The Girls’ Friendly Society
"We being many, are one body in Christ, and
NEW AND REVISED EDITION
the Beloved Memory of
Her Majesty Queen Victoria
Empress of India,
of The Girls’ Friendly Society
once Dedicated to her
by her Most Gracious Permission,
is now inscribed.
"To have done anything whereby
Christ may be better known and
better loved is surely worth much,
toil, much weariness.
"To have helped any fellow-
creature one single step towards
the knowledge which is Eternal
Life--this is joy to think of, and a
joy which may be more and more
The First Seed
'PLANT it--all thou canst!--with prayers;
It is safe 'neath His sky's folding,
Who the whole earth compasses,
Whether we watch more or less,
His wide eye all things beholding.
'Should He need a goodly tree
He will make it grow: if not,
Never yet His love forgot--
Human love, and faith, and patience.
'Leave thy treasure in His hand--
Years hence, men its shade may crave.
And its mighty branches wave
Beautiful above thy sleeping.'
The Girls' Friendly Society
The First Seed.
THERE is always a very deep interest in looking back to the beginnings of a great movement--in recalling the sowing of the first tiny seed that contained within itself the germ of a living and growing tree.
'It is now many years ago since, in a small cottage on a wild yet somewhat thickly populated heath, in one of our southern counties, you might have seen a little company of girls and young women gathered together, sewing busily, while a lady, evidently their friend, was reading to them. The little homely room scarcely held more than a dozen people at the most; but for some weeks, when the class was first started, only two or three girls came, and perhaps the attempt might have dropped altogether had it not been for the help and encouragement of a simple cottage woman, who assisted in every way in her power to bring the girls together. Good, earnest soul! I can recall even now her bright, dark eyes and eager interest as she welcomed me to my favourite haunts amongst the people I loved so well, and told of some new recruit for the weekly class.
'Yes, of her it may indeed be said that "she did what she [3/4] could"; and that humble gathering was the first link in the chain of circumstances that led to the foundation of the Girls' Friendly Society.
'The original rough plan of the Society's work and aim was written down in pencil in a tiny notebook in 1872. It was to the G.F.S. that exists now, as the artist's first rude sketch is to the comparatively finished Picture. To me it was, and ever has been, simply as a thought entrusted by God, to be kept as far as possible free from all personal feelings and motives, to be carried out and made to live when He would and as He would.'
So wrote the Foundress of the Girls' Friendly Society in 1882,when looking back to that first humble work amongst girls--her first experience, indeed, of any such work, for at that time she was only about twenty-four years old. Mrs. Townsend had lately gone to live in a Hampshire parish in the Winchester Diocese, and wild and rough as the heath they lived on were many of the young women and girls who gathered round her there. As time went on, her heart was deeply touched and saddened by the insight she gained into their lives, and their sore need of loving Christian influence and protection.
Our Foundress once wrote that she did not remember how the idea of the G.F.S. first came to her. But I remember that when she first spoke to me of that idea, she told me also how it first came to her. The Bishop of Winchester (Samuel Wilberforce) was creating an organisation through the diocese for rescue work, and Mrs. Townsend was asked to join. It was while sitting at one of these meetings that the idea flashed through her mind: 'If the power of rescue work will be so increased by organisation, why should not work be organised to save from falling?'
 The winter of 1871-72 was spent abroad by Mrs. Townsend, and it was on her journey home that she jotted down in her notebook an outline of the scheme. This commences with 'Duties of Associates,' and the first duty is given as 'Daily prayer for their Members and for each other.'
The words in this notebook were afterwards printed in the G.F.S. pamphlet, but, as this is no longer in print, the following passage shall be given here: 'It is no new work that needs to be done. Hundreds and hundreds of devoted women are labouring for their young sisters' welfare, with loving hearts and untiring energy, but they are scattered and work alone. Take, for instance, the case of a district visitor in a large country parish: she gathers round her a little company of young women; she meets them once a week, or oftener, to teach and benefit them; she makes herself their friend. One by one, however, the familiar faces disappear; the girls go out to service in the neighbouring large town, or in some far-distant village; their places are filled up by others, loved and cared for in their turn; but from time to time there comes news of those that are gone, sometimes glad tidings, but, alas! too often tales of shame and misery, of wasted lives spent in the service of sin or vanity instead of in the service of Christ. And the worker's heart grows heavy, and she feels that she is powerless. She has written, perhaps, from time to time to these poor erring ones; but more than this is needed: she cannot put aside her daily duties to seek out these straying sheep, even though they be the souls for whom Christ died, and how to reach them she knows not. But far different would be the case if such an organisation as is suggested above were at work; if the moment a girl went out into the world she could be furnished with a letter to another friend, who would care for her well-being, who would seek her out, and by kind interest, [5/6] and loving words, and earnest influence, strive to keep her in the right path--one also who would make her known to the clergyman of the parish, and thus obtain for her his guidance and spiritual instruction.
'When we see what wonders are accomplished in worldly matters, by the power of organisation, association, and cooperation, when we know how strong are the links that bind together the members of Freemasons' Clubs, of Benefit Societies, the members of different professions, and the like, surely we cannot but feel that this mighty lever should be used for the purpose of moral and spiritual benefit, that the children of this world should not be wiser in their generation than the children of light, and that every means should be tried, if only we may, by God's mercy and blessing, save some.'
That was the idea which was then given to the world--not the idea of work for girls, but the idea of organised work. There were isolated efforts in many directions, but the idea of an organised association for the upholding of the purity of Christian maidenhood, based upon the foundation of the national Church, was a totally new thought, and this we owe to our Foundress, both in its first inception and in its ultimate completion. In showing these notes to her friend, the Rev. T. V. Fosbery, Vicar of St. Giles', Reading (with whose help she was compiling and bringing out 'Voices of Comfort'), she entreated him to find someone to carry out the plan, she herself having at that time no experience of work of the kind, and being very diffident of her own powers; but he always refused, being steadfastly minded, as it seemed, that she should do it herself.
In the summer of 1873 I went to stay with Mrs. Townsend in Hampshire; she told me her idea, and I answered that I belonged to a Society that was doing very much the same [6/7] as she proposed, the St. Anne's Society. This had been started at Hanwell, in 1870, by Mrs. Jerome Mercier, for 'women and girls from all social classes,' and had Branches in different parts of the country. Mrs. Mercier was communicated with, and asked if she thought the St. Anne's Society could be organised so as to become diocesan and national. But this did not seem practicable, and therefore Mrs. Townsend went on quietly pondering over her own ideas, with Mr. Fosbery's advice and warm sympathy.
In May, 1874, Mr. Fosbery having gained the interest of Mrs. Tait and Mrs. Harold Browne in the subject, the well-known gathering took place, at Lambeth, of Mrs. Townsend, Mrs. Tait, Mrs. Harold Browne, Mrs. Nassau Senior, and Mr. Fosbery himself. It was decided that the association should be called THE GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY, and that the Society should be started on January 1, 1875. Miss Hawksley, who was already working for girls in Brixton, saw the pamphlet, and wrote to Mrs. Townsend at the end of 1874, with the result that she consented to be Honorary Secretary to the Society. There was no publicity given to the scheme, no advertising: one after another of those who cared for the girl-life around them seemed to catch fire at the thought of this organised help, and to kindle others in their turn. The first list of Associates was printed in November, and names were almost daily added to it.
From the beginning the idea of the First Central Rule was carried out--i.e., that the organisation of the work should be diocesan, ruri-decanal, and parochial. In the earliest Associates' Lists the names of the Associates are given under the heading of their respective Dioceses. It is a matter of fact that at that time many of the ladies who [7/8] became Associates did not know, till they joined the Girls' Friendly Society, what Diocese they lived in. But though the word 'diocese' stands first, the work was organised upwards from the parish. Each Associate joined for work in her own parish, the Associates and Members of the parishes in a Rural Deanery being combined in one or more Branches, for the mutual help and strength given by organisation and fellowship in work. But it is in the work in each parish that the real strength of the Society must ever lie.
'To balance a large society . . . on general laws is a work of so great difficulty that no human genius, however comprehensive, is able by the mere dint of reason and reflection to affect it. The judgments of many must unite in the work; experience must guide their labour; time must bring it to perfection, and the feeling of inconveniences must correct the mistakes which they inevitably fall into in their first trials and experiments.'--DAVID HUME.
 SEVERAL Branches were ready to start when the Society began its existence as an organised body, on January 1, 1875. Mrs. Townsend herself worked unceasingly; every Branch was organised in direct communication with her, every copy of proposed Branch rules was submitted to her for her advice and sanction. For several years she never took so much as a week's holiday from G.F.S. correspondence, usually working from seven to eight hours a day. Everyone knows that Mrs. Townsend founded the Society, but it is not all who know how untiringly she laboured for its growth and organisation. I am sure it is owing to the fact that the whole of the Society's organisation was evolved line by line under the guidance of the one mind in which the germs first took form, that there is now such a oneness and cohesion between the different parts.
On December 2, 1875, the first Central meeting was held, by Mrs. Townsend's invitation, in Half-Moon Street. Mrs. Townsend was asked to take the name of President, and consented. She then proposed as Members of Council Lady Georgina Vernon, the Hon. Mrs. Yelverton (now Mrs. Fetherstonhaugh), Miss Selwyn of Sandwell, Miss Joanna Hill, Miss Oxenham, and Miss Agnes Money, and these were elected unanimously; she also told the meeting [11/12] that she held a letter from Mrs. Tait, conveying the promise of the Archbishop of Canterbury to be the Patron of the Girls' Friendly Society. The Council then elected did not meet until 1877. Up to that time it acted only by correspondence. Our opinion was first asked with regard to the Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Servants, which had been lately formed by Mrs. Nassau Senior, of the grand work done by which, from that time to the present, I need not speak here. It was at first hoped that we might be able in some way to affiliate the two Societies, but it was found wiser that we should work side by side, ladies who should belong to both Societies forming the connecting link. In 1875 we were asked to organise the Girls' Friendly Society also in Scotland, but a separate organisation was formed in October, which commenced work at the beginning of 1876.
During 1875 the St. Anne's Society was affiliated with the G.F.S. Mrs. Jerome Mercier consented to edit a magazine for the G.F.S., to be issued in 1876, and called Friendly Leaves. By the end of the year our Society numbered twenty-four Branches, with 1,000 Associates and 3,000 Members.
In 1876 Friendly Leaves was issued as a quarterly, with a Supplement for G.F.S. news. In the January Supplement advice was given on 'choosing a profession,' and among employments open to G.F.S. Members are mentioned mills, factories, teaching, sick-nursing, post-office and telegraph work, and various kinds of trade. In the same year an Associate wrote: 'Our Branch numbers now over 270 Members. The greater number are employed in factories, some in shops, some work at their own homes, while a small proportion--not more than fifty--are employed in domestic service.' This shows the spread of membership among all classes of girls in the second year of the Society's existence. In 1876 the work of [12/13] the Secretary became too much for any volunteer worker, and Miss Noyes was engaged as paid Secretary, living at first in the Brixton Lodge, which had been started by Miss Hawksley in 1874. This Lodge, the nucleus of the Rochester Diocesan G.F.S. Lodge, which has become such a centre of G.F.S. work and life and loving help to Members from all parts of England, was thus for a while the headquarters of the Society. Miss Hawksley herself, from this time, devoted all her energies to work among G.F.S. Members.
In 1877 a Central Lodge having been taken for the Society in Vauxhall Bridge Road, a Central Office was opened there. In April the Council met for the first time at Honington. There were present Mrs. Townsend, Miss Joanna Hill, Miss Agnes Money, and Miss Oxenham. At this Council the President made an appeal to be relieved from correspondence about Workhouse girls and Registry, which was the origin of these two Departments. Miss Oxenham undertook the Workhouse correspondence, under Miss Joanna Hill, and I myself undertook the Registry.
In June the first Branch Secretaries' meeting was held in London, and the first Diocesan meeting in Winchester. In October the Central Council again met, and the Hon. Lady Grey was elected a Member of Council.
The following day a meeting was held for the Branch Secretaries in the Dioceses of London and Rochester. The extension of the work in London was the subject uppermost in our minds during that year. Never, so far as we could learn, had any Society worked parochially in London, and the London ladies who corresponded with us on the subject said it was an impossibility. But we determined to stand by our First Central Rule, and, to organise the G.F.S. parochially in London as elsewhere, or not at all. A glance at the London Branches in the Associates' List will show how far [13/14] we succeeded. The following year very valuable help towards the work of organisation in London was obtained by the engagement of a lady as Central Organising Worker, to live at the Central Lodge, and devote herself entirely to this work.
In November, 1877, the first Branch of a Girls' Friendly Society was started in America, at Lowell, Massachusetts. The Irish G.F.S. was also started during this year.
The year 1878 was one of very rapid growth, bringing the need of organisation strongly forward. In May Friendly Leaves we read as follows: 'We should like to call attention to the wonderful progress made by the G.F.S. during the last four months. About sixty new Branches have been started, including such important places as Manchester, Leeds, Halifax, Coventry, Portsmouth, Aldershot, etc. There seems a special movement just now in the North; the Archbishop of York has consented to become Patron of the G.F.S.' This rapid growth was greatly owing, we believe, to Lord Brabazon, who about this time sent a copy of the G.F.S. pamphlet to all the parochial clergy. In this year the Members' Card and Guidebook were translated into Welsh for the use of the G.F.S. in the Welsh Dioceses.
And now, for two years, there came a period of immense pressure and strain. The Central Organisation of the Society was quite unprepared to cope with the work thus created, and the need for further help became increasingly apparent. Our First Central Rule had already laid down the principle that such organisation must be diocesan. The co-operation of Associates in the different Dioceses, who might be willing to help as Honorary Organising Secretaries, was invited. Very soon a most efficient band of Associates offered themselves, who were afterwards called 'Diocesan Referees.' These were among our best and most helpful [14/15] pioneer workers, and they became the nucleus of all the diocesan organisation that followed. Some of their names are still well known among us, such as Miss Brodie Hall, Mrs. Pigott, Miss Davies, Lady Vincent, and others. But, after all, these did but create more work at the Centre by increasing the spread of the Society in the Dioceses. There was no money to pay for more secretarial help to cope with it. On the President, also, had rested hitherto, besides the correspondence connected with the development of the Society, the whole weight of the management and organisation of its finances. Sir Talbot Baker had kindly acted as Treasurer from the commencement, and Lord Brabazon as Auditor, but by this time the accounts had become so complicated that it was impossible to continue without a proper system of book-keeping. Lord Brabazon and other gentlemen took the matter in hand, to the unspeakable relief of the President. A Finance Committee was appointed later on by the Council, on which these consented to serve, and to every member of which, from that time to the present, the Society owes a debt of untold gratitude. At the same time the Misses Oxenham placed all their time and powers at the disposal of the President for the work of the Society. But for their work through the next two years, there must have been a collapse of the machinery.
But there was one helper ever at hand through all the years, whose sympathy and approval were the strength and support of the Foundress, without which, indeed, this, her life-work, could never have been done. Mr. Townsend was from the first, as he still is, one of the Trustees of the G.F.S., and his interest in the organisation and growth of the Society was never failing.
About this time we began to find out that there were such things as 'rules of procedure,' which governed all meetings [15/16] held by men. We made inquiries among our gentlemen friends as to what these rules were. To our astonishment and utter perplexity, we found that no two people gave the same answer, and that these rules, though of untold antiquity, were unwritten and wholly traditional. We found that Parliamentary procedure was one thing, the procedure at meetings of a Mayor and Corporation another, that of Boards of Guardians different again, and so on. Never shall I forget the feeling of hopeless perplexity that weighed upon one at that time, while realising more from day to day the immense importance of these rules. Someone told us there were such beings as 'experts' at drafting rules, but we sought for them in vain. I really think we felt something like 'hunting the snark' just then.
But we learned our lesson in the end, as a glance at our By-laws will prove, receiving great help from the late Sir Reginald Palgrave, who had lately compiled a 'Handbook of Parliamentary Procedure.' We found that it was quite true that By-laws are the very safeguard of charity and justice, and that to lay down rules for ourselves, and to choose a leader to see that they are kept, is an invaluable training and discipline, which boys have hitherto had in their cricket clubs, and men in all their various organisations, but which, till the later years of the nineteenth century, was wholly lacking as a factor in a woman's education. If the reproach that we used so often to hear, of inevitable quarrelling at committees of ladies, no longer exists, I do believe it is partly owing to our labours in those days, and to our having captured the 'snark' of procedure at last.
Endless were the discussions over the best form of diocesan organisation, the first thought being only of a Diocesan Secretary, as carrying upwards the idea from the Branch Secretary, who is both head and hands in each [16/17] Branch. But by degrees it was seen that in the Dioceses there must be the separate head and hands, the Diocesan President, Diocesan Council, and Diocesan Secretary working together, and in the latter half of 1878 meetings were held for the election of Diocesan Presidents and Councils in the following Dioceses: Chichester, St. Albans, Carlisle, Worcester, Winchester, Rochester, London, Gloucester and Bristol, and Peterborough.
The lines that should govern the organisation of the G.F.S. in the Dioceses had already been laid down. A draft of a proposed Constitution for the G.F.S. had been brought before the Central Council, and also had been read to the Branch Secretaries at their Conference in June, 1878. At the meeting of the Council in October it was decided that the proposed Constitution, with some few amendments, should be tried for the year 1879. By this Constitution Branch organisation, as laid down from the beginning, was entirely untouched. Every Branch Secretary, as elected by and representing her Branch, was made an ex officio Member of the Diocesan Council, as every Diocesan President, as elected by and representing her Diocesan Council, was ex officio Member of the Central Council, thus completing the chain of representation throughout the Society.
In 1879 was held the first of those Festival Services in St. Paul's which have been such a source of joy and strength to us ever since. The first sermon was preached by Bishop Harold Browne, of Winchester, and in each of the years that have followed one of the Bishops of our Church has been found ready to give us wise and beautiful words of counsel and encouragement.
