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.