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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
Young girls encouraged to join Girls' Friendly Society
April 30, 2007

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Young girls in Solomon Islands have been encouraged to join a young female society known as the Girls' Friendly Society (GFS).

This society is relatively new in the country, with the Diocese of Central Melanesia being used as a pilot diocese since 2005, following the approval of the GFS by the Church in the year 2000.

GFS Coordinator Mrs Anne Sade said that this was a society for girls and women who accepted the Christian faith and sought, in the fellowship of worship, study, work and play, to serve God and extend his Kingdom.

She added that what the Mothers' Union is to the mothers, the Society is to the girls.

Some young girls haven?t had much fun in their lives; they are far from their families and friends and are often very lonely with no one to turn to for help when they are ill-treated or unhappy. The Society was introduced here to address such needs.

The GFS motto, ?Bear one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ? is an inspiration to the girls who have challenges in life.

It tells everyone that GFS is a society whose members carry out Christ?s commandment to love one another and to show that love by serving one another.

Sade said about 100 young girls are currently members of the society. Most of them are from eight parishes within the Diocese of Central Melanesia.

Other dioceses have also expressed their desire to start the Society for their young girls.

The Society was started in 1875 and in fact was the first girls? or women's organisation in the Church of England, and one of the first in England.

The founding mother was Mrs Mary Elizabeth Townsend. One of Mary Townsend?s friends who helped her begin the Society was Mary Sumner, who one year later began the Mothers? Union.