At the Branch Secretaries' Conference the same year, the President having broken down under the strain of work and anxiety, Mr. Townsend brought a message from her to the [17/18] meeting, expressing her fear lest the wonderful spread of the Society should prove too rapid for safety unless the Centre were strengthened in proportion, and her earnest desire herself to start a fund to provide, till the Centre were rich enough to do so, what was really the crying need of the Society, namely, a thoroughly competent Secretary of Council to assist in the Central work now becoming so overwhelming, and also to act as Travelling Secretary. This fund was started, and a collection also made through the Society by Miss Hawksley, who sent a month later the sum she had collected to Mrs. Townsend as a welcome and totally unexpected birthday present. The fund so raised enabled the President to procure for the Society the services of one who, after sixteen years of loyal, loving work, has left behind her an ideal which, though it may not easily be reached by others, yet cannot, surely, fail to help us all onwards and upwards. After a year's preliminary work, Miss Wright was finally appointed as 'Secretary at the head of the Central Office, under whose direction all other secretaries or clerks at the Central Office should act.'
Some time before this a fresh and unexpected difficulty had arisen. There had been from the first, in some minds, strong objections to Central Rule III as unchristian, and as likely to foster a pharisaical spirit in the Members. These objections seemed to be dying out, and it seemed to be very generally acknowledged that a national Society on any other basis would not be the least the same power for good, and could not create that public opinion which is such a safeguard to those classes in which it exists, and the absence of which, in too many communities of the working classes, has left their girls so much exposed to temptation. But now the difficulty arose in a fresh form, as the work of the G.F.S. took root in some of the large towns where the [18/19] standard of morality was at an exceptionally low ebb, or where constant changes of residence made the difficulty of knowing the past character of the girls very great.
I will not refer further to this part of our retrospect; it is a sad one, for it led to the sundering of friends and the hindering of work. But those who felt themselves called through the G.F.S. to a special work for Christ and for His Church in lifting high the standard of purity before the nation and before the world, and upholding the possibility of a pure Christian maidenhood in all classes and under all circumstances, felt that they must go on in spite of mistakes, in spite of misunderstandings, and at all costs, committing results to God. The work was, indeed, tried as by fire in those days, and but for the consciousness from day to day of a Guiding Presence with us, overruling our faults and our mistakes, we must have fainted and failed. Mrs. Townsend, who was abroad all through the winter of 1879-80, wrote to me: 'Every now and then one catches a glimpse, as it were, of the "other side," and one seems to realise that a band of weak women really are fighting one of the greatest battles the world has ever seen--the battle for the purity of womanhood, for the possibility of virtuous Christian maidenhood. God alone can give us strength; but He can save by the weak things of the world.'
Two special developments were the direct and fruitful outcome of those months of anxiety. First, the creation of the system of Candidates, so that the little ones might be watched over from their earliest years, brought up in pure and holy ways, and then passed on to Membership with no need of question as to their past. A second result of these difficulties was the admission of Members only in their own home parishes. This was never thought of till 1879, but was [19/20] at once recognised as most necessary and important, and was readily made a rule of the Constitution.
And now our troubles reached a climax. By some strange oversight, although from the first founding of the Society it had always been expressly stated that all diocesan organisation must be under the sanction and approval of the Bishop of the Diocese, this was not in the Constitution. At this time the Society was organised in eight Dioceses, and the Bishops, of whom twenty-five had sanctioned its working in their Dioceses, were taking a growing interest in it.
Towards the end of 1879 a circular was drawn up and signed by certain Members of Central and Diocesan Councils; and circulated throughout the Society, and also sent to each of the Archbishops and Bishops, calling attention to three points: (1) To the omission in the Constitution of the need of episcopal and clerical sanction; (2) to the fact that the opinion of the whole Society had not been taken upon the Constitution; (3) that the Council were not unanimous upon the Third Central Rule. The criticism on the first two points was very useful. The moment the attention of the President was called to the omission, she sent in a resolution for the Council Meeting in the following January, to insert in the Constitution a clause declaring the necessity of episcopal sanction. It was also decided to send a copy of the Constitution to all members of Central and Diocesan Councils, to all Branch Secretaries, and to the Finance Committee and Trustees, requesting them to consider the Draft, and to suggest such amendments as they might deem necessary, while the Branch Secretaries in unorganised Dioceses were asked to choose a Delegate to represent them at a Council meeting to be held for the consideration of the suggestions and amendments.
 The Hon. Lady Grey, our Vice-President, then, as always, beloved and valued by all who worked with her, was in almost daily correspondence with the President, who, as I have said, was abroad all that winter. Mrs. Harold Browne, the Marchioness of Hertford, Lady Selborne, Lady Knightley, the Lady Louisa Egerton, the Hon. Mrs. Maclagan, and Mrs. Walsham How, were among our best and wisest friends and counsellors. The Bishop of Winchester had from the first taken a deep interest in the work of the Society. A meeting of the Bishops of the two Provinces was about to be held at Lambeth, and after consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Harold Browne placed upon the agenda for the Bishops' meeting a motion to consider the Constitution and Central Rules of the G.F.S. There was now nothing more that we could do, except to arrange for the consideration by the Council and Delegates of the amendments to the Constitution, and to wait in faith and patience for the decision of the Bishops of our Church on our Central Rules. On February 6 the meeting of the Bishops took place, and on the 10th the Archbishop himself wrote to the President as follows:
'LAMBETH PALACE, S.E.,
'February 10, 1880.
'MY DEAR MADAM,
'At a meeting of the Bishops of both Provinces, held here a few days ago, full consideration was given to the position of the Girls' Friendly Society.
'The subject was introduced by the Bishop of Winchester, and its discussion by the Bishops present made it perfectly clear that the work done by the Society, and its general usefulness, are thoroughly appreciated by the Bishops and clergy of our Church.
'Every wish was expressed for its prosperity and advancement, and at the close of the discussion the resolution of which I subjoin a copy was passed.
'You are, no doubt, aware that the two rules to which allusion [21/22] is made in the resolution are those to which our special attention has been called.
'Believe me to remain, my dear madam,
'Yours very faithfully,
'A. C. CANTUAR. To Mrs. Townsend,
'President of the Girls' Friendly Society.
'Copy of resolution passed at a meeting of Bishops, held at Lambeth Palace, on Friday, February 6, 1880:
' "That, without expressing any opinion concerning the rules and regulations in general, the Archbishops and Bishops present are of opinion that it is essential that the Central Rules I and III should be preserved intact." '
And now we must return to the Constitution, to which amendments came pouring in from Branches, Dioceses, and Members of Council. It was decided that the Central Council (consisting of Diocesan Presidents and Elected Members of Council) should meet in May, and that on the following day it should resolve itself into a Committee, on which all the Delegates from unorganised Dioceses should sit, having an equal vote with the Council itself. The President returned to England in time for these meetings, which were held at the National Society's Rooms in Westminster, and were attended by twenty-six diocesan representatives, including Presidents, or their Deputies, and Delegates from Dioceses where the Society was not yet organised.
On the opening of the Committee it was explained that no amendment to the Three Central Rules could be admitted for discussion, as these had already received the consent of the whole Society, which precluded any alteration in them without an appeal to the whole of the Associates and Members. The Constitution was then taken clause by clause. Every amendment was brought forward by the Diocesan Presidents and other Representatives present, in alphabetical order of Dioceses, and voted upon. The Committee sat for the whole [22/23] day, on May 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and at the Central Lodge on the 11th. At the close the following resolution was passed:
'That the best thanks of the Delegates present be given to the President and Central Council of the Society for their kindness in inviting the Delegates to meet them to consider the diocesan amendments proposed on the draft Constitution, and for the great fairness with which the proceedings have been conducted.'
The President briefly responded, and proposed a cordial vote of thanks, on behalf of herself and the Central Council, to the Delegates for their attendance at the Conference, and unflagging attention to, and interest in, the proceedings. This was seconded by Lady Grey, and voted by acclamation.
By the Constitution thus passed, with minor modifications, we have worked ever since.
We must now give some account of the work of the Central Office, at the head of which, with its various Assistant Secretaries, Miss Lucy Olivia Wright was placed as Secretary to the Society in 1880.
While in most respects the G.F.S. was at this time becoming more and more decentralised, the work in the Dioceses being taken over by Diocesan Secretaries, the Central Library being distributed among Diocesan Libraries, the Central Lodge giving place to Diocesan Lodges, and so forth, it was found on the other hand to be increasingly needful to complete and strengthen the organisation of the work of the Central Office, as being the pivot of the whole, the axle round which the rest of the G.F.S. revolved, and in the strength of which lay one main source of its stability as a national Society.
It is in the Central Office that the regular meetings of the Central Council, of the Executive, Literature, and Finance and Reference Committees, as well as many incidental [23/24] Committee meetings, take place--for each of which meetings the agenda must first be prepared, typed, and sent out, and minutes of the meetings taken and entered in the different minute-books for reference. Through the hands of the Secretary passes, as may be supposed, an enormous correspondence, the letters being passed on to the various Assistant Secretaries according to the nature of their contents. It is almost one person's work to attend to the 'orders' that pour in daily for Members' Cards and Guidebooks, pamphlets, and other central publications, from Diocesan Secretaries and Associates. At the Central Office the Annual Report of Work and Progress and the Associates' List are drawn up, and on the Assistant Secretaries devolves the work of packing and despatching some thousands of the latter to the various names and addresses provided by the respective Diocesan Secretaries. The Society's magazines and other G.F.S. publications are sub-edited at the Central Office.
It must not be forgotten that the Central Office is one of the mediums by which the Home Society is kept in touch with the Girls' Friendly Societies in the Colonies, and all commendation of Members from the Colonies passes through this centre, particulars of each case being noted for reference.
Two of the Assistant Secretaries are now called 'Accountant' and 'Assistant Accountant,' and their whole time is devoted to the financial work of the Central Office. All the accounts are submitted regularly to the Committee of Finance and Reference, as well as audited yearly, and the Society's balance-sheet appears annually in the Associates' List.
It is impossible to express what the Society owes to the time and thought which have been bestowed on its financial arrangements by the Finance Committee, and more especially [24/25] by those who have successively occupied the post of Hon. Treasurer.
The theory of G.F.S. finance is briefly this: Every Member pays 1s. a year to her Associate (in quarterly payments); in October each Associate sends these payments to the Secretary of the Branch, who retains one-half for the Branch Fund, and forwards the remainder (at the rate of 6d. a year for each Member) to the Diocesan Secretary, who in her turn remits it, in December, to the Central Office, where the sum so received from the whole Society forms the income for the ensuing year.
A small percentage on Branch Funds (exclusive of Members' payments) is claimed from the Branches for the Diocesan Funds, but the Centre receives only what was asked for when the G.F.S. was first formed, viz., 6d. a year per Member, and with this, a few Central Associates' subscriptions and about £50 in donations, the whole of the Central work is done.
Between the years 1880 and 1888 a Reserve Fund of £1,000 was accumulated by sums annually set aside for that purpose by the Central Council from the Central Fund, on the advice of the Finance Committee. The interest of this sum was for some years devoted to the expenses of the Central Home of Rest at Sunninghill. Since the closing of the Home, the Central Council has decided to form with it an Organising Workers' Fund, from which grants are given to the Dioceses.
The present application of the Central Fund is as follows: First, the payment of all necessary expenses of the working of the Central Office--rent, salaries, printing, etc. The remainder is then divided among the Dioceses and Departments, the amount received by each Diocese being in proportion to the number of its Members.
 In 1904 the Members' payments received at the Central Office amounted to £3,535 19s. 9d. Of this sum £837 3s. 4d. was returned to the Dioceses, and £292 7s. 9d. was distributed among the Departments.
But the pennies of the Members are transformed not only into material gold, but, what is far better, into showers of blessing: help for those who need, change and refreshment for the wearied, succour in sickness, aid in convalescence--everything, in fact, that can be included in the word 'friendship.' These results have been worked out by the willingness of Members, the loving care of Associates, the untiring diligence of Branch Secretaries, Diocesan Secretaries and Treasurers, and, finally, by the faithful devotion of the workers at the Central Office. Blessing has come to givers and receivers alike; for G.F.S. help is mutual help, and often those who seem to receive do in reality give, and the givers are the largest receivers.
The Royal Sanction
'We bless Thee that Thou hast heard, through sorrow and through joy, our prayer that She should always possess the hearts of Her people.
'And humbly we beseech Thee that overmastering both sinful passion and selfish interest, and being protected from temptations and delivered from all evil, the unnumbered peoples of Her heritage may serve Thee, bearing one another’s burdens, and advancing continually in Thy perfect Law of Liberty.'
From 'A Form of Thanksgiving and Prayer,' used in Westminster Abbey, on the occasion of Her Majesty's Jubilee, June 21, 1887.
 IN the autumn of 1880 the Girls' Friendly Society received its crowning glory in the consent of our beloved Queen to put Herself at our head as our Patron.
In February, 1881, the Hon. Mrs. Maclagan wrote to Mrs. Townsend:
'I have to tell you what I think will please and interest everyone. I wrote to my cousin at Osborne a short account of the enthusiasm with which the Queen's gracious kindness had been received by Members and Associates. I also enclosed your letter to Friendly Leaves, and one or two cuttings about the Brixton Festival and others in which Her Majesty was mentioned. And I said I wished She could know how much happiness She had caused. My cousin sent my letter to the Queen, with all the enclosures, and She sent him word that She had been extremely interested, and begged to be allowed to keep all the papers. I hope you will agree with me that this is very gratifying, and shows our dear Queen takes more than a passing interest in our Society.
Yours very sincerely,
In 1887, the year of our Queen's Jubilee, the following address was presented to Her Majesty from the G.F.S.:
ADDRESS TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN, PATRON OF THE GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY, FROM ASSOCIATES AND MEMBERS OF THAT SOCIETY.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
'We, Associates and Members of the Girls' Friendly Society, now numbering 134,658, the largest Society consisting [29/30] of women only which has the honour of Your Majesty's name as Patron, trust that we may, on the occasion of Your Majesty's Jubilee, give expression to our loyalty to the throne and the love with which we regard a Sovereign who has for fifty years interested herself in every measure intended for her people's good.
'The Women's Jubilee offering testifies to the loyalty of women's hearts throughout the kingdom, and we heartily concur in this token of affection and reverence for our Queen, Who has, in addition to the cares inseparable from the throne of a great nation, which came upon Her in early girlhood, experienced as daughter, wife, mother, and widow the domestic joys and sorrows of a woman's life.
'We would also, as a National Society, whose object is the cultivation of virtues essential to the happiness of every home, express our special gratitude for the exemplification of those virtues which has been given in Your Majesty's own life.
'May every blessing attend Your Majesty, and may we whose names are attached to this address be governed in our several stations by the principle which has governed our Sovereign--the principle of duty.
'We have the honour to sign ourselves,
'Your Majesty's humble and obedient servants.'
The Address itself was beautifully written and illuminated on a sheet of vellum paper, and this, with the 120,000 names of Associates and Members (who had all signed their names on sheets sent to all the Branches) formed a handsome album-like volume, which was bound in white vellum and gold.
In addition to the names of our English Central Council, we were authorised to give those of the Presidents in other parts of Her Majesty's dominions, so that the volume represents in some degree the extent of our Society. The names were as follows: Those of the Presidents of the G.F.S. in Scotland and Ireland; in Canada, Montreal, Manitoba, and Newfoundland; in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania; in New Zealand and Lahore; besides that of the President of the G.F.S. in the United States of America, which works in sisterly connection with ourselves.
The following gracious message was received from the Queen in acknowledgment of the Address:
July 21, 1887.
'I have had the honour to lay before the Queen the loyal and dutiful Address of the Girls' Friendly Society on the occasion of Her Majesty attaining the fiftieth year of Her reign, and I have to inform you that Her Majesty was pleased to receive the same most graciously, and to command me to signify Her Majesty's entire sympathy for the objects of this admirable Association, and Her best wishes for its extension and prosperity.
I have the honour to be, Madam,
Your Ladyship's obedient servant,
The President of the G.F.S. Central Council for 1887.'
At the Branch Secretaries' Conference in 1896, through the kindness of Mrs. Maclagan, to whom the grateful thanks of the Society must ever be due, we had the great pleasure of hearing a copy of the following additional letter, which she had written to the Queen on our behalf:
June 10, 1896.
'In 1880 I was deputed by the Central Council of the G.F.S. to entreat Your Majesty to become our Patroness. Your Majesty's gracious consent caused an outburst of love and loyalty among our Members, with an addition to our numbers in the following year of 10,000, the largest increase that has ever taken place in any one year. A Retrospect of the Society during the twenty-one years of its existence is to be printed this month for our annual gathering on June 26, and I have been asked to furnish a copy of the letter that I wrote. I have, of course, answered that I cannot do this without Your Majesty's permission. In venturing to ask for this additional mark of Your Majesty's goodwill, may I presume so far as to entreat permission to dedicate to Your Majesty a History of the G.F.S., which [31/32] will be written in the course of this year by Miss Agnes Money, one of our original Associates? The blessing of God has manifestly rested on the work of the Society in raising the tone of womanhood, and we now number about 270,000 in Your Majesty's dominions.
'I am, with the deepest respect,
'Your Majesty's devoted servant and subject,
In answer to this letter Mrs. Maclagan received a most gracious message, giving the Queen's ready consent to both requests.
In 1897, the year of the Diamond Jubilee of our beloved Queen, the Album (the photographed facsimile of which is so well known throughout the Society) was presented to Her Majesty at Windsor Castle by the President and Vice-Presidents of the G.F.S. This was accompanied by an embroidered purse containing the sum of £1,100 in banknotes, a voluntary offering from Associates and Members in England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, India, the Colonies, and America. The following Address to the Queen was read by the President (the Hon. Mrs. Campion), and Her Majesty graciously expressed herself much pleased:
'TO OUR EMPRESS, QUEEN, AND PATRON.
'We, the undersigned, members of the Central Council of the Girls' Friendly Society, venture to offer to Your Majesty, on the auspicious occasion of Your Diamond Jubilee, this album, designed and embroidered by our Invalid Members, and containing a slight sketch of the various departments of our work, the letterpress being engrossed and illuminated by our Associates and Members. We represent more than a quarter of a million of Your Majesty's female subjects of all ranks and classes in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and the Colonies, and we feel sure that we yield to none in devoted loyalty and in personal affection to Your Majesty as our Head and Chief Patron. The United States of America, affiliated to us by treaty, have asked to join in this gift; and the money, voluntarily subscribed, is offered with the hope that Your Majesty [32/33] will be graciously pleased to add it to the Fund for Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute for Nurses. As a Society our chief aim has been to promote that high standard of womanhood which has always been so dear to Your Majesty's heart, and great has been the help and encouragement we have received from Your Majesty's sanction, support, and personal interest. We fervently pray that God's Blessing may be continued to Your Majesty's Family and Realm, and we are, with the deepest respect, Your Majesty's faithful and devoted servants and subjects.'
