The Girls’ Friendly Society was founded in London in 1875 by an Irishwoman – Mrs Elizabeth Townsend to provide support and skills training for girls who came from the country to work in the city. 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 movement spread rapidly all over England and came to Ireland in 1877 and also to America and Australia about the same time. The Girls’ Friendly Society is the oldest Church of Ireland organisation for girls and women.
Now almost 130 years later our Society has broadened its scope and offers an even wider appeal. The motto, purpose and prayer has not changed down the years but one generation after another has found fresh inspiration in it.
Today the Girls Friendly Society is active in eighty branches throughout Ireland, a wide spectrum of interest is covered in the badge syllabus, which includes a study of the natural world, the community and the church, handcrafts and skills, information technology, sports and outdoor pursuits, as well as participating in fund raising to demonstrate our will to help others, both locally and globally.
Membership is open to women of all ages.