GFS Sydney reconnecting with Arundel House
GFS began in England by Mary Elizabeth Townsend in 1875 in response to the number of young girls who worked as factory workers, living away from their families, often in cramped conditions, working long hours, on shift work and were paid little money. GFS aimed to help young women who were alone often in a big city by providing friendship and practical support.
GFS Branches started in Sydney in 1880. Many young women at the time were emigrating from England and needed a place to stay. GFS provided such lodgings. In 1921 the need was so great that a hostel was built at 29 Arundel St to accommodate young women. It provided a comfortable home with friendly companionship, clean quarters and well-cooked food at a moderate price.
Today, GFS Sydney no longer owns the building at 29 Arundel St which is now known as Arundel House. But the building continues to accommodate up to 39 female students. It is a warm, welcoming community, where women can study, make friends and thrive in a Christian and friendly atmosphere, where all meals are provided. Most residents are aged 18-23, and are in their first one or two years of tertiary study.
The Director, Mel, lives in a flat on the premises. Mel is part of the pastoral team at St Barnabas’ Church Broadway. Her goal is to make Arundel a safe and happy home for everyone.
The GFS Sydney Arundel Project which was approved at the 2022 AGM aims:
– to financially assist up to 3 residents in need with 25% of their accommodation costs to stay at Arundel House;
– to provide moral and spiritual support to the residents;
– to show to the wider community the principles of the ministry of GFS; and
– to promote GFS to the secular community, growing membership and potential sponsorship.
This project is about building friendships with the residents.
GFS Sydney offers bursaries to residents of Arundel House based on their personal circumstances and are struggling to pay for their accommodation. If you would like to apply for a bursary to help with accommodation costs at Arundel House, please apply on our application form.
Some suggestions for ways GFS Sydney members are developing relationships with residents are:
– writing letters to residents (ie become pen pals) and
– visiting on a regular basis to do knitting, cooking etc.
Other ideas that GFS Sydney can help Arundel House are:
– for members to pray for residents (we will include appropriate information into our Prayer Guide and also for our prayer meetings) and
– possibly look at ways to help advertise Arundel House to our GFS contacts.