(Signed by the President, Vice-Presidents, and all the Members of the Central Council.)
The Hon. Mrs. Maclagan presented the album, which the Queen examined attentively, admiring the beauty of the illuminated pages and the embroidered and linen covers.
The Hon. Victoria Grosvenor then presented the purse, for which Her Majesty expressed Her thanks to all who had joined in the gift. With Her Majesty's gracious permission the money (£1,100) was given to the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses.
In 1901 the Society sustained the irreparable loss of the death of its first and most beloved Patron, Queen Victoria. A cross of white flowers, five feet high, was at once sent to Osborne, on behalf of the G.F.S. (This was afterwards placed with all the rest at Windsor.) On it was a card with the inscription: 'A Tribute to their August Patron Her Majesty Queen Victoria, from the Girls' Friendly Society. Offered in dutiful, grateful, and sorrowing Love.'
The Scotch G.F.S. sent a cross of white flowers of Iona shape, the encircling crown of dark Parma violets.
The G.F.S. in Ireland sent a wreath of white flowers, six feet in diameter.
A telegram was received at this time by our President from the G.F.S. in America with the words: 'Deepest sympathy, international sorrow.' This was followed by a [33/34] letter and an illuminated parchment, on which the following words were beautifully inscribed:
'At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Girls' Friendly Society in America, held in the City of Philadelphia, U.S.A., January 25, 1901, the following resolution was unanimously authorised: "Whereas it has pleased our Heavenly Father to remove from the exalted position she had so long and so worthily occupied, Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, Who having finished her course in peace, doth now rest from Her labours, and whereas, throughout Her long life the Queen has realised in word, deed, and thought the high ideal of purity, faithfulness, and devotion to duty inculcated by the Girls' Friendly Society, and by Her example raised the standard for women, not only in Her own dominions but in all lands; therefore be it resolved that in the name of the Girls' Friendly Society in America, we, the undersigned Members of the Executive Committee, G. F. S. A., convey to our parent organisation, the Girls' Friendly Society in England, the heartfelt appreciation of the beauty of the noble life just brought to a close, and the deep sense of personal loss and sorrow in the death of One so loved and honoured. The lessons of purity, love, and high purpose taught by Her life will be an everlasting heritage to all women."'
(Signed by the President, Vice-Presidents, etc.)
The following address was sent to the King and Queen in February, 1901:
'TO THEIR MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTIES KING EDWARD VII.
AND QUEEN ALEXANDRA.
'MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTIES,
'We, the undersigned, on behalf of the Central Council of the Girls' Friendly Society, desire to offer to Your Majesties our heartfelt sympathy on the death of our late most beloved and revered Queen, Your august Mother, for twenty years Patron of the Girls' Friendly Society. As representing 240,000 women and girls in England and Wales, as well as a large number throughout the British Empire, pledged to uphold the dignity and purity of womanhood, we desire to record our deep sorrow for the loss of Her Who has been taken from our head, and our great thankfulness for the glorious example always set before us by Her.
'We venture respectfully and dutifully to congratulate Your [34/35] Majesties on the high position which You have been called upon to fill, and heartily pray that God may bless You in all Your efforts for the good of Your people.'
(This was signed by the President of Central Council and by all the Vice-Presidents.)
A gracious acknowledgment was received on behalf of the King.
At its meeting in March, 1901, the Central Council passed a resolution:
'That Her Majesty, Queen Alexandra, be approached with a request that She would graciously consent to become Patron of the Girls' Friendly Society.'
The following gracious answer was received to this request by the President of the Central Council:
'Madam, I have submitted your letter and petition on behalf of your Central Council to the Queen. I am commanded by Her Majesty to inform you that it will give the Queen great pleasure to continue the patronage to the Society.
'I have the honour to be, Madam,
'Your obedient servant,
In April, 1902, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales graciously consented to become Vice-Patroness of the Girls' Friendly Society.
Growth in the Nineteenth Century
'Every society of Christian men and women founded for the truer communion with each other and the Lord is a mansion of His Father's home prepared for Him by Him. Such a mansion is the Girls' Friendly Society, a place where lives that have been helped may help others and gain new help by doing so, where the strength of the strengthened may be thrown into the common stock, where the gifts are increased by use and the hearts of the multitude abide with each other and the Lord in ever-growing faith and hope and charity.'
From a sermon preached at the G. F. S. Anniversary Service in 1892 by the Bishop of Truro (Gott).
 BEFORE entering upon the chronicle of the Society's history down to the end of the nineteenth century, we must take a glance at the year 1882, which saw the completion of its diocesan organisation, every Diocese (with one exception) having its Diocesan President and Council elected and ready for work, the Diocesan Presidents themselves forming the Central Council, with the addition of fifteen elected Members.
There were now nine different Departments, representing, both on Central and Diocesan Councils, nine different phases of work, an Elected Member of Council being at the head of each, the Branches carrying out, each in its smaller circle, and according to its circumstances, the different works represented by the Departments, through the Branch Departmental Representatives.
At the close of the year Mrs. Townsend gave up the office of President of the Central Council, and undertook the Department for Members in Professions and Business, and to this, with the editorship of the Society's magazines, she devoted all her energies for the next five years. She was succeeded as President by the Hon. Lady Grey, who, with Miss Wright as Secretary and ever-ready helper, set herself during the seven years of her presidency to consolidate and [39/49] deepen, by a wise restraint, the work which the marvellous growth of the previous years had developed.
From this period, except for a few leading events, and for the legislation of the Central Council on matters affecting the whole Society, the onward history of the G.F.S. is mainly comprised in that of the Dioceses and of the various Departments. Only the principal matters of central interest in the years that follow will be touched upon here. The inner history, the influence for good or ill of belonging to such an Association as this, who can chronicle?
In 1885 Miss Bowlby, till then Secretary to the Birmingham R.D. Branch, was appointed Deputation Secretary, a post held by her for twelve years. Full of keen sympathy alike with girl-life in all classes, or with hard-worked Associates, full of enthusiasm for the ideal of the Society, and of practical common-sense as to the best means of reaching after it, Miss Bowlby possessed the true eloquence of head and heart. Giving on an average over 200 addresses in the year to Members, to their parents, to Associates, or to employers, still each one came fresh from a never-failing spring of faith in the work that the Society is doing for the womanhood of England.
At the close of 1889 Lady Grey resigned the presidency of the Central Council, the seven years during which she had held that position having only endeared her the more to the Society, for which she had worked so faithfully from its first beginnings.
In 1890 Mrs. Townsend once again became President, and held the post till January, 1893, when Mrs. Benson, who had been one of the Vice-Presidents during the last three years, took her place. In addition to the value of her position as wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mrs. Benson's admirable judgment and width of view on all matters referred to [40/41] her, and the wisdom of her guidance at the Central Council, made her presidency a time of wise and useful legislation.
The year 1896 will always be remembered as one of great sorrow and loss to the Society. The health of the beloved Secretary, Miss Wright, had for some time caused anxiety to her friends, and an effort was made, seconded by the Council and by all who valued her, to get her a more thorough change and cessation from work than she had ever had before. Mr. and Mrs. Townsend had taken a villa at Bordighera for the winter, and invited Miss Wright to spend some weeks with them there. She seemed to improve rapidly in the sunshine and pure air, and spent a happy month of keen enjoyment. But at the end of that time she became increasingly weak and ill. On March 26 God called her suddenly, as it seemed to us, to Himself, and after only twelve hours of actual suffering her brave, bright spirit had passed into her Saviour's keeping. In the beautiful garden-cemetery at Bordighera, on one of the terraces facing eastward, her body rests till the dawn of the Resurrection morning. It seemed a remarkable ordering that she should thus have ended the career which she began sixteen years before, associated with Mrs. Townsend, in the work of the Society that held so much of her heart's devotion. 'I love the G.F.S.,' she said only a few weeks before her death. She cared for its principles as the underlying value of its manifold operations and the justification of its necessary machinery.
A marble cross was placed on the grave at Bordighera with the following inscription:
'To the beloved memory of Lucy Olivia Wright, Born November 3rd, 1845, Entered into rest March 26th, 1896. "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord" (St. John xx, 20). Erected by the Central Council of the Girls' Friendly Society, of which she was Secretary for sixteen years.'
 The following words from one of those who knew her best will be read with interest: 'It was during the years 1880 and 1881, when we worked together as President and Secretary, that I first learnt to know Miss Wright's value both as worker and friend. Her receptive intelligence and retentive memory, and, above all, her remarkable conscientiousness and devotion to duty, made her exactly suitable for the post she filled. She learnt to keep in motion what others created, and to hold the balance true when controversies or difficulties arose in the Society. At first she was able to go about occasionally to give addresses and inaugurate fresh enterprises, but it was soon found that her strength would not stand the wear and tear of outside work, and that her stronghold was her office. To welcome all, to listen to all, to solve problems, to sympathise with the trials of workers, to encourage the faint-hearted, to receive confidences while betraying none, to interpret people to each other in the best way, to inspire others to go forward while keeping herself in the background--this was her true sphere of personal work as a woman, in addition to her official functions as a Secretary, and right nobly she bore the double burden, though it was often beyond her strength, especially during the last years of her life.'
Meantime the year 1896 was notable not only for loss, but for gain. The new President (Hon. Mrs. Campion), who had been for some years Vice-President of Central Council and Diocesan President for Chichester, had been elected to fill a post always arduous, but specially so at this time, when the Secretary's illness and death threw upon her the double burden of the Central Office correspondence as well as her own.
With Miss Bowlby's appointment as Secretary the President was relieved of a great deal of correspondence, and [42/43] during Mrs. Campion's presidency the Literature, C.W.O., and Industrial Departments were provided with special Secretaries to carry out the ever-growing work of those Departments. The sense of our responsibility as a Society to the Central Office Staff led Mrs. Campion to bring forward the existing pension scheme, which was accepted by the Central Council.
In 1896 was formed the Colonial Committee, which has been of great service in bringing the G.F.S. at home into touch with the G.F.S. abroad; and in 1897 Mrs. Campion obtained the sanction of Council for the proposal, which originated with the President of the G.F.S. in South Australia, of a Day of Intercession for the work of the G.F.S. in all countries where the Society exists.
It was the President who suggested to the Central Council that Incumbents of parishes should be ex officio patrons of the Society in their respective parishes. She also carried through Council the recommendation that Matrons of Homes of Rest, Lodges, and Training Homes should be members of the Church of England. To her was due the formation of the Organising Workers' Fund, the Sunning-hill Memorial Fund, and the Central Organising Workers' Scheme which has proved of great value.
This retrospect of the Society's working down to the end of the nineteenth century would, however, be incomplete without some reference to the development of the Departmental organisation, which has always secured its many-sidedness and the possibility of utilising the special gifts of workers, though it has naturally been a subject of criticism with many who do not love machinery, and are quick to raise the cry of over-organisation.
But as, in forming a character, it is better to run the chance of some mistakes, and even of some faults, rather [43/44] than to try and cramp it into some narrow groove, lowering its vitality and trammelling its freedom of energy and action, so it was better in forming a Society such as ours to organise it on the lines of breadth and many-sidedness; better to risk attempting too much than to have been content with too little; better and healthier to enlist the support of minds devoted to special subjects and various lines of thought--the religious and the social, the ideal and the practical, the intellectual and the homely--so that as a national Society it might appeal to, and take hold of, the interests of many and divers kinds of people, becoming more and more, as time goes on, inclusive instead of exclusive, capable of expansion, and receptive of fresh life.
And as the G.F.S. was never a small Society that became enlarged (as some seem to imagine), but one that grew large from a small seed, as the acorn becomes an oak, so the idea of this division of labour seems to have found its germ even in the first pencil sketch to which we have already referred, the work of the following Departments being even then marked out in it, namely, Industrial Training, Workhouses and Orphanages, Registry and Sick Members; while in the pamphlet issued November, 1874, are added two more, namely, Lodges and Literature.
How these Departments grew and expanded into what gradually became the familiar titles of Members in Business, Members in Mills and Factories, Members in Service, C.W.O., Registry, Domestic Economy and Industrial Training, Literature, Lodges and Lodgings, Sick Members and Homes of Rest, will be seen by a glance at the Calendar at the end of this book. In 1886 a new and very important Department was created for 'G.F.S. Members emigrating,' under the care of the Hon. Mrs. Joyce, who has held it ever since; and ten years later, in 1896, the youngest Department [44/45] (in every sense of the word) came into being, when the Central Council decided to create a Department for Candidates, of which Mrs. Townsend was elected the first Head.
It will be observed that at the beginning of the twentieth century the number of Departments still stood at nine, in spite of the recent additions, those for Professions and Business, Factories, and Service, having been fused into one 'Members' Department' (with Correspondents for the different sections) at its re-organisation in 1898. With this reorganisation the way has been gradually cleared for the solution of the great problem--viz., the position of Elder Members in the G.F.S., and the share which they can take in its work--which for years had occupied the attention of the Society.
In 1890 Mrs. Townsend brought the matter before the Branch Secretaries' Conference as President, and in 1896 contributed a paper on the same subject to the G.F.S. Diocesan Conference at Carlisle, dwelling especially on the need of carrying out the word 'parochial' in the First Central Rule, and concluding with these words:--
'One thing, however, seems plain: No parochial organisation of the G.F.S. can really be effective unless Members of all classes are asked to join. Members who live at home and have some leisure are essential to this development. We want the squire's and the clergyman's daughters in each parish to lead the way, first as Candidates, and then as Members, thus bringing us nearer to what I feel is the true ideal of the Society--that every Member shall have been a Candidate, and every Associate shall have been a Member.' In this paper Mrs. Townsend quoted the following words from a letter written to her in 1894 by Bishop Westcott: 'The G.F.S. has a vigorous and useful life in Durham. I was able to attend the last Annual Meeting, which was most encouraging. [45/46] I ventured then to express a wish that some of the old Members might be admitted to share in the councils of the Society on an equal footing. My experience has made me feel that in all Church work--nay, in all work--the simple cordial meeting together of representatives of all classes is full of blessing.' These words are treasured as an encouragement from one of the Church's greatest thinkers to the forward movement which will end in giving our Members their true place amongst us.
In the year 1897 the Central Council sanctioned the organization of a band of Branch Workers, and these still continue their useful help, but the admission of Members as Branch Representatives of Departments, and the gradual increase of Members' Committees, engaged as they are in the practical work of the Society, whether helping their Associates in their own Branches, or establishing links with Branches in the Colonies and India, will no doubt lead to the scope of Members' work and their position in the Society being settled by themselves. Over and over again the cry is raised in the Society that our work is languishing for lack of workers. But, as Mrs. Townsend pointed out in the year 1900 at a large meeting of Colonial workers in London, 'how can there be any failure of workers when we have got 150,000 Members to draw upon? I am perfectly certain,' she continued, in words which are every day coming true, 'that if we could only get out of the groove of always talking of our Members as simply trying to "look after" them--which is a thing which does not approve itself to the young people of the present age--and if we could try and interest them in looking after somebody else, we should raise such enthusiasm for our Society that we might almost do any amount of work by means of it.
'But, then, we must put before them the ideal we are [46/47] striving for; we must try to get them to make it their ideal--the ideal of a pure and brave womanhood, humble also; not setting themselves or setting ourselves up in any way, but just putting before them what they may do to raise that standard and that ideal, not only in England, but all over the British Empire. We must be content, I think, to let them share our work. We must use those words of the poet in another sense--"not what we give, but what we share"; we must let them give as well as ourselves, and we must not commit the great sin of holding them back from self-sacrifice and self-devotion. If we do that, I am perfectly certain that out of the large body of Members that we have gathered together, if we give them a true leadership, and give them fellowship instead of patronage, we shall never want for workers in the Girls' Friendly Society.'
One word in conclusion. We have spoken of the motive underlying all the work of our Society as the upholding of purity, but surely it is something higher still. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.' It is because the sin we are specially banded to combat is ravaging the fold of Christ, and keeping His children away from Him, blinding their eyes to His perfect beauty, and bringing them back into the bondage of sin and Satan, that we think it no lost time that lives should be devoted to this work. May not we 'who are associated in God's name for this service,' Associates and Members alike, look on ourselves as one portion of the great army of Christ, humbly seeking the spread of His kingdom? Shall we not guard ourselves and our Members against resting in any lower motive, any lower aim, than the bringing ourselves and them to the feet of Him Who died for us, Whose we are, and Whom alone we desire to serve?
The Work on the Continent.
'These are three of our principles--to protest against selfishness, to witness for purity, and to testify to the unity of all the members of the one body of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
From a sermon preached in Truro Cathedral, at the G.F.S. Anniversary Service, November 27, 1885, by the Bishop of the Diocese (Wilkinson).
 IN pursuit of the fundamental principle of the Society of providing the privileges of the Society for its Members wherever they may be, the organisation of the Society was necessarily extended to the Continent. Associates found that Members went to foreign schools, conservatoires, or ateliers, to study music, painting, and sculpture, etc.; also that they took engagements as resident governesses and daily teachers in foreign families, and as stenographers, clerks, and secretaries in various houses of business in the great Continental cities.
