."[10]

Regrading the so-called "Covenant", by which members of the Haifan Baha'i Faith are 'bound' to the institutions and administrative bodies of the faith (see Baha'i Faith), the document states that:

"The Covenant is what separates us from oblivion. It is the umbilical cord for the soul. It is the fulcrum by which to lever the world. It is the driving force of the universe. Adherence to it :in times of great danger causes all the angels, the Concourse on High and the creatures of the world beyond to rush to assist the faithful. No power can overcome it, all powers are its servant. :To skirt its boundaries is to invite insanity and immolation.
The administrative order is the channel, the vehicle of the covenant in the material realm. It is the instrument by which the covenant can exert its influence on the human race.
No covenant in the history of humanity has been so clearly preserved, so clearly explained, nor so well provided with the means by which it might be affirmed, enacted and renewed.
No system of government in the panoramic sweep of human life on this earth has ever approached the beauty, the symmetry, the sensitivity, the grandeur or transformative potency of the :administrative order of Bahá’u’lláh. It is a machine of infinite possibilities which can be operated by the simplest, purest souls to generate nothing less than a new world civilisation.
How can any Bahá’í parent or teacher fail, then, to impart to their children and youth the wonders of the covenant and administration? Socrates consulted the Oracle to learn the truth. Bahá’ís :have only to turn their hearts to the covenant and consult with their divine institutions and truth can be theirs for the asking."[11]


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