---Welcome!

 

GFS is a Not for Profit Organisation made up of people belonging to a Christian community locally, nationally and globally.

 

We seek to provide or support ministries to children, youth, families and adults in a safe and accepting environment where Christ’s love is evident.
 
We have been part of the West Australian Community for over 130 years and have engaged with many children and adults during this time. Last year GFS celebrates a wonderful milestone of 130 years of ministry to women, girls, men and boys in Perth. Since 1888 friendship, support and a listening ear have been part of the GFS DNA as we’ve sought to live out the GFS motto to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal 6:2
 
On the 1st January 1875, Mary Elizabeth Townsend established the Girls’ Friendly Society in England (now you know why our former premises at 240 Adelaide Terrace were called Townsend Lodge. Come and pay us a visit, we have some really interesting memorabilia in the office along with a welcoming smile and cuppa). GFS was a pioneer women’s organisation, the first of its kind in the world. The members saw a need to befriend, mentor and support many of the younger women who were leaving their rural homes and communities to find work in the cities.
 
Here in Perth GFS welcomed migrant girls to the city by providing them with accommodation as they settled in and found employment. In time we branched out to provide Townsend Fellowship, children’s groups, Holiday Clubs, Camps, Mainly Music groups, Mother & Daughter High Teas; and more recently Dads N Lads BBQs, Pamper A Nanna, the Advent Festival, our group for 15-35 year olds GFS Next Gen and our newest initiative “Blessed to be a Blessing Dinner”.
 

FIND OUT MORE

 

Stay Connected

 
 
 

 

Our organisation partners with other community organisations to help others outside of our own community.     MORE
 
 
 
 
 

 

We have many programs, resources and games that we can help you to get your own children’s ministry group established.     MORE   
 
 

 

Dating back to the beginnings of GFS, women’s ministry has been a vital part of our ministry to this day.  We have a lot to offer why not see what could suit you.     MORE   
 

 

Youth

 

If you wish to become a part of our NextGen GFS group this this is the place for you.  Come along and be part of the team, become a member or just attend one of the events they run.    MORE   
 
 
 
 
 
GFS Outside Perth
GFS is not just in Perth! We are part of a National and Global organisation and always are happy to welcome new members.     MORE   
 
 
 
 
Who Let The Dads Out?
GFS is proud to be working with Who Let the Dads Out? in the UK to offer help and resources to get your WLTDO? group here in WA off and running.     MORE   
 
 
 

---Upcoming Events

 
 
 
 
 

Nil 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

GFS Perth Calendar

Check out what is happening in GFS Perth by looking at our calendar below
 
 
 
 

 

 

--- From The Blog

 

Monday Memories – Leader Training Part 2

Deaconess Joyce Polson made an outstanding contribution to GFS Leader Training over the years from 1966-1972, both in her role as Diocesan Youth Officer and later as GFS Leader Training Officer. The training of Junior Leaders was being emphasised at this time and she had special skills in relating to these teenagers. This was a time of great development for the Society, both in numbers of branches and increase in membership and she was able to show by her training methods what a valuable asset the Junior Leaders were. In 1967 she had 35 Trainee Leaders at a weekend at Pt Peron and 23 of these were under the age of 19 years.

Deaconess Polson ‘decentralised’ her leadership training sessions and this made it easier for Leaders in outlying developing areas, who could not always attend the courses held in Perth. She very successfully combined the training of Junior and Senior Leaders in the same sessions and each age group gained from the other being present. 40 Junior Leaders attended the last training weekend that she organised for them.


Read more...

Post War Years CEGS – Part 2

1950 was another year of expansion, with the Organising Secretary continuing to widen the outreach of the Society. Apart from strong branch and parish involvement, there were many Diocesan functions in which GFS took a prominent part. The year finished on a very strong note with seven new branches and further big increases in membership. The results achieved by Miss Granrott were outstanding and set the Society on a further path of expansion. Miss Granrott married after her term of office was completed and continued to live in Western Australia. One of her daughters (Mrs Elaine Clark) was an active GFS leader and she also had three grandchildren in GFS.

In view of the tremendous growth in GFS over these two years, it was disappointing to the Society when another girls’ organisation, the Church of England Girls’ Society, (later to be known as CEGS – the Anglican Girls’ Society) was formed within the church about this time. It was not a ‘break-away’ group, but one that emphasised that all girls joining must be members of the Church of England.  Leaders in GFS were to be communicant Anglicans, but the Society has always been open to those of other denominations and those of no faith position and this has been a ‘missionary’ aspect of the Society that has brought many  people  into  the  Anglican Church.  As their pre-requisite of being Church of England (Anglican) was later changed by the CEGS, it meant that there were two organisations in the church with similar aims and programmes.

Over the years GFS held out the hand of friendship and involved the CEGS in some of its activities. There was also shared Leader Training and combined activities with the three uniformed groups – GFS, CEBS and CEGS.  In 1985 approaches were made to GFS from various levels in CEGS suggesting that they amalgamate with GFS, and it was decided to have a year’s trial of working closely together but each organisation keeping its own identity.  GFS was delighted to be involved in this way and shared all the Society’s latest literature and programming material with the CEGS and invited them to join in its annual camp and other activities. Some GFS branches took part in the CEGS Indoor Games competition. There was also a representative on each Society’s Committee. It was a year of enjoyable sharing, but at the end of it an amalgamation did not take place.  CEGS and CEBS no longer operate in WA but we are still in contact with some leaders from both groups. 