In the early days of the G.F.S. the work that was done by the Society on the Continent was in connection with the Dioceses of London and Gibraltar, though there was no regular organisation. In 1878 the Bishop of Gibraltar addressed a letter to the Chaplains of the Diocese, explaining to them its purpose, and asking them to give it their support. Associates were appointed in that year at Rome, Cannes, Nice, Genoa, and Marseilles, under the direction of the Chaplains of those places. In 1881 there were twenty-one Working Associates, Mentone, Florence, and Algiers being added, and in 1882 Malta and Turin joined. In 1883 Lady Mary Wood, who had been appointed G.F.S. Foreign [51/52] Correspondent for 1882, became President for the English communities abroad, and in that year a Branch was started at Gibraltar, which was worked by Mrs. Lyttelton, and by the Hon. Mrs. Fremantle (now Lady Fremantle) during her three years' residence on the Rock. The Branch at Lisbon was also formed about the same time, and bore good fruit under Mrs. Pope, wife of the Rev. Canon G. Pope. At Malta the Branch was started in 1885 under Mrs. Hardy, wife of the Chaplain. Besides these Branches, in 1886 there were Working Associates at Bordighera and Constantinople; Milan and Naples were added in 1887-88, just before the division of the foreign work took place. In 1886 Miss Meek became Honorary Secretary to Lady Mary Wood, President of the Council.
In 1888 Lady Mary Wood resigned her post, and, as it was considered that the work could scarcely be done adequately by one President (as it extended over the whole of Europe, and personal visitation was felt to be requisite for its full success), it was decided that the work of the Society in Northern and Central Europe should be entrusted to Lady Vincent, and that Mrs. Sandford, wife of the Bishop of Gibraltar, should undertake as President the supervision of the work in the Diocese of Gibraltar.
In 1889 additional Diocesan Working Associates were appointed at Marseilles, Nice, Mentone, San Remo, Genoa and Turin; at Algiers Lady Playfair became Associate, and Oporto was connected with the Lisbon Branch. All these places were visited that year by Mrs. Sandford on the visitation tour of the Bishop of Gibraltar. At Gibraltar the Branch had languished since the departure of its first promoters. When Lady Nicholson held a meeting at Government House to start the G.F.S. afresh, no one came forward to assist in the work except Miss Hepper, who [52/53] has now for several years proved very helpful in receiving Commended Members.
A Branch, started under Mrs. Ford's auspices at Hughesofka, near the Sea of Azof, in 1892, which had proved a great success in uniting the girls of the English colony, was the means of the formation of a Sunday-school in a place where the visits of the Chaplain were rare. In 1897 Mrs. Sandford was obliged to report the Branch as 'in abeyance,' and fruitless efforts have since been made to find Associates to carry on the work.
In Malta also there is now only a Diocesan Associate for Commended Members.
Miss Meek continued as Honorary Diocesan Secretary until 1900, when she was succeeded by Miss MacMichael, retaining, however, the posts of Treasurer and Head of the Registry Department.
The following year brought the Society in the Diocese face to face with a great loss through the death of its first President, Mrs. Sandford. As the Bishop's wife she had unusual opportunities for pressing forward the real objects and the practical use of the G.F.S., and new efforts, new interests, followed on her footsteps as she travelled through the different countries of Southern Europe and North Africa. Whilst she recognised to the full the difficulties of the work amidst the shifting English populations, she believed that it might be done, and that it was well worth the doing. She was followed in the onerous post of President by the Hon. Alice Hubbard, under whose care a steady growth in the number of places having Associates or Referees has been maintained.
Among the last Branches formed under the personal supervision of Mrs. Sandford were Palermo and Smyrna. It is surely more than a coincidence that they should be [53/54] flourishing in numbers and in the steady work done by Associates and Members. Both are seaports with a resident English population; both are capable of attracting, through their valuable Secretaries and Associates, the leisured girls of the congregations into Membership. In Bournabat (Smyrna) a large Candidates' Class has been in existence since 1899, the children having made clothes for the poor little ones of their village. A new Associate hopes to continue this good work, and to enlist the sympathy of these young Candidates for their Society.
It is interesting to note that of all the 'Seven Churches of Asia,' Smyrna is the only one that flourishes now, and has continued from Apostolic times. A town which still preserves the tomb of its Martyr-Bishop Polycarp, the friend of St. John, and is within an easy journey from Ephesus, has an interest peculiar to itself, apart from the beauty of the hills and sea and its mild winter climate.
The Branches have now increased to fifteen, as follows:
Lisbon, Florence, Cannes, Marseilles, Constantinople, Odessa, Trieste, Bordighera, Bucharest, San Remo, Smyrna, Palermo, Madrid, Milan, and Malta.
The G.F.S. is also represented by a Diocesan Working Associate in various places on the Riviera, Italy, Greece, Roumania, Hungary, and Algiers, so that, besides the fifteen Branches, there are Working Associates in nineteen places, and in twelve there is a Referee in case of need.
A Literature Department was started as far back as 1889. Applications were made to the S.P.C.K. and R.T.S. for grants, which met with a liberal response, and in 1890 boxes of books were sent to Lisbon, Gibraltar, and Malta. Books were sent in following years to Odessa, Trieste, and Bucharest, [54/55] to Smyrna, and Kieff, and again to Malta and Lisbon, and other places. These form Lending Libraries for the G.F.S. Branches, and it is arranged that when the books have been read in one Branch they should be sent on to another.
A Sick and General Emergency Department was started in 1890, with a small grant from the Diocesan Fund. Much has been done to encourage the adoption of invalid Members in England by our Branches abroad. Adoptions have been carried out by Odessa, Constantinople, Trieste, Cannes, and Bucharest, while contributions of work are sent by all the above-named Branches to G.F.S. objects at home.
Invalid Members in home Branches have been helped by Odessa and Palermo, and Cannes has given a month's hospitality to a Member from North and Central Europe. Bordighera works every winter for a South London parish.
In several isolated places of the Diocese where an English colony exists our Society has proved of real and increasing value, and the Members themselves learn to appreciate the help and protection which it affords.
In all chief places Homes and lodgings of good reputation and known character, where Members can be received and safely lodged, are recommended to the notice of Associates. The names of these are always inserted in the Annual Report; they are also given in the small list of Foreign Associates, which is printed and carefully revised each year, and contains all necessary information respecting the G.F.S. Continental work.
Those who have personal knowledge of this work feel strongly the importance of admitting to membership in England girls who intend to take up a professional career, as well as those with leisure. Too often a student or teacher goes abroad not knowing that the G.F.S. is meant to embrace [55/56] all classes. She first of all misses the help which it might give, and then perhaps joins abroad with the sole object of claiming its benefits. She is likely to prove a poor sort of Member, who expects to get all and to give nothing; moreover, she has little, if any, knowledge of the Society as a union of women and girls for a high and holy object, but only as a widespread organisation for the protection of individuals.
There are now in the Diocese of Gibraltar 87 Working and 61 Honorary Associates, 102 Members, and 16 Candidates.
Northern and Central Europe.
The first extension of the G.F.S. on the Continent was made, as we have seen, in 1881, when Lady Mary Wood was appointed by the Central Council as Foreign Correspondent. To her energy was owing the first establishment of Branches in Paris and Boulogne in 1882, and of the first Paris Lodge in 1884. The British Institute in Brussels was affiliated to the Society in 1886.
On Lady Mary Wood's resignation in 1888 Lady Vincent was elected as President of a Diocesan Council for Northern and Central Europe, while Mrs. Sandford became President of the Gibraltar Diocesan Council. Lady Vincent at once issued a circular letter to all the English Chaplains and Consuls in Northern and Central Europe, which include the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. There were then 87 permanent English Chaplaincies in Northern and Central Europe, but their number is now increased to 102. The G.F.S. is now represented in 80 out of these 102 permanent Chaplaincies. In the cities of Paris, Lille, Lyons, Frankfort, Antwerp, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw, there are [56/57] large and active Branches now numbering 75 Working Associates, 75 Honorary Associates, 209 Home Members, 269 Commended Members, and 79 Branch Friendly Helpers. In 71 of the other Chaplaincies there are Diocesan Associates, Working and Honorary, and Diocesan Friendly Helpers, and in many other districts we have Referees (foreign ladies, or Englishwomen married to foreigners), who allow us to inquire of them as required on behalf of any one of our Members. The Thread-and-Needle Guild, for the benefit of foreign Lodges, was started in 1887. In 1890 Friendly Helpers' and Subscribers' Cards were issued, and a German translation of the Rules and Objects of the G.F.S. was published. In 1891 the Diocesan Office with a Registry and Inquiry Office was opened in London, and Diocesan Friendly Helpers were enrolled, gentlemen being eligible for this office.
A G.F.S. Member may now travel from Paris to Odessa, or from Biarritz to St. Petersburg, and be safe in the care of the G.F.S. all the way, being met by the Associates at all the large halting-places; or, if starting from England, will be met on the boat at any of the ports, and lodged at the Homes in Paris, Vienna, Brussels, or Berlin, if requiring to break her journey.
The Paris Branch is by far the most important centre of our work on the Continent, and the Lodge, which was founded on a very small scale in 1884, has been removed four times to larger premises, till in 1902 the present Lodge in 50, Avenue d'Iena was opened by Sir Edmund and Lady Monson, who have been very active and generous Patrons of the Branch during the whole of their residence at the British Embassy. In this valuable help they followed in the footsteps of Lord and Lady Lytton and Lord and Lady Dufferin. Lady Dufferin acted as Branch Secretary and [57/58] President of the Lodge Committee for five years, her two daughters working with her, one as an Associate, the other as a Member. During these years the Branch developed greatly, the majority of the Members being students, teachers, typists, or clerks.
The Paris Lodge is in a thoroughly central position. The salons are open on Sundays as club-rooms for the use of Members in Paris, many of whom avail themselves gratefully of this advantage, feeling that after the six days' life of a stranger in a foreign land it is like a return to home surroundings to find the bright, pleasant rooms filled with the friendly English faces and voices of Associates and fellow-Members. Each Member may bring a girl friend, and thus many a lonely life is brought to the notice of the Associates, and the circle of friendship is spread more and more widely.
Valuable work is done in providing extra meals at the Lodge for any outside Members who are working near enough to get their food there instead of in public restaurants, where the noise and bad air and crowded accommodation afford little rest for the girl who has been teaching or working in a shop all the morning. Of these extra meals 3,139 have been taken at the Lodge in 1904, and the heartiest appreciation of the opportunity is expressed by the Members.
The Sunday teas in the Lodge are provided by the hospitality of various subscribers of 10s for a Sunday, the names of the hosts and hostesses being announced each Sunday. Various groups in England have subscribed together to give a tea. The English employees of a hat factory in Compiegne gave one tea in this way last year.
The work of the Foreign Lodges Department in providing board and lodging for Members needing it in any of the foreign cities is carried on in Berlin, Brussels, Vienna, and [58/59] St. Petersburg by means of homes maintained by local committees under the leading English residents. Towards the support of these homes the G.F.S. Foreign Lodges Fund makes grants, and in each of them the Members can receive a free Sunday tea as in the Paris Lodge. The Warsaw Lodge and Club-room was opened in 1904 on a small scale as a beginning, and is much appreciated by the numerous young governess Members teaching in Russian families. The St. Petersburg Branch has also a Club-room much used by forty or fifty Members on Sundays and one evening a week.
The work of the Department for Sick Members is, if possible, more important on the Continent than elsewhere. If a girl who is living in a room alone, and supporting herself by daily lessons, or going out to the conservatoires studying, etc., falls ill, she is at once entirely helpless, and, if she has no friends, may lie there unheeded. To a girl in this position illness is an overwhelming disaster, and the very idea of it causes many sleepless nights to anxious young governesses and students. For a G.F.S. Member, however, the case is different. A postcard to her Associate brings a sympathetic visitor, to whom the discovery of money difficulties only means an application to the Associate for Sick Members, by whom a grant is at once given. When the convalescent stage is reached, change of air is arranged for, and thus the friendship of the Society lightens an otherwise heart-breaking burden. To give one instance: A young English governess, a G.F.S. Member in Paris, fell into bad health, and the doctor feared rapid consumption unless she could have perfect rest and change. Her Associate wrote to the Biarritz Branch Secretary, with the result that a free invitation was sent to the Member by the Associates of Biarritz to spend some weeks there in the Nurses' Home. [59/60] Her travelling expenses were paid by the Paris Branch, and in the end she was entirely restored to health and vigour. In her own words, 'It is my life I owe to the G.F.S.'
Successful efforts have been made each summer for several years to arrange or provide for holiday visits for the daily governess and other tired Members, many of whom are left without employment in the hot months in Paris, when their employers leave for the country. This year a Home of Rest has been opened in St. Germain, and grants of money to considerable amounts have been made to consumptive Members, enabling them to cease work and to undergo cures which have entirely restored them to health, also for expensive operations necessary to save life and quite beyond the means of the Members.
The work of adoption of invalid Members has lately made good progress, seven fresh cases having been arranged in fifteen months; and there are now three invalids who have been adopted by the Paris Members, and one in each of the following towns: Calais, Chantilly, Frankfort, Gothenburg, Lille, Warsaw; while at Karlsruhe an invalid has been adopted by a group of Members in England.
In the Registry and Inquiry Office 4,774 inquiries have been received and answered in the last ten years. The work of this office in supplying true statements as to the openings and the work required in them by the employers is of enormous value, and constantly decides the Members not to go abroad at all. This year (1905) Lady Vincent was asked by the London County Council to give evidence on the question of Licensing Registries before the Special Committee of the House of Commons appointed to consider the various new powers to be granted to the L.C.C. The Bill which has been passed will much benefit our Members. The Society of 'Les Amies de la Jeune Fille' works cordially [60/61] with us in foreign centres, and is most helpful in our inquiry work.
For several years Lady Vincent has addressed public meetings in Paris at the British Embassy, giving information on the working and progress of the Girls Friendly Society all over the world. She has also addressed similar meetings in Biarritz, Lille, Rouen, Calais, Boulogne, The Hague, Brussels, Bruges, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfort, Lausanne, Geneva, Dieppe, Bordeaux, Arcachon, Malaunay, Chantilly, Compiegne, Lyons, St. Jean de Luz, and Croix.
The Work in India and Ceylon
'Let us recognize that the God to whom the ages belong, from whom all holy desires and good counsels proceed, is revealing to this century the great thought of the power and influence that is to be exercised by women. It is one of the greatest facts of the age.'--THE BISHOP OF TRURO (WILKINSON).
'In all the world there is no grander task to-day than that which lies open before Christian women in India.'--BISHOP MONTGOMERY.
 THE work of the Girls' Friendly Society in India has as yet been started in very few places in that enormous country. The need could nowhere be greater, but the difficulties are so great that we might fear they would prove insuperable, if we did not believe that ours was a true work for Christ and for His Church, and therefore we may trust that we shall be enabled to overcome by prayer and faith and earnest striving.
One of the greatest difficulties in the work is the lack of continuity in the workers, the English in India not being a settled population, but scattered here and there and constantly moving either from place to place in India, or to and from England, most Europeans going up to stations in the mountains for six months of every year, and many being obliged to return to England for their health, after a very few years of life in India. The English communities consist almost entirely of clergy and missionaries, of the regiments of our army, of judges, lawyers, and magistrates, of English communities that are springing up along the rapidly spreading lines of railroad. There are a certain number of houses of business in the principal cities of India; and there are plantations of tea and coffee, and mines in different parts. These all bring small settlements of Europeans, and their number is on the increase in many parts of India. Of course, there are wives and [65/66] daughters among all these, but until the last few years there were scarcely any schools for English girls; the children were all sent home to England to be educated. Now, however, there are very good High Schools in many of the hill stations in India, and we hope to have many Candidates among the students. Surely our Society might be a help to many of these girls, who often live in places where there are but few Church privileges, and where the temptations to a life of mere ease and pleasure must be very great. May not the G.F.S. be here, as elsewhere, a true handmaid of the Church, making a link with higher things, forming a nucleus for some definite Church work, lifting up the standard of truth and purity, and showing how the brightness and joyfulness of youth may be consecrated to the service of the Lord Jesus by bringing the blessing of sympathy and fellowship into the lives of others?
But besides the English girls in India, we wish to bring the Society before the Eurasians, who live there always, and do not move about continually as the English do. These are the children of marriages in times past between Europeans and natives, such marriages being much less frequent now than they used to be, the Eurasians intermarrying almost entirely among themselves, and numbering now in some districts many thousands. Our Government classes them as Europeans; they are Christians; they dress like ourselves, and their daughters go to the High Schools with our English girls. They have the greatest love for England and for all that belongs to it, and will speak of England as 'home,' though they have never seen it, and know that they can never expect to do so. The Eurasian girls are many of them clerks in postal and telegraph offices, teachers, and nurses, while many live at home. We are rejoiced to welcome these girls to our Society, which is for girls of the English [66/67] Empire everywhere; and we hope to draw them into our band, first as Candidates, and so help to train them from childhood in pure and holy ways. Only a few, as yet, of the native Christian girls have joined the Society, but in process of time we hope they, too, will join us in increasing numbers.
The G.F.S. was started in the Diocese of Lahore in 1885. The first Diocesan President was Miss Matthew, sister of the Bishop of the Diocese. After the Bishop's death Miss Matthew became still better known and loved as 'Deaconess Alice.' She has done indefatigable work for the Society as Diocesan Secretary, and also Secretary for the Cathedral Branch in Lahore and for the Simla Branch. It has been owing to the fact of the work being undertaken in connection with the Diocesan Deaconesses that its continuity has been obtainable in this Diocese as in no other.
In 1887 the Society was started in Calcutta Diocese. At this time it was a separate Society, as in the Colonies, linked with the Mother Society by treaties with the different Dioceses. In 1902 it was decided by our Central Council that as India was not a colony, but much more closely linked with England and governed from England, the G.F.S. in India might form an integral part of our own Society, governed by the same Constitution, sending representatives to the Central Council, and claiming all possible help from us in the organisation and development of the work. A Committee of Council was appointed to further the work in India and Ceylon, of which Mrs. Townsend was Vice-chairwoman. At the end of the year, on her resignation, Miss Agnes Money was appointed to this office.
In 1903 the Central Council sent out one of its own Members (and one of our best workers), Miss Kathleen Townend, to travel about India for six months, studying the conditions of life there, taking counsel with the Bishops and [67/68] Clergy, and with the Deaconesses, Sisters, and other Church workers, and addressing meetings of girls and mothers, and of any who were willing to be interested in the work. Miss Townend visited the Dioceses of Bombay, Lahore, Lucknow, Calcutta, and Nagpur. The first result was the extension of the G.F.S. into the Diocese of Bombay, where a Branch was formed at Byculla in connection with the School for Girls of the Bombay Education Society.
