“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)
2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)
At GFS, we have a rich and blessed heritage, like Timothy. For many years, faithful women have passed their faith to the next generation. This blessing from God is worth celebrating.
For those who are interested, below is a brief history of GFS.
GFS began as the Girls Friendly Society in London, in the year 1875. It was the initiative of a lady by the name of Mary Elizabeth Townsend.
Mary Elizabeth Townsend was concerned by the growing number of girls living on the streets, working in terrible conditions, alone and friendless, having to care for themselves. Her desire to help these girls moved her to invite some of them to her house for a meal. However, merely feeding these girls was not sufficient. Mary Elizabeth Townsend wanted to help them make an honourable and comfortable living.
So with support from some of her friends and from the local bishop, she began on an endeavour to teach the girls the skills they would need to become a maid. More importantly still, she taught the girls from God’s word and many of the girls came to know and love the Lord Jesus.
Soon, girls trained in the Girls’ Friendly Society had a good reputation as honest, hardworking maids and they were employed throughout England.
In the year 1879, some families who had GFS maids moved to the free city of Adelaide in Australia. The maids went with the families, but on arriving in Australia, they commenced their own Girls Friendly Society and held meetings as before. In 1880, the first meeting of the Girls’ Friendly Society in Sydney was held.
Over the years, the Girls’ Friendly Society changed its name to GFS. The girls who now attend are not trained as maids, but they come together for fellowship and fun. But the one thing that will never change is the importance of the Word of God. God’s Word is still proclaimed at GFS meetings everywhere and His love is poured out by the leaders of each branch of GFS.
If you would like to find out more about the history of GFS in Sydney either contact us or find the book “A Faithful Journey – The story of GFS in the Sydney Diocese” by Evelyn Beckenham in the State library.
The Purpose of GFS: To give glory to God by bringing girls and women to the full life and fellowship of the Church and by helping them to love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Definition of GFS: A society of girls and women who accept the Christian faith and seek in the fellowship of worship, study, work and play to serve God and extend his Kingdom.
The GFS Motto: Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the Law of Christ.