A WIRRAL church's pioneering work with young people in Uganda was highlighted during a special visit to the borough by a government minister this week.

International Development Minister, Justine Greening MP stopped off at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Heswall to meet with the Rev Jacky Wise and Mrs Christine Blair of the Rock of Joy Trust as part of a tour of Merseyside.

During the visit, there was a presentation of the work the church and trust is doing with young people from the Heswall Youth Fellowship, working with primary school children in the most deprived areas of Uganda.

Rev Wise also spoke about her work in the Solomon Islands through the Melanesian Trust providing safe havens and education for women suffering from domestic abuse.

She said afterwards: "It was really good to be able to welcome Justine into the parish and to have the opportunity to tell her about our links with the Rock of Joy charity and how we see so many lives in Uganda transformed through ongoing projects and sponsorship.

"I'm delighted that Justine has a genuine and heartfelt interest in the small, grassroots charity work, amidst all her work which is on a national or international scale.

"We were also able to talk to her about our links with the Solomon Islands and how we are supporting important educational projects, including those focused on domestic abuse and the rights of young women, and the crucial work of the religious orders who serve many local communities.

"I hope to keep Justine involved with our ongoing efforts and very much appreciate her interest".

Justine said: "I was delighted to be introduced to Jacky and Christine and find out about the fantastic work they and the faith-based Rock of Joy Trust is doing in Uganda."

The minister, who was accompanied by Wirral South Conservative MP candidate John Bell and Cllr Andrew Hodson, continued: "It was great to meet Jacky and Christine. I know from my time working in Rwanda with Justin, building a community centre with the survivors of the Genocide, just how important this work is.

"Equally, I know the young people from Heswall Youth Fellowship will find it a life-affirming, even, life changing experience.”