In Lahore Diocese there was a considerable extension of Diocesan organisation. Mrs. Finney succeeded Lady Young as Diocesan President, and Head-Deaconess Katherine Beynon became Vice-President. Visits were paid by Miss Townend to the Cathedral City, where already two Branches were working, and where the Society was introduced into the Cathedral High School for Girls and the Cathedral Orphanage, which now has a Branch of its own. The High School at Murree was also visited, and a Branch started there. In response to an appeal from the Bishop of the Diocese, when preaching at our Festival Service in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1904, for help towards starting a Home of Rest in this hill station, the sum of over £120 was collected in the G.F.S. in England for this purpose.
The Lawrence Asylum at Sanowar (one of the Schools for Soldiers' Children founded by Sir Henry Lawrence), which had a Branch of its own, was visited. A visit from Miss Townend was also much welcomed at Delhi, where she found a very flourishing Branch. The work there received the keen sympathy of the Head of the Cambridge Mission, and with his approval some four or five Christian native girls had been admitted as Members. At Cawnpore, in Lucknow Diocese, for several years the G.F.S. in England has supported its own Medical Missionary and it was during Miss Townend's visit to this city that Dr. Alice Marval, at that [68/69] time the G.F.S. Missionary, lost her life, owing to her indefatigable labours among the plague-stricken natives.
At Allahabad the Head Mistress of the High School was deeply interested, and it is hoped that before long a Branch will be started there.
At Calcutta fresh interest in the G.F.S. was excited by Miss Townend's visit, but from this, as from all the other Dioceses, comes an earnest appeal for permanent workers, without whom no lasting results can be hoped for.
Miss Townend also visited Colombo and Ceylon, where she was received with great enthusiasm, and a strong diocesan organisation was formed, and several Branches were started. The whole work here has shown hopeful signs of healthy and permanent development. The Bishop and Mrs. Copleston (G.F.S. Diocesan President) from the very first showed the keenest interest in the work, and helped it forward by their sympathy and co-operation.
Ceylon does not form part of India (being a Crown Colony), but the conditions there with regard to the English communities are so much the same as those in India, while its Diocese of Colombo forms parts of the same Province as the Indian Dioceses, that it has been agreed that the G.F.S. in Ceylon may be on the same footing with the G.F.S. in India.
In Rangoon Diocese (Burmah) the Society was first started in 1887, and four Branches were formed. For a time Mrs. Strachan, wife of the Bishop, was President. A Home of Rest at Maymyo was started, which is still flourishing (1905). The arrival of Miss Knight with her brother, who became Bishop in 1903, gave fresh impetus to the work, in which the Bishop also takes the very deepest interest.
In answer to an urgent appeal from the Bishop, Miss Margaret Clark volunteered to go out, and is now in Rangoon as G.F.S. Church worker.
 The following are the closing words of a paper read by Miss Townend at the Branch Secretaries' Conference in 1904, shortly after her return from India:
'Shall our Society, being what it is, fail to attract helpers in the glorious work of winning India for Christ; by doing its part in uplifting the tone of life amongst those who profess and call themselves Christians; in welding together those whom differences of race so often keep apart?
'There was a day when I stood on the summit of Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra, and looking across the shimmering plain, down upon which the noonday sun was beating, to where it was enclosed as by a silver line by the waters of the Jumna, I saw rising against the cloudless blue of the horizon a great dome of billowy pure whiteness. It was almost with a catch in one's breath that one cried, "The Taj!" as there dawned upon one's sight the first vision of that dream-like structure of ineffable beauty. There it rose, a monument to love--love that through the anguish of death could conceive a thing so beautiful to commemorate its loved one. The tomb of the mighty-souled man that was beneath my feet was in its own grandeur a fit emblem of the power with which, because of his wisdom and tolerance, Akbar swayed the Indian Empire of his day, and welded into one the diverse elements of alien race and creed. We are told how, in a dream, he saw the lofty fane built up, which, open to the heavens, was one where Power, and Love, and Justice came to dwell. Then how he watched those that followed him "loosen stone from stone all his fair work"; but as he groaned over the destruction of all his great ideals, "from out the sunset poured an alien race, who fitted stone to stone again, and Truth, Peace, Love, and Justice came and dwelt therein."
In that great work which England to-day is doing for [70/71] her Indian Empire, I have proud hopes that our G.F.S. may play its part, helping to break down racial distinctions, binding together Anglo-Indian, Eurasian, and Christian native with its cord of love and sympathy and prayer, making them realise that they are "all one in Christ Jesus."
With a love stronger than death we have seen one of our number lay down her life this year for India, and ere that heroic figure fades away among the memories of the past, may it be manifest that the power of love and service for India still lives on in differing forms, but ever in the same spirit of devotion. And as the courts of a mightier Fane than that of which Akbar dreamt, or his successor reared to the memory of his beloved, extends more widely north, and south, and east, and west, shall there not be found within it room for this work for women by women? for, after all, is not our G.F.S. a section of that greater and fairer Temple, the Church of Christ, "whose Builder and Maker is God"?'
'Young womanhood is a gift God has given us, young lives, young souls to guide and to bless, and we can stir up and keep alive in them all lovely things which will brighten home life, wifehood, and motherhood. Our organisation is a quiet one: it begins with prayer and devoutness; it has common-sense and a knowledge of needs. The older womanhood is a torch-bearer to those in the shadows, and stands on the stairs to give light to them to ascend. We must shape our lives so that others may follow them.'
From an Address given at a G.F.S. Conference held at Montreal in May, 1896, in connection with the annual meeting of the National Council of Women, by Mrs. Lowe Dickinson, President of the Council.
The Girls' Friendly Society in Scotland.
 IT was in the first year of the Society's existence in England that the earliest information respecting it was sent to Scotland by the present Archbishop of Canterbury. His sister, Miss Davidson (now Mrs. Charles Elliot), and Miss Dundas (now Mrs. Balfour Melville), adapted and organised the scheme for Scotland, with the advice and assistance of Dr. Sandford, afterwards Bishop of Tasmania, and the first Associates and Members in Scotland began to be enrolled in October, 1875.
In 1878 Lord and Lady Brabazon afforded the same valuable help to the Society in Scotland as they had been doing in England, and gave quite a fresh impetus to its work by touching it with their own enthusiasm. In the beginning of 1879 the Countess-Dowager of Aberdeen became President of the Society, and held that office until her death in 1900, when she was succeeded by the Lady Georgina Home Drummond, and many of the original Members of Council are still in office, as well as the General Secretary and Treasurer, Miss Macleod, daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod, who commenced her valued work for the Society as early as 1880.
In the year 1882 Her Majesty the Queen consented to [75/76] become Patron of the Scotch Society, and Queen Alexandra now holds the same office.
In 1886 a Treaty was signed with the parent Society based on the Third Central Rule. The Scotch monogram is the same in form as that of the parent Society, but the motto chosen is a different one. The first rule differs from that of the Society in England and elsewhere, for the population in Scotland being mainly Presbyterian, it could never have become a national Society had there been any Church restriction.
The organisation of the Society in Scotland has developed gradually, according to the needs, and with the benefit of the example and experience and co-operation of the parent Society. It is worked by Divisions, instead of Dioceses as in England, and the various Branches were many years ago grouped into seven of these Divisions, having as their centres Aberdeen, Dumfries, Duns, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Perth. Each Division sends two representatives--for town and country Branches respectively--to the Central Council. This arrangement still holds good, but with a further development of subdivisions for purposes of local organisation. The cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow also have their special representatives on the Council, and the same privilege has recently been extended to Paisley and to the large Vale of Leven Branch.
In the early days of the Society classes and meetings of one kind or another formed a part of the organised work of almost every Branch. Not only were there the Bible-classes and work parties for various benevolent or missionary objects, which still continue to be important features of the S.G.F.S., but instruction was also provided in many secular subjects, by means of lectures on literature, on health, nursing, domestic economy, etc., and practical lessons in [76/77] part-singing, ambulance work, in sewing and dress-making, etc. Indeed, in many districts girls owed their initiation into several useful domestic arts to their S.G.F.S. membership. But as classes of this kind are now much more common everywhere than was formerly the case, they are no longer so distinctive a feature of the Society; and perhaps its chief work is carried on through the bond that exists between Associate and Member.
A special feature of the Society is the Benevolent Fund, which was originated in 1880, and has steadily increased, being supported by voluntary contributions, collections at Church services, festivals, and sales of work.
Striking proof of the friendly spirit which animates our Members is given by the generous response they make to every appeal for this Fund for the benefit of their poorer sisters. Any Associate can apply to the Treasurer for assistance for Members in illness or poverty. Outfits are provided for friendless girls starting in service, and sojourns at Homes of Rest are arranged for delicate girls. The last balance-sheet (issued in October, 1904) showed an expenditure of some £200 in these ways.
This Fund represents the mission work of the Society for poor and friendless girls, and many and touching are the proofs of gratitude and affection which it has called forth from those whom it has aided, and who in their turn have sent subscriptions to it when improved circumstances have enabled them to do so. The following message was pinned to a pair of stockings of her own knitting sent by a Member: 'For some barefooted lassie, from one who has known what it is to have to go barefooted.'
A Home of Rest was opened at Alva in 1901 as a memorial to the late President, the Dowager Countess of Aberdeen. So hearty was the response to the appeal for subscriptions, [77/78] that the Home was at once purchased and opened free of debt. Mrs. MacArthur, who had for long acted as S.G.F.S. Bible-woman in Edinburgh, was installed as Matron. The number of inmates who are annually received from all parts of Scotland shows how much the Home is appreciated. Indeed, so great is the demand for admittance, especially during the summer months, that a new wing is now being added to the home, which will make it capable of accommodating twenty-five girls at one time.
Friendly Helpers are also a distinctive feature of the S.G.F.S. They are of every class, and give very valuable help of different kinds, working under the Associates. Elder Members' work is becoming more and more defined and organised. In some Branches Committees of Members are found of great assistance.
Members are allowed to remain Honorary Members after they marry, their subscription being retained for the Branch and not sent in to the Central Fund.
Temperance work is encouraged, and carried on energetically in many Branches. Candidates' Classes are becoming increasingly general.
Two monthly magazines are issued. The Associates' Paper is devoted to accounts of Conferences, notes of addresses, minutes of Council, and all official notices, besides being open to correspondence from Associates. The Home Friend, which is the Members' paper, has serial stories and articles on subjects of historical and general interest, besides a variety of G.F.S. news and notices.
There are Lodges at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Paisley, and Perth, as well as a small one at Crieff, open to boarders in the summer months only. The Edinburgh Lodge, in a central position of the town, includes also the central offices of the Society. As it was acquired during the [78/79] sixtieth year of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, it was called, with her gracious consent, the Royal Victoria Lodge. As sufficient funds were not at the time available to complete the purchase and also fit it for the purposes of a lodge, a sum of £1,500 had to be borrowed over the building. In December, 1903, an appeal was issued by the President to the various divisional representatives urging that a united effort should be made to pay off this debt, and within a year the greater part of the required sum was raised. The Glasgow, Perth, and Paisley Lodges are also the property of the Society, the last-named having been built by her friends as a memorial to the late Mrs. A. Coats, an energetic Member of Council, and for many years one of the leaders of S.G.F.S. work in the West of Scotland. The Boarding-house, which is quite distinct from the annexe, or educational department, contains accommodation for twenty-four boarders. The annexe contains two large classrooms (one accommodating 50, the other 100), which are the centre of the work of the flourishing Paisley Branches.
The present Aberdeen Lodge has an interesting history. For many years a small Lodge existed, and a subscription list had been started in the Division with a view to obtaining larger and more convenient premises, when the Trustees of a Fund bequeathed for 'good works in Aberdeen' stepped in, and offered the use, rent free, of a suitable building purchased and equipped for the purpose,--no mean tribute to the estimation in which the S.G.F.S. is held in the northern city.
In addition to the Lodges, there should be mentioned the beautiful Institute at Alexandria, built by Mr. Ewing Gilmour, and opened in 1891 for the use of the Members of the Vale of Leven Branch (numbering over 1,000) employed in his Turkey-red dye works. The edifice is a very handsome [79/80] one, the architecture being most artistic, and the decorations inside in perfect taste. The accommodation is most complete, including a hall capable of holding 500 people. An acre and a half of ground is set apart as a playground. A Matron lives in the Institute, instructs the girls in sewing, washing, cooking, etc., and visits sick Members. In winter various classes are carried on, and the attendances are most satisfactory. A library of several thousand volumes is also greatly appreciated. A Home of Rest, built by Mr. Ewing Gilmour in memory of his daughter, has also been opened for the benefit of the Members of the Branch.
During the last few years efforts have been made to insure the better fulfilment of the G.F.S. pledge to provide its Members with a friend wherever they may go, by securing individual Associates in those outlying districts where for any reason the Society has not yet obtained a footing. These Associates are attached either to the nearest Branch geographically or to the Divisional Branch. They are, moreover, enlisted for the definite purpose of receiving commended Members, without entering into any obligation to extend the work by enrolling new Members. The full development of this ideal will not be attained until a G.F.S. representative to befriend Members is secured in every parish in Scotland.
According to the latest returns (for 1904), the S.G.F.S. numbers 158 Branches, with 16,974 Members, 1,837 Working and 491 Honorary Associates, 750 Friendly Helpers, 3,240 Candidates, and 1,933 Married Members--a total of 25,225.
The Girls' Friendly Society in Ireland.
The G.F.S. in Ireland was started two years later than the Society in England, and has grown from small beginnings, in face of many difficulties, into a strong and living [80/81] organisation. As in the sister Society of Scotland, the religious aspect of the work has always been kept well in view, and its roots have been deeply laid in faith and prayer. Can we wonder that success has attended its growth, and that it has become already a goodly tree, quietly spreading its sheltering branches year by year, till we hope in time it will cover the land?
The first meeting of the Central Council was held, February 22, 1877, in the Royal Marine Hotel, Bray. There was but a small attendance--four ladies and two gentlemen, namely, Viscountess Powerscourt (presiding), Viscountess Monck, Hon. Mrs. Greene, and Mrs. La Touche, the Rev. J. G. Scott and Rev. J. A. Cross, who acted as Honorary Secretary pro tem. At this meeting Associates were enrolled, one of these being the late Mrs. C. F. Alexander, the sweet hymn-writer of the Irish Church.
The Council did not meet again till the October following, when the Dowager Countess of Meath was elected President of the Central Council. Lord Brabazon was present on the occasion, and gave valuable information with respect to the work in England. The Secretary was instructed to write and inquire what could be done to secure intercommunion with the English Society. Anyone following the story of the growth of the G.F.S. in Ireland will observe how it has endeavoured all through to follow loyally in the steps of those who planned the parent Society.
Five years went by without any increase in the very small number of ladies attending the Central Council; sometimes only three would appear in answer to the summons of the Secretary. Still, much earnest work was carried on in spite of such small attendances.
The year 1880 found the Irish G.F.S. still without a Central Office, and at the February Council Meeting some [81/82] Members of Council were authorised to look out for a house suitable for a Central Lodge for girls in business. It may raise a smile now to know that the title of 'Lodge' rather frightened some good people at first, who associated the name with secret societies and the like!
However, the Central Lodge, Dublin, became an accomplished fact, and has ever since been a centre for the G.F.S. in Ireland. Amongst other works carried on at this Lodge is the gathering together of the 'girl workers.' These are young ladies who help the Society in many ways, such as visiting the sick, working for emigrants and missionary objects, painting texts, helping to decorate the Lodge, taking charge of the Flower Mission, giving lessons in music, writing to the deaf and dumb, etc. They are warmly attached to the G.F.S. and many have been stirred up by this work for others to lead more unselfish and useful lives themselves. Some have become valuable Working Associates, for which this training has well prepared them. This interesting work, which was for some time carried on under Mrs. Grove Benson, is now continued by Miss Angel Brooke.
Up to 1882 there had been no regular official Secretary, but that year opened brightly with the appointment of the present beloved and valued Secretary, Miss Hyndman, in whose hands the Society has prospered continually up to this time.
In the same year the Council sanctioned Temperance work in connection with the G.F.S., and, nine years later, followed the Central Society in adding temperance to its objects.
In 1884 Her Gracious Majesty the Queen consented to be the Patron of the Irish G.F.S., and sent a donation of £50 to the Funds; but her consent was not given without first [82/83] making careful inquiries into the manner of working the Society in Ireland.
The consent of the Princess of Wales to become Vice-Patron of the Society in Ireland cheered all hearts in the year 1887. But, alas! Sorrow was in store in the death of Miss La Touche, first President of the Dublin Diocesan Council and Honorary Secretary of the G.F.S. Lodge, in which she took a deep interest. The last time she was able to be out she was present at the monthly evening meeting at the Lodge. No illness had warned her that her death was near; yet surely she must have heard, even then, the rustling of the angel's wings bringing her the Master's last message, for she told the girls present that she should not see them again on earth, and prayed earnestly with them that not one should be wanting in the day when she and they would meet in the home above. After bidding them 'Good-bye,' and speaking a special word to each one, she drove home, was taken ill in the night, and after one month of pain and weakness, cheerfully borne, 'passed to where, beyond these voices, there is peace.' As a memorial of her, the Lodge was considerably enlarged, and was named 'The La Touche Lodge.'
All this time the Society was being started all over Ireland, the end of the century closing with its organisation in the two remaining Dioceses, Limerick and Cashel. In 1884 was commenced the series of Conferences which, beginning as they do with service in St. Patrick's Cathedral, form such a valuable meeting-place for workers. The address at the anniversary service in 1890 was given by the late Bishop Westcott. These Conferences have nearly always been addressed by English Associates, such as Mrs. Awdry, Hon. Victoria Grosvenor, Mrs. Wilson Lloyd, Mrs. Chaloner Chute, Miss Kathleen Townend, and others. A great impetus [83/84] was also given to the work of the Society by the Deputation Tour of Miss Hawksley.
In 1890 a Home of Rest was opened at Warrenpoint, co. Down, which is now established at Rostrevor. [* This Home was opened in 1901 by the President, Lady Holmpatrick, and the Bishops of Down and Ossory. It is called 'The Queen Victoria Home of Rest.']
