A church minister whose passion is horror films and all things macabre is up for a national award.
The Rev Peter Laws finds even the goriest horror flick offers a “rich place for religious reflection”.
The 41-year-old Ampthill preacher is such an expert that he writes a column for horror magazine The Fortean Times and presents his own film review podcast called The Flicks that Church Forgot.
“For me, horror and religion are not mutually exclusive. Religion explores the possibility of life after death and the horror and supernatural film genre does the same,” he said.
Dad-of-two Peter has been fascinated by films such as The Exorcist and The Changeling since he was a child. His interest in theology came later, when he was at university.
“I was chatting up a girl and she said she couldn’t go out with me because I wasn’t a Christian and she was. That prompted me to start exploring Christianity.”
Twenty years on Peter is an ordained Baptist minister – and has also been married to the girl, Joy, for 17 years.
He preaches at churches all over Bedfordshire and says the Baptist Union is supportive about his passion for horror.
“People do find it a little bit unusual sometimes. I recently interviewed some witches and wrote about the occult and paganism. Some people found that a bit dodgy,” he said.
Peter’s fame as a horror writer is soon set to spread. For this week he has signed a two book deal with publishers Allison and Busby.
His first novel, a macabre crime thriller called Purged, will hit the shops early next year.
Meanwhile he has been nominated for the prestigious Rondo Classic Horror Award for his podcast, which explores spiritual themes in horror.
View his website at www.peterlaws.co.uk or follow him on Twitter on @revpeterlaws.