Read more...

GFS Perth New Contact Details

Update of contact details

 
Just to let you know that there is an update to our contact number going forward 0438 270 364 Please use this number to contact us in future.
 
Our emails remain the same and are:  info@gfsperth.com.au   office@gfsperth.com.au   fieldworker@gfsperth.com.au
 
You can also check out our webpage   www.gfsperth.com.au
 

Read more...

Monday Memories – GFS Caravan Part 11

Travelling in all weather, it was often too hot in the summer to sleep in their van and very bleak in the winter. There could be extremes of weather even when travelling in the same area.

Their diaries give a wonderful insight into the work in which they were involved; such as two entries when they were visiting Queda (now not even a name on the WA map!):

17.09.1927
Took the harmonica into a house (5 children) and sang old songs and hymns by lamplight. The lady of the house was the post mistress and had rung up her neighbour who had a private phone, and when the concert began the receiver was taken off so she in her house two miles away could also enjoy the music.

25.09.1927
Bishop of Kalgoorlie arrived with the Rector (Mr Bishop) for Celebration of Holy Communion. Hall looked very nice. Planks on petrol boxes for seats.  Table borrowed from a house for altar – travelling rug for frontal.   Dinner plates covered with a handkerchief for offertory plate.  Two rugs off van beds for kneelers. Petrol box covered with a sheet with a pudding basin on top for a font, at which the newest arrival in the district was baptised. About 56 present.

Because of the different drivers for the van, it was not possible to have an RAC membership card in the name of one person, so a ‘composite’ name was chosen – Miss June Driver – which was quoted when help was needed.
 
 

Read more...

Monday Memories – Headquarters Part 8

“GOODBYE” TO GFS HEADQUARTERS

Before the final move from 532 Hay Street in July 1973, a ‘farewell’ social gathering was held at Headquarters so that GFSers, past and present, could say goodbye to the building which had been the heart of GFS for almost half a century.

Many friendships were renewed on this occasion and memories shared of the happy times at GFS Headquarters. There was an opportunity for those who wished to do so, to speak about special memories they had of the building and this was a very moving experience. The GFS hymn was also sung. It was sad having to say goodbye to a much loved Headquarters, which had brought joy into so many lives, but those happy memories live on.

The Society moved to an office in Law Chambers, and there were many advantages in being part of the Anglican Church Offices on the same floor, and the modern facilities were appreciated. However, we missed having our own centre for meetings and activities and Council and Executive meetings were held either in parish halls, at the GFS Lodge, Hale House Hostel or the Board Room at Church Office.

The money from the sale of 532 Hay Street was invested until a decision was made about rebuilding. For most of the intervening years it was with the Anglican Deposit Fund.  It was to be nearly eight years before there would be a new GFS Headquarters, when rebuilding took place at the GFS Lodge in Adelaide Terrace.

On Tuesday the 23rd of June 2020, we held a Farewell service for Townsend Lodge as like above GFS is changing and evolving like it has done throughout it’s history.  It was a lovely service led by our Chaplain Reverend Rae Reinertsen.  A short snippet of some of Jan’s memories of the lodge is attached, more will be available soon in our “Archives” section of our webpage.
 


Read more...

Monday Memories – GFS World Part 3

Following on from Part 1 which was posted on 30th March this year (if you need to refresh your memory!)

PHILIPPINES
Five GFS members from the Philippines spent 1½ days in Perth in October 1972 on their way home from the GFS World Council in Melbourne. They were taken on tours and met a number of GFS members at a picnic and also a dinner at Kings Park Restaurant. They wore their Philippine costumes to dinner, then they all returned to GFS Hale House where they performed the ‘candle dance’ in the darkened lounge, with only the light from the candles in small glass holders balanced on their heads and the palms of their hands. A moving experience to watch.
 

 
 
 
ENGLISH LEADERS

In 1974 Sue Shepherd and Heather Robb, two English GFS leaders, visited Australia for three months leadership training and sharing of skills. They visited all States.  In 1977 two other English GFS leaders, Susan Birrell and Christine Carr, also visited Perth.

WALES
In 1987 it was a special joy to welcome a Welsh GFS leader, Mrs Rosemary Macdonald, who attended a GFS Leader Training Weekend at Wollaston College and spoke about the plans for the GFS World Council to be held in Wales in July.

These many ‘hands across the ocean’ have given us a very special bond with our worldwide GFS.

At each World Council a decision is made on a special World Project for the following three years. The proceeds of these have enabled young women in countries where help is needed to be trained to work with the youth in their churches.  Amongst the countries which have been helped are Kenya, Guyana, the Philippines, Lesotho, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Transki, Caribbean, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Japan and the last one Sri Lanka. In the case of Transkei, a cottage industry was built up to provide employment for young women. The project is used as a teaching medium for GFSers and special material was provided to the branches, to supplement their own research so that the girls learn about the country, its people and their way of life, as well as raising funds for it. The collection at the annual Festival Service in St George’s Cathedral was always given to the World Project.  This is a practice still observed to this day around the world in various forms.
 

Read more...

 
 
 

Want To Become a Member?

 
There are lots of ways to be involved with GFS in Perth.  Head to the link below
to see how you can get involved today!
 
 
 
 

Verse of the Day

“[Jesus Comforts His Disciples] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” — John 14:1-3 Listen to chapter . Powered by BibleGateway.com.