In 1891 the Society received with the deepest regret the resignation of their beloved President and Foundress, the Dowager Countess of Meath, who, however, continued an Honorary Life Member of Council until the year 1898, when she entered into rest.
It is interesting to record the participation of the Irish G.F.S. in the Jubilee gift of 1897 to Queen Victoria, not only by a contribution of £86 to the fund raised, but also by the touching fact that an invalid Irish Member had the honour of working the outer case for the Jubilee Album. In 1899 the Society was again able to testify its loyalty, when an address of welcome was presented to its Royal Patron on the occasion of Her Majesty's visit to Ireland, the brightness of this happy event being, alas! too soon shadowed by the loss which fell on all the wide dominions of the great Queen in the following year.
A word must be said here respecting the work of the Irish G.F.S. for Foreign Missions--certainly one of its most remarkable features. There are now four G.F.S. 'own missionaries,' as they are called: Miss S. H. M. Townsend, in Ceylon, under the C.M.S.; Miss Bird, in Uganda, supported by the Diocese of Meath; Miss E. M. Moore, at Chota Nagpur; and Miss E. M. Poole, who, after medical training at Rochester, goes out as the second G.F.S. missionary at Chota Nagpur, under the Dublin University Mission in connection with the S.P.G.
 There are Members as well as Associates working in the foreign mission-field, and a Member is a Medical missionary in Kashmir, though not supported by the Society. Various Branches support their own Bible-women, Orphan and Station schools in China and India, and many sales and working parties, some by Candidates, are held for home and foreign work in various parishes.
The Irish Society can show a prosperous record in these opening years of the twentieth century. Queen Alexandra is its Patron, and graciously received the address of welcome presented to her on the occasion of her visit to Ireland with the King in 1903. In the following year new Central Offices were taken by the Council at 11, Molesworth Street, which, besides a Council-chamber, have rooms for the Central Registry and for the large and valuable Central Library.
The La Touche Lodge was also moved from South Frederick Street, and established at 28, Merrion Square, the best situation in Dublin, with increased accommodation for Members and Associates.
According to the last returns the numbers are as follows Branches, 190, containing 519 parishes; Members, 9,708; Candidates 3,068; Friendly Helpers, 583; Working Associates, 1,412; Honorary Associates, 827.
The Irish people are supposed to have a genius for association, and a proof of this, we think, is given by the position attained for the Girls' Friendly Society in the Emerald Isle.
The Girls' Friendly Society in America.
It was in the year 1882 that the scheme for binding together the Girls' Friendly Societies in different parts of the world by a mutual agreement was worked out in England, to be submitted for approval to the various centres where the [85/86] work had already been started in distant lands. One of the first to take advantage of this agreement was the G.F.S. in America, and, in 1882, a request having been received by the Central Council in England, it was proposed and carried:
'That the Council do grant the use of the Central monogram to the American G.F.S., that Society being ready to subscribe to the Treaty with the parent Society adopted by the Central Council in November, 1882.'
The American G.F.S. Treaty was signed May 8, 1883.
The following account of the Society in America is gathered from the able leaflet put forth by the President of the G.F.S.A. in Advent-tide, 1890, on the organisation and purpose of the G.F.S. in America:
'About the time that the G.F.S. was started in England Churchwomen in America were looking about for some scheme to meet the need for the elevation of girlhood and womanhood which could be made feasible for differing conditions and creeds, and, at the same time, through its workers, have an organic connection with the Church. The eyes of some earnest women in Massachusetts and Maryland, quite unknown each to the other, were drawn to the newly-organised English Society in 1877 by the arrival from time to time of girls seasonably heralded by letter to clergy or Churchwomen, and also by articles in the Monthly Packet, an English magazine. After careful investigation, within a few months of each other, with the consent of the English Society, the Branches of St. Anne's Church, Lowell, Massachusetts, and St. Luke's Church, Baltimore, Maryland, were formed. It was a seemingly accidental circumstance, the commending of a Member going back to England, which made the Lowell Branch known to the leaders of the work in England. They wrote cordially at once, and urged the [86/87] establishment of a General Society in America similar to that in England.
'The scheme commended itself to our Church workers in its objects and motto, its Three Central Rules, especially the third, in the link which brought into contact in parishes Associates and Members in a friendly relationship, in its feature of protecting Members on their removal from one locality to another, and insuring for them a friendly greeting in the new sphere, and, finally, because it seemed desirable to connect the Society in the two countries on account of the commended work in emigration.
'Up to this time the Massachusetts Diocesan Council (Miss Edson, President; Mrs. A. E. Johnson, Secretary), which was formed as soon as there were three Branches, had acted as Central in re printing Cards, Guides, etc., starting Branches, and carrying on communication outside as well as inside the Diocese.'
Miss Edson, in a letter to Mrs. Townsend, May 28, 1879, wrote thus:
'As you know, we did not begin with a Central Council, President, etc., but only with our local Society. We grew from a slip, as it were, not from a root. Then the difficulty arose how to develop into an expansive organisation. . . . The only way which occurred to me was to reverse the order in which you grew, and to form as soon as possible the Diocesan Association. . . . As soon as we had three Branches in Massachusetts we met in Boston and organised. . . . Whether we shall eventually attempt to meet and elect a Central Council with a President of the G.F.S.A. time will show.'
Time--that is, a period of seven years--did show, for at the annual meeting of the G.F.S.A. in 1886 a Constitution of eight articles was adopted, and the Central Council was formed: Miss Edson, General President; Mrs. A. Evan Johnson, General Secretary; Rev. A. Evan Johnson, Chaplain.
 'The organisation of the G.F.S.A. comprises a Central Council, Diocesan Councils, Branches, Associates, and Members, each incomplete without the other, the parts combined forming the completed body.
'The Central Council consists of a President, four or more Vice-Presidents, a Chaplain, a Secretary, and Treasurer, all Diocesan Presidents and Secretaries, or their Deputies, one Representative from each Diocese having no diocesan organisation, together with fifteen Elected Members from the Society at large.
'Diocesan Councils consist of a President, Vice-Presidents (if desired), a Secretary and Treasurer, and all Branch Secretaries in the Diocese, together with not more than fifteen Elected Members.
Branches consist of a Branch Secretary, Working and Honorary Associates, and Members.
'The legislation of the G.F.S.A. is in accordance with the spirit of our national conditions. The Three Central Rules, a few uniform business regulations, the Associates' Cards, and Cards and Guides of Members, keep us in conformity with Societies of the same name all over the world.
We have sought and obtained permission to use the Monogram of the English Society upon our Guides, Cards, and other papers, under the following Treaty, entered into with the G.F.S. for England by the Branches of the Society in other countries:
' "This Society receives the Central Monogram from the parent Society on condition of accepting the Three Central Rules, with the pledge that the name and Monogram shall be discontinued if at any time adherence shall be withdrawn from these Rules. This Society also pledges itself to receive the G.F.S. Members from England commended to it, and to commend its Members to the G.F.S. in England."
'By the general adoption of this Treaty, the identification of our own and other national Branches of the Girls' Friendly Society with the parent Society in England is secured beyond question for the benefit of its Members who may pass from one country to another, and protection is afforded against the use of the name where the Central Rules are not complied with and union with the Society is not sought.'
'The growth of the G.F.S. on this side of the Atlantic has been much less rapid than in the Mother Country. It has been well said by Miss Edson, the American Foundress, that the causes are not far to seek.
'The Church in this country is in small proportion to the [88/89] great number of religious bodies outside of it. Besides these, there are the Roman Catholics increasing rapidly on the one side, and, in the great West especially, large numbers of people with no religion at all, entirely engrossed in secular affairs. There are other general Societies for young girls in the Church, which occupy the ground in many instances. Again, Church Guilds and Clubs are doing good parish work, and there is no room for another organisation. Ours, too, is a country covering a large area, but the slow growth cannot be attributed entirely to the extent of the country, although that has had some part in the cause. It has been rather that the Society began without ecclesiastical prestige. It soon appeared evident to those who were carrying it on that, if it could gain the approval and sanction of the Bishops, and the consequent establishment of diocesan organisations, it would be brought favourably to the knowledge, and be within the reach, of Rectors and Churchwomen distant from headquarters, who would gather from their Diocesan Centres information and supplies for carrying on the work.
'It is of vital importance before entering Diocese or parish to have the sympathy and full approval of Bishop and parish priest. The Constitution requires the written consent of both. Since the formation, in 1886, of the Central Council, and the increase of diocesan organisations, our figures show that we have more than doubled our Members.
'The Girls' Friendly Society holds in its membership girls of all conditions of life. Girls of leisure come into its ranks as Members, either in mixed bands or a separate group, as the case may be, under the discretion of Branch Secretary or Associate. The organisation is still thought by some to be only for girls who are self-supporting. This, if it were so, would prevent its being worked parochially in the true sense; [89/90] for why should one class in a parish band together in the cause of purity, which should be equally dear to all, and why should one class absorb all the friendship of another class, when there are so many who are thus left out of the friendly chain? We are gradually breaking away from bondage to the old idea, not confined to our work alone, that spiritual work and work for others is to be confined to one class alone; that the higher are to minister to those who are of a lower social grade, but that these latter are not to minister to one another, or to us. Associates can do much to train Members, but fellow-Members, girls of their own age, of higher refinement and greater culture, fighting side by side with those less favoured in the struggle for the attainment of things which are "pure and lovely and of good report," may wield an influence in the rank and file of girlhood beyond estimation. Temptation is not barred out of the guarded home, and the living principles of the Girls' Friendly Society strengthen and stablish all conditions of womanhood. Much is accomplished by the influence of girls over each other, and one of our Bishops suggests, in the introduction of the G.F.S. into Guilds, Societies, and schools, "to begin with a nucleus of good Members, well trained in home and Churchly life, and, after becoming well organised, to grow thenceforth by accretion, adding carefully one by one." '
This sense of the power of Members to help and influence each other has never ceased to be a growing feature of the G.F.S. in America.
The first Conference for Members was held at Springfield, Massachusetts, in November, 1893. In May, 1894, the Diocesan Council of Massachusetts expressed the opinion that the Conferences of Members and Associates held in ten different sections of the Diocese had been of distinct benefit to the Society, in stimulating the intelligent interest and [90/91] cooperation of the Members, and it was recommended that they should be continued another year. The example thus set was quickly followed, for six months later, 310 Members assembled in New York City, and in a few years the practice was well established in that and other diocesan organisations. The papers prepared by the Members for their Conferences fully support the statement that they developed capabilities not hitherto suspected. The joint Conferences of Members and Associates are also doing a specific work in bringing together, and in cementing, the personal tie between them. In answer to the fear occasionally expressed that the papers and discussions of the Members might have a tendency to encourage forwardness, I would say that the opinion has been generally voiced that the discussions have been conducted with unassuming dignity, and the papers read with modesty.
In a number of instances Members moving to other Dioceses far distant from their homes have been instrumental in starting Branches.
As a kindred topic, the influence of the Holiday Houses should be mentioned. These Houses differ from Lodges in that they are only designed for the Members in their holiday time during the warm American summer, when they are at leisure from the work that in their busy times absorbs and dulls their faculties. The President of the G.F.S.A., in her annual address in 1899, spoke of the influence of the Holiday Houses as being more and more evident in the Branch and in the home, and of the girls being 'broadened and elevated by the subconscious influence which, even when only for a week or two at a time, brings forth fruit in ways that are surprising and most encouraging.' Massachusetts and New York opened the first Holiday Houses in 1894, and now the number is increased to fourteen, and others are forming.
 Every year testifies more and more to the interest taken by the Bishops and clergy in the work of the Society. In the G.F.S.A. the Bishops have no functionary connection whatever with the Society, and it is a matter of regret with some that the example of the English Society was not followed in making the presiding Bishop President ex officio, and each Diocesan Bishop, Vice-President ex officio.
The Pastoral Letter of the House of Bishops issued at the General Convention of 1898 made mention of the Girls' Friendly Society among other organisations of the Church, 'gladly' recognising 'the earnest and effectual work' of all. But before that, individual Bishops had informed themselves of, and evinced great interest in, the work. It has always had faithful friends in the Bishop of Vermont, who has done much to aid, by his leaflets given to the Society in England and America, and in the Bishop Coadjutor of Springfield, whose support of his Branch in Boston, and, later, of the Branch at Cape Town, South Africa, is well known. Other Bishops, especially the Bishop of Delaware and the Bishop of Albany, have given words of warm commendation of the methods pursued and the work accomplished.
The Society in America numbers now, according to the last returns, 467 Branches, 2,864 Working Associates, 2,450 Honorary Associates, 12,576 Members, 8,649 Candidates and Probationers, 478 Married Branch Helpers, and is represented in 57 Dioceses.
The President, Mrs. Roberts, concludes her Report for 1904 in the following words: 'We have deep cause for thankfulness as the years go on in recognising that the realities of the spiritual life, especially the power that lies in intercessory prayer, are making the vision of the future clearer, brighter, and more ideal to the Associate and Member alike.'
'The Catholic Church embodies the Imperial idea and hallows it.'--BISHOP WESTCOTT.
 CAN the Girls' Friendly Society become a link of Empire? Can it really band together women and girls of all classes, not only in the home country, but all over the world? These are questions that must press on all who really care about our work; and we should unhesitatingly answer 'Yes,' if our true function as a handmaid of the Church could be more constantly borne in mind, and our service as a real ministry of women could be more definitely recognised in the Church itself.
We shall always think that, however much individuals amongst us may and should assist in spreading the Gospel amongst the heathen, yet our true mission as a Society is to those of our own people and tongue who have gone out from us to colonise our vast Empire.
'Bear on, bear on Life's gushing wave
To heathen souls athirst,
To all whom Jesus died to save,
But feed the children first.'
And we believe that, if only we can keep this mission steadily before our minds, we shall be able to inspire our Members to become ministering women, who, in the lonely bush or the crowded city, in the rough mining district or the refined home, will help to show forth and keep alive the faith of Christ--help also, in some quiet way, to raise the standard [95/96] of womanhood, and fulfil the aim for which we are banded together--'not only to be pure, but to purify.'
Certainly, if ever the work of earnest Churchwomen was wanted anywhere, it is wanted now in the Colonies, where new fields are ever opening to be possessed by the Church, and where the labourers are but few and far between to gather in the harvest. So 'the handmaid' is always waiting to be called to her work, and meantime should be preparing herself to do it. The desire for work and the recognition of the need of training are two of the most prominent features of the advance in the condition and status of womanhood during the century which has just closed. Thoughtful and eager women have always been found burning to work for God and their fellow-creatures, but their service has too often been dwarfed and handicapped by the lack of training during the best years of their lives. Let us transfer this idea to our Society, and we shall see that, in order to make her fit for the Master's use in His own Divine Society, the Church, in order to make her efficient and helpful as a great, humble ministry of Christ's handmaidens throughout the world, we must perfect her organisation, stimulate the enthusiasm of her pioneers, strengthen the hands of those who undertake her everyday drudgery, and the hearts of those who as yet can only 'stand and wait.'
The strength of the Girls' Friendly Society lies, undoubtedly, in her great threefold ideal: the witness for purity, the power of friendliness, and the bond of intercession; but a great element of success lies, also, we firmly believe, in the union of the practical with the ideal. Some of us must everywhere give ourselves to the drudgery of laying down the lines on which the work may continue to run smoothly when the first enthusiasm of creation has passed away, and this is needed all through the Empire. To organise as well as to inspire, [96/97] to inspire as well as to organise, this is the two-sided task which lies before us and makes us continually seek to assert our foundation principles, and to perfect the needful machinery for the keeping together of this vast work.
The idea of a friendly union between the Girls' Friendly Society in England and the Colonies was started as long ago as 1882, when the Society itself was only seven years old; and the first step was then taken of drawing up a form of treaty based on the three Central Rules, to which every Colonial Society desirous of bearing our name and using the Central Monogram could give in its adhesion. It was felt to be of the greatest importance that the foundation Rules, on which the fabric of the whole Society rests, should be preserved intact and definitely subscribed to by every association bearing the name of the Girls' Friendly Society; and it is a matter of real thankfulness that the terms then agreed upon have been found satisfactory to all.
The following is the text of this Treaty, and of the Central Rules as adopted for use in the Colonies:
This Society receives the Central Monogram from the Parent Society on condition of accepting the three Central Rules as follows, with the pledge that the name and monogram shall be discontinued if at any time adherence shall be withdrawn from these rules.
This Society also pledges itself to receive the Girls' Friendly Society Members from England commended to it, and to commend its Members to the Girls' Friendly Society in England.
1. Associates to be Members of the Church of England (or of any Church in communion with the Church of England), no such restriction being made as to Members, and the organisation of the Society to follow as much as possible that of the Church, being diocesan, ruridecanal, and parochial.
2. Associates and Members to contribute annually to the funds.
3.  No girl who has not borne a virtuous character to be admitted as a Member; such character being lost, the Member to forfeit her card.
Signature of........... President.
1. It will be observed that the First Central Rule is precisely the same as our own, with the addition only of the words, 'or of any Church in communion with the Church of England.' But it is very desirable that the Society in the Colonies should print its rule thus, as it expresses the fact that its fellowship is open, not only to Anglican Churchwomen, but to those who belong to the Scotch Episcopal Church, to the Protestant Episcopal Church of America, and to the Church of Japan.
The Second Central Rule.--Thefinancial rule was wisely left on the broadest possible lines, without entering into details, which must naturally vary in every country throughout the Empire, and which can easily be inserted according to local circumstances.
The Third Central Rule has been universally adopted intact, and is the keystone of the whole.
2. A special compact is entered into between all Girls' Friendly Societies adopting the above treaty respecting the commendation of Members. If it is important to commend Members moving from one Branch to another in England, much more is it important to commend those who are migrating from one country to another.
The second step in the unification of the Society throughout the Empire was taken in June, 1896, when the Central Council passed a resolution sanctioning the appointment of a Colonial Committee to meet each year on the day before the Central Council in June and November. The warmth [98/99] and cordiality with which this new departure was hailed by the Colonial Societies made the success of the Committee a foregone conclusion; and ever since its initiation it has tended to promote the object for which it was started--namely, to bring the leaders of the Society in the Mother Country and those in distant lands more into touch with one another, keeping each other informed of new developments, studying and learning from each other's methods, arranging for introductions for workers going backwards and forwards between England and the Colonies, and, through its Central and Diocesan Representatives bringing together a large body of workers thoroughly in touch with the Colonial Societies which they have been elected to represent.
