Our Minister

Rev Peter Hibberts

Our Minister is the Reverend Peter Hibberts and he joined us in the September of 2016. He was a school teacher before joining the ministry and still loves to work with families and schools as well as folk of all ages!

He is married to Katie and has four children: Ellie (11), Olivia (8), Joseph (4) and Daisy (1)

You can contact him directly by email or by telephone (01636 812166)

A welcome from our Minister

I'd like to personally welcome you to our website and thank you for stopping by. We'd love to meet with you in person and connect with you in some way. It would be great to see you at one of our events or services where you are sure to get a very warm welcome.

Rev Peter.

Minister's Monthly Message

“Be your heart right?” then “give me your hand.”

As part of my probationer studies, as I prepare for my ordination (the service to complete my journey into being a Methodist minister) in July, I’ve been studying some of John Wesley’s sermons. In particular I was struck by one called ‘The Catholic Spirit’. This sermon is a wonderful call to show grace and love to folk - even when we don’t agree. It’s quite a challenge.

I remember the Brexit referendum well. I had strong views (and still do, though don’t intend to go into them here) and I made them known. At the time I couldn’t understand some of the views that were being shared and in truth I couldn’t really understand why some folk were ready to vote the way that they were. I tend to be a passionate person when it comes to things that I think are important (and if I’m honest I often get a bee in my bonnet about things that are really unimportant too!) Perhaps you can relate to this - I hope I’m not the kind of person that really winds you up, if so, it’s not intentional!

If my training for ministry has taught me one thing (and indeed it’s taught me many) it’s to hold my views more gently. It doesn’t mean I hold them less passionately or am less committed to living them out, but it’s a commitment to hold them in a way that allows room for the views of others. It’s an acknowledgement that though there’s a chance I’m right, and of course if I didn’t think I was right I wouldn’t hold that view, at the same time there’s a high probability that I’m wrong - in most things! Wesley use the latin phrase, “humanum est errare et nescire” which roughly translated means “To be ignorant of many things, and to mistake in some, is the necessary condition of humanity.” I have to accept that my understanding is always limited and always contains errors - that’s the human condition and I am only human.

Perhaps more importantly here is the effect this realisation should have on our relationships, particularly with those we disagree with. Wesley’s ‘catholic spirit’ accepts that though we may not agree that does not mean we cannot journey together, serve together, love together. Perhaps one of Wesley’s most famous quotes sums this up beautifully,

“Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may.”

There seems to be a lot of opinions in the world at the moment, maybe it’s always been so and now, through social media, they get aired more widely.

There are, of course also many different opinions about the way forward for our church, both the wider church and Southwell Methodist Church in particular. My hope is that we can continue to talk widely about these ideas and even widen the discussions to involve all, and then we can move forward together, perhaps not always all in full agreement, but always all hand in hand. Of course if you’re uneasy about any of the changes that are happening at SMC at the moment, you know where I am and I’d love to hear what you think about them - please don’t hesitate give me a call. I don’t need much invitation to come and drink your coffee or share in your journey!

The challenge I take up, and I offer it to you also, is: despite the many opportunities we have to disagree and even argue, I want love to prevail. I want folk to connect, I want to build bridges not walls.

John Wesley simply asks, “be your heart right?” and if it be so, then, “give me your hand.”