Reverend Peter Brumby
This site was put together after much thought and prayer and was a Brumby family decision. We decided to make as many of Dad’s sermons available for download as possible as we believe they are a valuable resource for Christians old and new.
The sermons have been collected mainly from Whitby Evangelical Church and Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church and converted from tape to MP3 and will be added to the site on a gradual basis.
You can listen to sermons online or download them and listen to them on your computer or MP3 player, indeed there is an iTunes link on the Sermons page if you wish to subscribe to the podcast.
If you do have any recordings of Reverend Peter Brumby I would be happy to convert them to MP3 and return the originals to you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter’s arrival in Whitby was at a time when rural chapels of Methodism were closing. An elderly lady explained to him: “We’ve not had a gospel ministry here for over forty years, Mr Brumby.” There were practical obstacles to ministry. Getting to a service on time in an Esk Valley hamlet depended on the height of the water in the ford!! Though well equipped to continue itinerant preaching in the chapels of Yorkshire, Peter’s growing concern was to provide regular consecutive ministry. He arranged with his superintendent to go against Methodist convention by preaching for three consecutive Sunday mornings each month at the same church, Briggswath Methodist Church in Sleights.
An amazing few years followed when God’s Spirit blessed the minstry in that village and many were called by Christ. This became the talking point in the whole area – something was happening at the Methodist chapel! But Peter began to be troubled by trends within the Methodist denomination and felt it was impossible for him to continue in it. He realised that his doctrinal position had moved firmly to a Reformed position. He left Whitby in August 1973, to be minister of an English congregation near Fuengirola, in southern Spain.
During his time at Whitby his concerns for the North of England and the need to encourage other labourers continued to press upon him. Peter organised the first North of England Conference for Ministers and Office Bearers, which was held in Whitby in 1988. Leaders from small isolated churches and larger congregations met each other for the first time. The annual conference continues to this day.
In 1990, Peter’s long-felt burden for the North of England led to his relinquishing the pastorate of Whitby Evangelical Church and embarking on a wider itinerant role in what became known as the North of England Ministry. The Whitby church, along with others, supported the initiative, which was a response to the ongoing cries for help from isolated or struggling congregations in the dales and on the moors of Yorkshire. Peter‚Äôs wise counsel combined with his godly humility brought a timely reassurance to many situations.
Another burden on his heart was a desire to develop leadership skills among young Christians and provide training for a lifetime of discipleship and service. In 1991, Bill Dyer and he organised Whitby’s first September Bible School. Not knowing what the outcome would be, he had an overwhelming sense of thankfulness that the first School brought in over 70 young people. With much appreciation from the young people themselves, some of whom entered into full-time Christian Service, the venture continued to take place each year under his leadership and still continues. Peter’s own contributions focussed mainly on devotional and pastoral issues to promote Godliness in talks such as ‘Bringing Our Best in Worship’, ‘Redeeming the Time’‚ ‘The Quiet Time Tradition’, and ‘Temptation: Don’t Be So Naive!’.
While he was advising on the development of Newcastle Evangelical Reformed Church in 1999, he was asked if he would be its pastor. He accepted, seeking to lay a foundation upon which others would build. Ill health caused him to step down in July 2003, and he returned to Whitby. He was called to his true home on Christmas Eve 2003.
Peter had a fascination with the lives of the Lord’s servants from previous generations such as John and Charles Wesley and especially George Whitefield. The study of Whitefield was his great delight: collecting his writings, researching his letters and even walking his journeys. It was a fitting tribute that at his funeral, the lines of Charles Wesley’s great hymn ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing’ sounded out across Whitby, and not long afterwards, at a bus stop, a local man was heard to remark to a friend: ‘I was at a funeral the other day at the Evangelical Church ‚ I have never heard singing like it before.
With thanks, to Roger Norris.
Peter was born in Barnard Castle, Co. Durham, on 5th September 1940 and grew up in South Hylton, a village near Sunderland. The Brumby family were Methodists, though his paternal grandfather was a Salvation Army captain. Peter was converted through the ministry of the village chapel but soon sought deeper spiritual teaching. On leaving school, he became an apprentice electrical engineer and eventually had to move to the south of England. There he came under the teaching of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and his expository preaching. This had a profound effect on him as he was then a Methodist lay preacher considering offering for the Methodist ministry.
Before his Methodist theological training, he spent two years at the Bible Training Institute, in Glasgow. There he met his future wife, Jean Purves, daughter of Jock Purves,¬†writer of Covenanting books and a WEC missionary.They married in 1966. Peter studied at Bible College in Leeds and Bristol and his first appointment was to the Whitby circuit, in North Yorkshire, in 1968.
Earlier in 1973 a small number of people, several converted under the Whitby ministry, had covenanted together to begin a new biblical teaching work. In January 1974, the small congregation called Peter back from Spain to become the first appointed minister of what would become Whitby Evangelical Church. The church met in a house and then a village hall and later Stakesby School in the town. After buying its own premises in Skinner Street in Whitby in 1981, the church flourished. Although Peter was always conscious of the awesomeness of his calling and spent himself unsparingly in the fulfilling of his commission, he often expressed his own sense of a lack of ability and a feeling of being ill-equipped for the task. Yet those who sat under his ministry were aware of no such lack, but rather saw an earthen vessel well prepared for the work and strategically used by the hand of God. He had a deep awareness of the preacher’s role in the pulpit and rarely referred to himself. His preaching was expository, seeking to share the whole counsel of God. He preached with earnestness and winsomenes. He was an expert in wielding the sword of the Spirit to expose hidden and secret sins but that same ministry would lift the broken hearted and downcast. Peter had a godly jealousy for the church and a love for corporate worship. He had a deep conviction of the value of church membership and the spiritual character of the member’s meeting, its privileges and its responsibilities. He was undoubtedly a man of prayer. No one saw or heard him pray in the secret place, but the fruit of those prayers was evident. His prayers in leading worship were arresting. There was a sense of the greatness of God, his majesty and holiness and the congregation would be led into God’s presence but then the prayer would lead on through the grace of Christ into the sunshine of his love.
Special treasures of God’s grace often accompany the closing of a dear saint’s life and for Peter Brumby this was no exception. The verses of Psalm 36:8 ‘You give them drink from the river of your pleasures’ had been the subject of his meditations during the days of his advancing weakness.