One of the most important movements ever started in our Society was brought forward by the President of the Girls' Friendly Society in South Australia (Mrs. Harmer), at the Colonial Committee of November, 1897, in the terms of the following resolution: 'That a Day of Intercession for the Girls' Friendly Society throughout the Empire be held.' This was confirmed by the Central Council on the following day.
When we in England are joining in our Anniversary of praise, it is an almost overwhelming thought to remember that in so many spots throughout our great Empire--in vast Australia, in the land of the Maoris, in scattered settlements of Newfoundland or Canada, or British Columbia, or in lonely stations in India--the same Blessed Eucharist may be offered and the same prayers go up to God that He would make womanhood a praise in the earth and a pure offering to His glory. If the Colonial Committee had been created only to promote this annual work of special intercession, it would not have been created in vain.
 To give any idea of the spread of the Girls' Friendly Society throughout the Empire would be impossible within the limits of this history. We can only indicate the four groups into which it is organised--South Africa, British North America, Australia, and New Zealand--and while taking a rapid survey of each, emphasise this point, that our chief aim in the twentieth century should be to discover how the plan and organisation of the Society can be adapted to suit the needs and powers of each country in which it has taken root.
In South Africa the lines have been well marked out for the Society in the following resolution passed by the Provincial Synod at Capetown in 1903:
'That this Synod, recognising the great importance of banding together the girls of all classes for the rendering of more effective service to God and His Church, of keeping in closer touch with those living in isolation, and of establishing throughout the Province a strong protective Society on Church lines to watch over the many girls and young women now arriving from England, respectfully requests the Bishops of the Province to bring before their Clergy the special claims of the Girls' Friendly Society, and to take steps towards securing the formation of a strong branch in the more important parishes.'
In proportion as these lines are followed will the work develop and become indigenous in the six Dioceses in which it has been accepted--namely, in Capetown (established since 1889), in Grahamstown, Natal, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, and Mashonaland. The deputation work of Miss Beckwith and of Lady Knightley has been invaluable in sowing seeds which will be nurtured, we trust, by permanent workers; but the Society can never be strong in South Africa unless the strong aid of educated girls in school and college and at [100/101] home can be called in to form a guild of effective service for the Church in future days.
British North America.
In taking our survey of friendly work on the great continent of British North America, we will start from Newfoundland, which, as it is an independent Colony and Diocese, so has it also an independently organised Girls' Friendly Society, and a very brave, persevering one, too. In spite of storm and stress of weather, and long, cold evenings, the Members and Candidates seem to hold on their way with meetings and lectures, sales of work and classes, and their eagerness for books is quite touching. In Newfoundland they have always built on the best foundation--namely, the children--and there are a large number of Candidates on the roll of St. John's Branch alone. These are now specially linked with the Blandford Branch in England. In St. John's Branch, also, they have a Members' Committee. Newfoundland was the first Colonial Society to form a special Constitution, and the Society has always been happy in the warm personal interest of its Bishop.
Dominion of Canada.
Next we come to the Dominion of Canada, where we have a loyal band of Associates and Members, but where, for many reasons, the Society has not yet attained to the desired proportions as regards strength and numbers. In 1901 the President, Mrs. Wood, came over on a special mission to England to ask for kelp in organising the Girls' Friendly Society in Canada, and since then several forward steps have been taken, notably the reorganisation of the Society in Nova Scotia, and the reviving of the work in Winnipeg, where Mrs. Wood held an important meeting in October, [101/102] 1902. On this occasion a Diocesan Council was formed for Rupertsland, with the sanction of the late Archbishop Machray, who was also at that time Primate of all Canada.
Since then a great impetus has been given to the Society by the visit of one of our earliest workers, Mrs. Jerome Mercier. On her voyage out, the Day of Intercession was celebrated on board the S.S. Canada, the services being held by her son, the Rev. A. Mercier, and joined in with devotion by Members on board. On her way to stay with the Bishop of New Westminster and Mrs. Dart, she was able to speak for the G.F.S. in Calgary, and on her return was instrumental in reviving this Branch of our friendly tree which had long been dead, and there is good hope that in time the Girls' Friendly Society will take its right place as a Church organisation throughout the whole Dominion, encouraged thereto by the following resolution, which was moved by the Bishop of Calgary, seconded by the Bishop of Ottawa, at the last General Synod of Canada (1905):
'The House of Bishops of the General Synod desire very warmly to commend the G.F.S. and the M.U. as organisations similar to that of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, all of them from their nature tending to the highest ideals of the Christian character; and they express their earnest hope that all these organisations may receive the fullest encouragement, and find the utmost scope in the more important parishes throughout the Dominion.'
The above was sent down from the Upper House to the Lower House, where it was introduced by Canon Welch, St. James' Cathedral, Toronto.
We pass on to the great island-continent of Australia, where, in all the six States (now united in the bond of federation) the Girls' Friendly Society is at work. Starting from [102/103] the west, we can record growth amongst workers in West Australia. The new Diocese of Bunbury has its own Diocesan President, and it is hoped that, as the Church becomes organised and strengthened by the formation of separate Dioceses--the North West Bishopric, Goldfields, etc.--our Society will follow by degrees as a ministering handmaid, carrying out its work of love for the children and friendly welcome for the strangers in these vast and scattered districts. Next comes South Australia, happy in long years of affectionate interest shown in the work of the Society by the Bishop and Mrs. Harmer, who, before their departure, had the joy of celebrating its Silver Jubilee, when nearly a thousand Members and Associates were gathered in the newly enlarged Cathedral of Adelaide. Eastward, again, in Victoria, the Society is growing in the Dioceses of Melbourne and Ballarat, and reaching to the largest total of numbers in any Colony. This growth has been greatly helped by the appointment of a General and Organising Secretary (Miss Stretch), and will probably be promoted in many ways by the sub-division of the two Dioceses, which has created three new ones--Bendigo, Gippsland, and Wangaratta--and has led the way towards the formation of the Ecclesiastical Province. A Diocesan leaflet is published in Melbourne for the Society, and its interest has been aroused in the Melanesian Mission. Further north, in New South Wales, work is going on in the Dioceses of Sydney, Goulburn, Riverina, Newcastle, and Grafton and Armidale; and in Queensland, where it has lately shown signs of growth in the starting of a new Branch at Ipswich with a good roll of Members, it is hoped that the Society's organisation will grow and expand under the new condition by which Queensland is also formed into an Ecclesiastical Province. Finally, in Tasmania we have our youngest G.F.S. organisation, which has come into [103/104] being, full of vigour and hope under Mrs. Mercer, who had known and loved it in England. 'We in Tasmania,' writes the Diocesan Secretary, 'are among the first to begin the long day of Intercessory Thanksgiving that moves round the world.'
Last of all, we cross the seas to New Zealand, and we must remember that crossing the sea from Australia to New Zealand takes nearly as long as crossing the Atlantic. This is why all work in the land of 'the long white cloud' must be distinct from Australia. Our Society had been established for many years in the three Dioceses of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, and specially flourishing in the latter. In 1902, however, a great forward step was made, owing to the visit of our Deputation Worker, Miss Macmichael, who, assisted by the kindness and energy of New Zealand Associates, was able, during her tour, to plant the seed of the Girls' Friendly Society in the three Dioceses of Nelson, Dunedin, and Waiapu, where it had never before existed. Since then much progress has been made--a General Secretary has been appointed, a Constitution drawn up (as in New South Wales and South Australia). In the Diocese of Auckland the Society has been brought before the Synod; the work of Members is well called out in various ways, and we can feel with satisfaction that in New Zealand our foundations have been 'well and truly laid.'
G. F. S. CALENDAR
 May . . . Meeting at Lambeth Palace to consider a scheme proposed by Mrs. Townsend for an Association for Girls. Present: Mrs. Tait, Mrs. Townsend, Mrs. Harold Browne, Mrs. Nassau Senior, Rev. T. V. Fosbery, Vicar of St. Giles', Reading. Name Girls' Friendly Society' decided upon.
Aug. . . . G.F.S. Pamphlet issued.
Nov. . . . First List of Associates printed; 71 Associates from ten Dioceses.
Miss Hawksley, Hon. G.F.S. Secretary.
Dec. 22. Meeting at Swanmore Vicarage. Mrs. Medlicott in the chair. Branch of G.F.S. formed for Bishop's Waltham Rural Deanery.
Jan 1. The Girls' Friendly Society started.
The following Branches were in the first Associates' List, issued in January:
Dioceses . . . Branches.
Chichester . . . Ticehurst and Wadhurst.
Salisbury . . . Weymouth.
Winchester . . . Bishop's Waltham, R.D.;* Petersfield, R.D.; Weybridge.
Worcester . . . Shipston-on-Stour;* Stratford-on-Avon.
 July . . . Additional Branches in the second Associates' List, issued in July:
Dioceses . . . Branches.
Chichester . . . Pevensey III., R.D.; Dallington, R.D.
Gloucester and Bristol . . . Cheltenham.
Lincoln . . . Longoboby, R.D.
London . . . Staines.*
Manchester . . . Manchester.
Norwich . . . Ipswich, R.D.
Oxford . . . Oxford; Sonning, R.D.
Rochester . . . Hoddesdon and Broxbourne.
Winchester . . . Winchester City ;* Winchester County ;* Andover, R.D.
Ryde ;* St. Mary Extra.*
Worcester . . . Droitwich, R. D.; Upton-on-Severn; Great Malvern.
Additional Branches started before the end of the year: Hurstpierpoint,* Chichester Diocese;
Stavely,* Lichfield Diocese; Clapham,* Winchester Diocese ; Blockley,* Worcester Diocese.
Oct. . . . The Girls' Friendly Society for Scotland organised.
Dec. . . . A letter received by Mrs. Townsend from Mrs. Tait, announcing that the Archbishop of Canterbury was willing to become Patron of the Girls' Friendly Society.
Dec. 2. First meeting of Branch Secretaries, at 27, Half-Moon Street, London. Thirteen Branches represented (marked above *) Present: Mrs. Townsend, Miss Hawksley (Hon. G.F.S. Secretary), Miss Davidson (Hon. Secretary for G.F.S. in Scotland), Miss Oxenham, etc. Mrs. Townsend was elected President of the Society, and a Council formed, consisting of Lady Georgina Vernon, Hon. Mrs. Yelverton (Mrs. Fetherstonhaugh), Miss Selwyn of Sandwell, Miss Joanna Hill, Miss Oxenham, [108/109] Miss Agnes Money (with power to add to their number). The Members' Guide-Book was approved. A Central Circulating Library to be formed under Miss Fitzroy. Lady Registrars to be appointed. Branches, 45. Associates 1,000. Members, about 2,000.
Jan. . . . President of G.F.S.: Mrs. Townsend.
Hon. Treasurer: Rev. Sir Talbot Baker.
First quarterly number of Friendly Leaves issued, edited by Mrs. Jerome Mercier.
Special Service for G.F.S. Festivals issued, sanctioned by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
July 1. Fund opened for a Central G.F.S. Home and Office.
Nov. 18. Special Service for G.F.S. Associates and Members held in the Abbey, Great Malvern.
Branches, 146. Associates, 2,500. Members, 'many thousands.'
President of G.F.S.: Mrs. Townsend.
Friendly Leaves issued monthly, edited by Mrs. Townsend.
Jan. . . . 245, Vauxhall Bridge Road taken for a Central Home and Office.
Jan 19. G.F.S. for Ireland started, sanctioned by the Archbishop of Dublin.
President: The Countess of Meath.
April . . . The Central Home, Vauxhall Bridge Road, opened as a Lodge for G.F.S. Members.
April 23. First meeting of Central Council at Honington. Present: Mrs. Townsend (President), Miss Joanna Hill, Miss Oxenham, Miss Agnes Money. Miss Joanna Hill and Miss Oxenham undertook correspondence with regard to Workhouse girls. Miss Agnes Money undertook correspondence with regard to Registry work. Agreed: [109/110] That Branch Secretaries in any Diocese wishing to hold a diocesan meeting be requested to communicate with the President.
June 1. Second Branch Secretaries' Conference at G.F.S. Central Lodge. Agreed, To hold diocesan meeting at Winchester, "the Diocese of Winchester being the nearest to complete organisation."
June 29. Diocesan meeting held at the Deanery, Winchester.
Aug. 25. Letter from Lord Brabazon to Queen newspaper, asking for co-operation of ladies in London in work among shop-assistants, and in starting of Clubs and Recreation-rooms.
Sep. 19. Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Rev. W. Wicks, editor of 'Church Congress Vade Mecum,' requesting him to find means to bring the G.F.S. before the notice of members of the Congress.
Oct. 23. Meeting of Central Council. The Hon. Lady Grey elected Member of Council. Strong feeling against a G. F. S. Medal, adoption therefore postponed. Associates asked to 'pass on' Members.
Oct. . . . Six Departments organised. (See Jan. 1878.)
Oct. 24. First London meeting of Branch Secretaries of London and Rochester Dioceses.
Nov. 1. The G.F.S. for America started in Lowell, Mass. President: Miss E. M. Edson. Chaplain: Rev. Evan Johnson.
Branches, 175. Associates, 4, 442 Members, 10,648.
Jan. 1. President of G.F.S.: Mrs. Townsend.
Help for Young Workwomen: Hon. Lady Grey and Mrs. Harvey Pechell.
Circulating Library : Miss Fitzroy.
[110/111] Registry Work: Miss Agnes Money.
Affiliated Societies: Miss Skinner.
Help for Workhouse Girls in the Provinces: Miss Joanna Hill and Miss Oxenham.
Homes of Rest for Sick Members: Mrs. Townsend (President).
Feb. 5. Meeting for young workwomen at Nottingham.
Feb. . . . Associates' Report Forms first drawn up.
Feb. . . . Diocesan Referees in eight Dioceses.
Feb. 21. Meeting of Central Council. Mrs. Harold Browne elected Member of Council.
April . . . Archbishop of York consented to become Patron of the G.F.S.
April . . . G.F.S. work begun in the East End of London by the Hon. Mrs. A. Mure and other ladies. Bethnal Green Branch started under the Rev. and Mrs. Septimus Hansard; worked by Associates from the West End. Paid Factory Worker engaged.
April . . . F. B. Money, Esq., appointed Hon. Treasurer.
April . . . Site given by Admiral the Hon. Sir Frederick Grey for a Central Home of Rest at Sunninghill.
May 2. Death of Admiral the Hon. Sir Frederick Grey.
May . . . Rules and Counsels for Associates and Members drawn up by Winchester City Branch.
June 26-28. Meeting of Central Council. The President read a Draft of a proposed Constitution for the G.F.S. subject postponed for further consideration. Mrs. Townsend (by her own wish) took the title of President of G.F.S. Council (in place of President of the G.F.S.).
June 27. Third Branch Secretaries' Conference in Willis's Rooms. The Draft of proposed Constitution read.
July 1. Meeting (at Brighton) for Chichester G.F.S. Diocesan Organisation. President: Mrs. Durnford.
Sep. 3. G.F.S. in St. Albans Diocese organised. President: Hon. Mrs. Claughton.
 Sep. 7. G.F.S. in Carlisle Diocese organised. President: Lady Lawson.
Oct. 5. G F.S. in Worcester Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Philpot.
Oct. 6. G. F. S. in Bath and Wells Diocese organised. President: Lady Arthur Hervey.
Oct. 12. G.F.S. in Winchester Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Harold Browne.
Oct. 14. G.F.S. in Rochester Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Bowyer.
Oct. 18. Meeting of Central Council. Hon. Lady Grey elected. Vice-President. Passed: That the proposed Constitution should be tried for the year 1879.
Oct. 21. G.F.S. in London Diocese organised. President: Miss Jackson. Committee formed to organise G.F.S. Branches in East London to be worked by Associates from the West.
Dec. 10. G.F.S. in Peterborough Diocese organised. President: Lady Knightley.
Dec. . . . Resignation of Miss Noyes. Miss Bessie Smith appointed General Secretary.
Branches, 344. Associates, 8,886. Members, 21,240.
Jan. 1. President of G.F.S. Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
Finance Committee: Lord Brabazon, Hon. Dudley Ryder. C. F. T. Churchill, Esq., F. B. Money, Esq.
Trustees: Lord Brabazon, Rev. Sir Talbot Baker, Frederick Townsend, Esq.
Mar. 4. G.F.S. meeting at Oxford in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Chairman: Venerable Archdeacon Palmer.
June 23. Meeting of Central Council. First signatures to the Three Central Rules.
June 25. Fourth Branch Secretaries' Conference at King's College. Fund started for Secretary of Council.
 June 26. First Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Winchester (Harold Browne).
July 20. Opening of Central Home of Rest at Sunninghill by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
July 24. First Meeting of Executive Committee at Central Lodge.
Sep. 11. Meeting of Executive Committee. Miss Wright appointed Secretary of Council.
Sep. 13. G.F.S. in Lichfield Diocese organised. President: Hon. Mrs. Maclagan.
Oct. 16. G.F.S. in Lincoln Diocese organised. President: The Lady Mary Tumor.
Oct. 22-25. Meetings of Central Council. Consideration of suggestions from Members of Central Council and of Finance Committee on third Draft of G.F.S. Constitution.
Nov. 11. G.F.S. in Hereford Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Atlay.
Branches, 418. Associates, 13,673. Members, 38,568.
Jan. 1. President of Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
Jan. . . . First number of G. F. S. Advertiser issued.
Jan. . . . G.F.S. Deputation Work organised for London Diocese by Miss Jackson.
Jan. 20, 21. Meeting of Central Council. Carried, That Chapter I. of the proposed Constitution stand thus: The Organisation of the Society shall comprise:
I. Presidents: His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace the Archbishop of York.
II. Vice-Presidents: All Bishops of the two Provinces.
Copy of the proposed Constitution as amended sent to each of the Archbishops and Bishops. Copies sent also to all Members of Central and Diocesan G.F.S. Councils, all Branch Secretaries, and Members of Finance Committee and Trustees, asking for suggestions and amendments.
