After a 2½-year search for a permanent senior pastor, Hingham Congregational Church has chosen Peter Allen, who has been vice president of Simply Smiles Inc., a social services group based in Connecticut. Allen previously worked at churches in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Rowland Bates, chairman of the search committee, said Allen brings a passion for youth programming and an interest in reaching out to those who can’t come to church. “There were a lot of things people in the congregation look at and say he’s really a great fit for us,” Bates said. Allen said he was excited to be returning to parish ministry, especially in Hingham, and his immediate focus will be getting to know the church culture. “One of my short-term goals is to provide stability and pastoral leadership in ways that only a pastor can do, to get to know everybody as much as possible so I can be an effective pastor,” he said.