The Girls Friendly Society (GFS) commenced in 1875 in England (within the Anglican church) to offer spiritual and physical support and friendship to young women away from home who had no local support especially in “at risk” situations.
The society spread quickly around the world as women who in moving to other countries, wished to share this vision with those around them. GFS now works under many different names in many countries within the Anglican Communion, encouraging, as its main purpose, a continuing relationship with Christ, for its members.
The motto of GFS is “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ” (Galations 6:2) and this “service” element within the calling of Christ is a central focus of the Society.
GFS offers programs for evangelism, support, empowerment, education and encouragement, sometimes in partnership with both secular and sacred organisations. Membership in some countries is now open to male as well as female. In many countries there is a strong link with Mothers Union and link organisations within the Anglican Communion.
The World body is governed by a set of guidelines with each GFS country operating under their own constitution/rules but adhering to the basic purpose of bringing others to Christ and service to others through the various programs offered.
The world body meets every three years in the country of the World President, where delegates from each GFS country (and observers) meet together to review and share their work. A World Project/s is chosen for the coming three years, concentrating on growing and strengthening GFS in developing countries, with particular emphasis on programs for young women and children.