Rev. Michael Hydes
I was born in 1961 to a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Newcastle Upon Tyne. I spent many years in Yorkshire until my parents separated and mum married a man who lived in Northumberland.
When the Jehovah’s Witnesses found out I was gay I was ‘disfellowshipped’. (Excommunicated). I was 20 years old, and it was difficult losing family, friends, home, and job all at the same time. I was homeless for a while and then began to create a new life for myself. I wanted nothing to do with religion or God until I was thirty when I had an experience of God that changed my life. I realised that God loved me as a gay man, in fact had made me that way for a purpose. I started attending MCC North London where I met Jesus, found my faith, and eventually answered a call to ministry. I studied at Kings College London where I graduated with a 2.1 in Theology. I then spent a year working with MCC North London. In the spring of 2002 I met my husband Chris and a few months later moved to the USA. I spent the next two years working with MCC New York, during which time I ran the Youth Shelter and was ordained. In 2004 we were called to Hagerstown, a small rural town in Maryland, where I served as pastor for 9 years.
We returned to the UK in the spring of 2013, where I accepted a call to pastor MCC Brighton. After serving there for 18 months I realised that the call on my life and the vision of the church were irreconcilably different. I left MCC Brighton and was then approached by a number of folk who shared my vision of a church rooted in the LGBTQ community, serving the LGBTQ community. We formed a group that met with an MCC elder, and on October 31st were given permission to form The Village MCC.
Rev Peta is an ordained minister, a non-binary trans-man, and in their secular life, a care-worker and a tailor.
Rev Peta began their MCC journey in this very city, a member of the Brighton church from 2003 to 2010 when they left to train as clergy intern in North London. Peta’s training also took them to serve in MCC Newcastle, and a URC church in London, and they became particularly involved in supporting LGBT+ asylum-seekers.
Returning to Brighton, Peta is excited to serve again in the community which first welcomed them and supported them in both their ministry journey and their gender transition. They would love to see the sincere passion and integrity of Village MCC reach out even more widely to people of all ages, gender identities and walks of life.
Peta is also enthusiastic about reclaiming the Bible from those who have tried to make it a weapon against those who are different and is starting a group for Trans people to do just that, ReTranslation, to look at the text for themselves without past interpretations getting in the way.
Peta has a love for Celtic spirituality, which weaves together the practical and the spiritual, finding depth and delight in all things, no matter how mundane, and for creative expressions of spirituality, which they hope to share with the Village in the coming months.