United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough


21st May

GFS Celebrates 140 years in Ireland

GFS Celebrates 140 years in Ireland

The Girls’ Friendly Society is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year and a service to mark the milestone event will take place in Christ Church Bray on Sunday May 21 at 3.00 pm. The theme of the service will be ‘Yesterday, Today and Forever’.

The Girls’ Friendly Society was founded in London in 1875 by an Irishwoman, Mrs (Mary) Elizabeth Townsend, to help lonely girls who came from the country to work in the city. This was the first girls’ or women’s organisation in the Church of England. It was a society for friendship and recreation in which all girls might share, bound together in a fellowship of Christian love and service. The rapidly spreading movement came quickly to Ireland, Scotland and America in 1877, continuing in quick succession to Australia and other countries worldwide.

In Ireland GFS was started in Bray in 1877 and the first Central President was the Countess of Meath.