A grieving family in Preston have been ordered to change a gravestone because kisses carved upon it fell foul of church rules.

Janet Corless, 52, is facing a huge bill soon after laying to rest her partner Mike Howsley, who died suddenly earlier this year after collapsing in front of her and young daughter, Sophie, 19.

The problem for the Lancashire family is the inscription dedicated to him includes the lines: 'Janet x & Sophie x.'

Corless said: "The priest took exception to two little kisses and the phrase 'sleep tight Dad'.

"I can't believe it. It's so callous and I'm absolutely heartbroken."

Howsley was buried in St Mary's Brownedge church, in Bamber Bridge.

The stonemason who carved the banned line insisted approval for the inscription had been given by the church – only to be later withdrawn.

"It's only seven months since Mike died suddenly right in front of Sophie and me and it is still very raw," said Corless.

"The headstone we chose was beautiful and we were delighted with it when it was put on the grave.

"But when they told us the inscription was inappropriate and would have to go it was a complete bombshell.

"I had a meeting with the priest and pleaded with him to allow it but he seemed totally unsympathetic.

"He said the kisses weren't acceptable on the headstone and neither was the phrase on the base."

Priest Fr George Corrie of St Mary's said: "We will be working closely with the stonemason to make sure her partner's headstone is erected correctly as soon as possible."