Father’s grave to be reinstated after Priest U-turn

Posted by AK Lander | On August 18, 2014 15:08

A Lancashire priest has made a U-turn on his original decision to remove a gravestone, much to the delight of the grieving family.

The incident centres on the gravestone of Mike Howsley, a much-loved dad who died suddenly back in January. After being buried at St Mary’s Brownedge Church in Bamber Bridge, parish priest Father George Corrie originally called for the grave headstone to be removed because he deemed that the statement ‘sleep tight Dad xx’ inscribed on the stone was ‘inappropriate’.

It was a decision that understandably caused serious anger for his partner Janet Corless, who said that the situation had been very traumatic because Mike had died right in front of her. While she previously was comforted by heading back to the church to visit Mike’s grave, the fact that his gravestone had been removed meant that she didn’t want to go anywhere near the cemetery.

Jane explained that because Mike died suddenly, they weren’t given the chance to say goodbye properly. It’s for this reason why the inscription on the grave is so important to them.

Priest apologises for ‘miscommunication’

The situation has now turned back into the family’s favour after Father George Corrie went against his original decision, apologising for a miscommunication. He explained that under Canon law, cemeteries are asked to preserve the sacred character of a Catholic Christian graveyard and the parish applies its best efforts to maintain the dignity and beauty of the site. After the U-turn, Father Corrie said that the cemetery will work with the family to put up a plaque that complements the inscription already on the stone.

Now that the memorial can be reinstated, both Mike’s partner and his 19-year-old daughter Sophie Howsley are delighted with the decision and when speaking in an interview, Jane thanked everybody for all their support.


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