A BURY primary school was treated to an "inspirational" musical experience when they were visited by an African children's choir.

St Stephen's CofE Primary School was visited by the Watoto Children's Choir on February 14, after being chosen to host the visiting Ugandan singers by Kings Church in Bolton.

Pupils,staff and parents shared in the choir's worship music and heard inspiring and moving stories about how its orphaned members lives had been transformed.

Sally Denney, deputy head at St Stephen's said: "The choir stole our hearts with their music, dance and stories. And through donations on the day, and a small profit made from a recent Maths shop in school, we blessed them with a monetary gift which sponsored a Watoto child for 6 months.

"Every child in school packed into the hall for a concert alongside staff, governors and parents. Some staff even came in on their day off.

"The children then joined us for lunch and spent time talking with the children and staff of St. Stephen's.

"It was a day we will remember for a very long time."

Year 5 pupil William Ryan added: "They were amazing. The teachers danced very well too."

The Watoto Church, meaning children in Swahili, was founded in Kampala, Uganda, in 1988 by ministers Gary and Marilyn Skinner.

Mr Skinner was inspired to set up the church after he visited a 79-year-old Ugandan widow and mother of seven, who had lost her husband and six children to AIDs, and her remaining child was also dying of the disease.

Since then the church has grown and now includes the Watoto Child Care Ministries and centres across Uganda.

Its choir has toured extensively each year since 1994, travelling across six continents enthralling audiences in schools, retirement homes, churches, parliaments, state houses and royal palaces, including the White House and Buckingham Palace, to raise money for the church.

Each child in the choir has lost one or both parents, often to AIDs or war, and now lives in a Watoto village.

The choir hopes to build their confidence and expand their world view, as well as heartening the people that they meet, as advocates for millions of other African children in similar circumstances.

Jenny Downham, a governor at St Stephen's said: "The visit was a golden opportunity for our St. Stephen's family to meet these wonderful children and to share love and fellowship together."

And Robert Haigh, another governor, added: "The whole school was moved to experience such a vibrant and thought provoking celebration of worship."