 Feb. 10. Letter received by the President of Central Council from the Archbishop of Canterbury, enclosing a copy of Resolution passed at the meeting of Bishops held at Lambeth Palace, February 6.
Mar. 12. Meeting of Executive Sub-Council. The President requested to invite the Branch Secretaries in unorganised Dioceses to choose a Delegate to represent them at the next meeting of Central Council, for the consideration of suggestions and amendments on the proposed G.F.S. Constitution.
April 18. G.F.S. in Salisbury Diocese organised. President: Miss E. Moberley.
May 4. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved: That on the following day the Council resolve itself into a Committee for the consideration of amendments to proposed G.F.S. Constitution, and that the Representatives from Dioceses be empowered to act and vote on the Committee.
May 5-11. Meetings of the Committee.
May 14. Meeting of Central Council. The minutes of the Committee of Central Council and Delegates were read and confirmed. Central Monogram prepared for affixing to all Central G.F.S. publications.
June 14. First annual G.F.S. Festival in New South Wales.
June . . . Festival of East London Branches at Petersham Park.
June 18. First Special G.F.S. Service in Chichester Cathedral.
June 23. Second Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Rochester (Thorold).
June 24. Fifth Branch Secretaries' Conference held in the Library, Lambeth Palace. Opened by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
June 26, 28. Meetings of Central Council. Executive Committee appointed for 1881. Central By-laws drawn up.
Aug. . . . Card of Rules and Counsels for Associates and Members (as used in the Winchester Diocese) issued as a Central publication.
 Sep. 13. G.F.S. in Exeter Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Temple.
Sep. 14. G.F.S. in Truro Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Arthur Tremayne.
Sep. 19. G.F.S. in St. David's Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Basil Jones.
Sep. . . . Paper by Mrs. Townsend ('Associations') read at the Church Congress at Swansea.
Oct. 1. G.F.S. in Chester. Diocese organised. President: The Lady Mary Egerton.
Oct. . . . G.F.S. in Oxford Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Mackarness.
Oct. 26, 27. Meeting of Central Council. Appointment of Miss Wright as Secretary of the Society at the head of the Central Office.
Oct. 29. G.F.S. in St. Asaph Diocese organised. President: The Lady Frances Lloyd.
Nov. 12. The Queen consented to become Patron of the Girls' Friendly Society.
Nov. 30. G.F.S. in Bangor Diocese organised. President: The Lady Penrhyn.
Branches, 489. Associates, 15,802. Members, 47,610.
Jan. 1. President of Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
Finance and Reference Committee: Chairman, F. B. Money-Coutts, Esq.;
Hon. Treasurer, R. C. A. Beck, Esq.
Feb. 16. G.F.S. in Ely Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Munby.
Mar. 12. G.F.S. in Norwich Diocese organised. President: The Lady Caroline Kerrison.
June 16. G.F.S. in Liverpool Diocese organised. President: The Countess of Lathom.
June 21. First Conference for Workhouse Department.
June . . . Third Anniversary Service. Preacher: The Bishop of Carlisle (Harvey Goodwin).
June 22. First Conference for Department for Members in Service and Registry.
June . . . Sixth Branch Secretaries' Conference, held in St. James's Hall. Opened by the Bishop of Lichfield (Maclagan). Scotch and Irish Branch Secretaries invited.
June 27. Rochester Diocesan G.F.S. Lodge at Brixton Rise dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester. Opened by H. R. H. the Princess Mary, Duchess of Teck.
July 7. G.F.S.. in Durham Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Headlam.
July 14. G.F.S. in Llandaff Diocese organised. President: Miss Olivant.
July 26. Opening of the Malvern Home of Rest.
Sep. 14. G.F.S. in Ripon Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Bickersteth.
Sep. . . . Marriage Card issued.
Oct. 25, 26. Meetings of Central Council. Department formed for Domestic Economy and Industrial Training. Head of Department: Mrs. Jerome Mercier.
Nov. 15. G.F.S. in York Diocese organised. President: Hon. Mrs. Meynell Ingram. G.F.S. in Canterbury Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Payne Smith.
Nov 17. Candidates' Cards issued.
Dec. . . . G.F.S. Central Lodge closed.
Dec. . . . Central Office removed to 3, Victoria Mansions, Westminster.
Branches, 553. Associates, 16,850. Members, 58,077.
Jan. 1. President of Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
Jan. . . . First G.F.S. Home Almanac issued.
Mar. 15. G. F. S. in Manchester Diocese organised. President: Hon. Mrs. Atkinson.
 June 19. First Conference for Department for Members in Business
June 21. Fourth Anniversary Service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Lichfield (Maclagan).
June 21. Public Meeting for the G.F.S. at the Mansion House, presided over by the Lord Mayor.
June 22. First Conference for Sick Members and Homes of Rest Department. First Conference for Literature Department.
June 22. Seventh Branch Secretaries' Conference at Westminster Palace Hotel, opened by the Bishop of Bedford (Walsham How).
June 24. First Festival Evening Service for G.F.S. Members in London Diocese in St. Paul's Cathedral; 3,000 present.
June 29. Festival of G.F.S. Branches in Chester Diocese. Service in Chester Cathedral.
Aug. 1. Festival of G.F.S. Branches in York Diocese. Service in York Minster. Preacher: The Archbishop of York (Thomson). 1,700 Members present.
Sep. . . . H.R.H. Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein Patroness of G. F. S. in Oxford Diocese, and Working Associate of Old Windsor Branch.
Oct. . . . H.R.H. the Duchess of Connaught Patroness of the G.F.S. in the Diocese of Winchester.
Nov. 14. Branch Festival at Birmingham; 900 Members present.
Dec. . . . G.F.S. President and Council elected for G.F.S. work on the Continent. President: The Lady Mary Wood.
Branches, 640. Associates, 19,406. Members, 71,181.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Hon. Lady Grey.
Jan. . . . G.F.S. Advertiser called Associates' Journal and Advertiser.
Jan. . . . First number of Friendly Work issued, edited by Mrs. Townsend (Head of Department for Members in Business).
 Jan. . . . H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany Patroness of G.F.S. in London Diocese.
May 1. Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Canada..
May 8. Treaty signed with G.F.S. in America.
May 14. Fifth Anniversary Service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Bedford (Walsham How).
May 15. Eighth Branch Secretaries' Conference at 73, St. James's Square (the Lord Egerton's). Opened by Canon Shuttleworth.
July 10. First Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Christ Church, New Zealand.
July . . . Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Victoria.
July 17. Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Newfoundland.
July 18. Exeter Diocesan G.F.S. Festival Service in the Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Exeter.
Aug. 15. First Carlisle Diocesan Festival; 1,600 Members present.
Aug. 29. First G.F.S. Festival in South Australia.
Oct. . . . First G. F. S. Bookstall at Church Congress (at Reading).
Nov. 1. G.F.S. in Newcastle Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Creighton.
Branches 709. Associates, 21,414. Members, 83,085.
Jan. 1. President of Central Council: Hon. Lady Grey. Correspondent for Emigration: Hon. Mrs. Joyce.
Jan. 21. Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Queensland.
Jan. 31. First Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Auckland, New Zealand.
Feb. 19. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved to send a Memorial to the Lord Chancellor, the Premier, and the Home Secretary, on the subject of the Bill for the Protection of Young Girls.
Mar. 5, Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Ireland.
May 15. Treaty signed with G.F.S. in New South Wales.
 June . . . 305 petitions, with 27,777 signatures, for amending the law relating to the Protection of Young Girls, sent up from the G.F.S. to both Houses of Parliament.
June 19. Sixth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Durham (Lightfoot).
June . . . First Conference of the Department for Domestic Economy and Industrial Training.
June 20. Ninth Branch Secretaries' Conference held at 73, St. James's Square. Opened by Canon Nisbet.
Oct. 24. G.F.S. in Southwell Diocese organised. President: Hon. Mrs. Alexander.
Nov. 18. Meeting of Central Council. Miss Bowlby appointed Deputation Secretary.
Branches, 747. Associates, 23,005. Members, 92,750.
Jan. 1. President of Central[ Council: Hon. Lady Grey.
Jan. . . . Miss Keary appointed Editor of Friendly Leaves on Mrs. Townsend's resignation after eight years' Editorship.
Feb. 12, 13. Meetings of Central Council. Miss Cockerell appointed Editor of Associates' Journal.
July 2. Seventh Anniversary Service. Preacher: The Bishop of London (Temple).
July . . . First Conference for Department for G. F. S. Lodges and Lodgings.
July 3. Tenth Branch Secretaries' Conference at Westminster Town Hall. Opened by the Bishop of Brisbane (Thornhill Webber).
July . . . First Conference for Department for G.F.S. Members in Mills and Factories.
July 4. Opening of the Brabazon Home of Comfort for G.F.S. Members.
Oct. . . . Paper by Mrs. Townsend on 'The Girls' Friendly Society,' read by Mr. Townsend at Portsmouth Church Congress (Section: The Work of Women in the Church).
 Oct. 15. First Treaty signed with G.F.S. in Wellington, New Zealand.
Nov. 17. Meeting of Central Council. Department formed for G.F.S. Members emigrating.
Branches, 821. Associates, 23,916. Members, 100,141.
Jan. 1. President of Central Council: Hon. Lady Grey.
Jan. . . . Head of Department for G.F.S. Members Emigrating: Hon. Mrs. Joyce.
Chairman of Finance and Reference Committee: Egerton Hubbard, Esq. (now Lord Addington).
May 22. Eighth Anniversary Service. Preacher: The Bishop of Derry (Alexander).
June 23. Eleventh Branch Secretaries' Conference at the Parish Institute, Bourdon Street. Opened by the Dean of Windsor (Randall Davidson).
June 26. First Conference for Department for G.F.S. Members Emigrating.
Nov. 16. Meeting of Central Council. The President of the Central Council authorised to represent the G.F.S. on the General Committee of the proposed Church House, by request of the Bishop of Carlisle.
Branches, 903. Associates, 25,435. Members, 109,223. Candidates, 14,755.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Hon. Lady Grey.
Feb. 15. Meeting of Central Council. Mrs. Awdry appointed Correspondent for Candidates.
April 27. First London G.F. S. Diocesan Conference.
June 28. Ninth Anniversary in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Newcastle (Wilberforce).
June 29. Twelfth Branch Secretaries' Conference at the Parish Institute, Little Grosvenor Street. Opened by Canon Capel Cure.
 July . . . Presentation to the Queen of an Address signed by over 120,000 Associates and Members of the G.F.S., on the occasion of Her Majesty's Jubilee.
July 20. Visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales to Rochester Diocesan G. F.S. Lodge.
Branches, 935 Associates, 25,947. Members, 113,199. Candidates, 18,734.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Hon. Lady Grey.
June 21. Tenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Brisbane (Thornhill Webber).
June 22. Thirteenth Branch Secretaries' Conference at the Parochial Society's Rooms, Westminster. Opened by Rev. H. B. Bromby.
June 29. G.F.S. in Gibraltar Diocese organised. President: Mrs. Sandford.
June 29. G.F.S. in Northern and Central Europe organised. President: Lady Vincent.
July 16. G.F.S. Conference at Grosvenor House (by kind permission of the Duke of Westminster). Invitations sent to all Scottish, Irish, Colonial, and American Bishops in England (for the Pan-Anglican Synod).
Branches, 980. Associates, 27,174. Members, 121,263. Candidates, 23,020.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Hon. Lady Grey.
Mar. . . . H.M. the Empress Frederick of Germany Patroness of G. F.S. Council for Northern and Central Europe.
Mar. . . . The Travellers' Aid Society undertook to meet G.F.S. Members.
Mar. 17. Opening of Kemerton Home of Industry.
May 14. Treaty signed with G.F.S. for Scotland (Second Treaty).
 June 21. First Treaty signed with G.F.S. in South Africa.
June 27. Eleventh Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Shrewsbury (Sir Lovelace Stamer, Bart.).
June 28. Fourteenth Branch Secretaries' Conference at Grosvenor Hall. Opened by the Dean of Worcester.
Branches, 1,017. Associates, 28,942. Members, 128,706. Candidates, 28,367.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
April 1. Irish page first inserted in Associates' Journal.
June 10. Meeting of Central Council. Re-organisation of Literature Department. Head of Department: Mrs. Townsend (President of Central Council), pro tern.
June 12. Twelfth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Salisbury (Wordsworth).
June 15. Fifteenth Branch Secretaries' Conference in Grosvenor Hall. Opened by the Rev. T. A. Ellison.
Oct. 29. G.F.S. in Wakefield Diocese organised. President: Mrs. How.
Branches, 1,065. Associates, 28,907. Members, 132,084. Candidates, 32,084.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
Feb. 17. Meeting of Central Council. Married Branch Helpers Card sanctioned.
June 18. Thirteenth Anniversary in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of St. Asaph (Edwards).
June 19. Sixteenth Branch Secretaries' Conference held in Portman Rooms. Opened by Bishop of Marlborough (Earle).
Branches, 1,090. Members, 137,350. Associates, 29,362. Candidates, 35,342.
 Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Townsend.
Jan. . . . Central Office moved to 39, Victoria Street, Westminster.
June 21. Meeting of Central Council. Mrs. Townsend's resignation as President received.
June 23. Fourteenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Truro (Gott).
June 24. Seventeenth Branch Secretaries' Conference at Portman Rooms. Opened by Canon Curteis.
Aug. 4. Meath Home of Comfort at Godalming opened by H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany.
Branches, 1,155. Associates, 29,757. Members, 138,910. Candidates, 36,761.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Benson.
May 20. Shanklin Home of Rest opened by T.R.H. the Duke and Duchess of Connaught.
June 20. Miss Brodie Hall appointed Correspondent for Thrift.
June 22. Fifteenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Ripon (Boyd Carpenter).
June 23. Eighteenth Branch Secretaries' Conference held at St. Martin's Town Hall. Opened by Rev. G. C. Fisher.
June . . . Opening of Chicago Exhibition. Bronze Medal awarded to the G.F.S. in England for an exhibit of Reports.
Branches, 1,195. Associates, 30,626. Members, 142,525. Candidates, 39,856.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Benson.
April 1. First Arts and Crafts Travelling Exhibition (in Truro Diocese).
June 21. Sixteenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Peterborough (Creighton).
 June 22. Nineteenth Branch Secretaries' Conference in St. Martin's. Town Hall. Opened by the Bishop of Dover.
Nov. 20. Meeting of Central Council. Resignation of Mrs. Jerome Mercier, for thirteen years Head of Department for Domestic Economy and Industrial Training.
Dec. 1. First number of Girls' Quarterly issued (in place of Friendly Work). Edited by Miss K. Knight.
Branches, 1,228. Associates, 31,065. Members, 145,485. Candidates, 42,987.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Benson.
June 27. Seventeenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Archbishop of Armagh (Gregg).
June 28. Twentieth Branch Secretaries' Conference in St. Martin's Town Hall. Opened by the Rev. J. Andrewes Reeve.
Branches, 1,270. Associates, 31,783. Members, 147,770. Candidates, 44,938.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Hon. Mrs. Campion.
Feb. 25. Meeting of Central Council. Decided to close the Central Home of Rest at Sunning Hill.
Mar. 26. Death of Miss Lucy Olivia Wright, Secretary to the G.F.S. for sixteen years.
April 8. Special meeting of Central Executive Committee. Miss Bowlby appointed Secretary to the G.F.S. (resigning her post of Deputation Secretary after nearly twelve years).
June 23. Colonial Committee appointed, Mrs. Townsend Chairwoman.
June 25. Eighteenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Bath and Wells (Kenyon).
June 26. Twenty-first Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Examination Hall, Royal College of Physicians. Opened by the Rev. J. E. C. Welldon.
 Nov. 16. First meeting of Colonial Committee.
Branches, 1,287. Associates, 32,193. Members, 150,055 Candidates, 47,210.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Hon. Mrs. Campion.
Candidates Department formed; Central Head Mrs. Townsend.
Jan. 8. First copy of G.F.S. Registrar issued.
June 23. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved to raise a Fund to present a Jubilee Gift to the Queen from the whole Society all over the world.
June 16. First Conference of Diocesan Secretaries.
June 17. Nineteenth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Albany, U.S.A. (Donne). Conversazione given by President and Members of Central Council in St. Martin's Town Hall. Invitations sent to Branch Secretary and one Associate of every Branch in England and Wales; 400 present. Music by the London G.F.S. Choral Union.
June 19. Twenty-second Branch Secretaries' Conference. Opened by the Rev. F. A. Winnington Ingram.
July . . . By permission of the Archbishop of York and Mrs. Maclagan, the Central Council entertained Bishops of Anglican Communion with their wives, and also G. F.S. Associates from all parts of the world, in York House.
Nov. 16. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved: That the President of Central Council be ex-officio Chairwoman of Colonial Committee. Proposal from Colonial Committee adopted that a Day of Intercession for the G.F.S. be appointed throughout the Empire.
Nov. 19. The Jubilee Gift from G.F.S. Members and Associates throughout the world presented to The Queen at Windsor Castle.
Branches, 1,315. Associates, 32,486. Members, 153,092. Candidates, 49,685. Married Branch Helpers, 556.
 Jan. . . . President of Central Council: The Hon. Mrs. Campion.
Colonial Correspondent: Mrs. Townsend.
June 21. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved: That the Literature Committee be called the Publications Committee. The President to be Chairwoman.
June 22. First Conference of Candidates' Department held.
June 23. Day of Intercession observed for the first time. Twentieth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Southwark (Yeatman).
June 24. Twenty-third Branch Secretaries' Conference in St. Martin's Town Hall. Opened by the Rev. Canon Newbolt.
June 10-12. Sale of Work in St. Martin's Town Hall for Industrial and Chronic Invalid Funds; £500 cleared.
Nov. 3. Guide Book in Braille type issued.
Branches, 1,330. Associates, 32,390. Members, 154,170. Candidates, 53,126. Branch Workers, 163. Married Branch Helpers, 557.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: The Hon. Mrs. Campion.
June 20. Meeting of Central Council. Opinions of Dioceses received re formation of 'Members' Department.' Majority in favour, twenty-four to nine (four neutral). Resolved: That secretarial work connected with C.W.O. Department should be carried on at the Central Office.
June 22. Twenty-first Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Newcastle (Jacob).
June 23. Twenty-fourth Conference of Branch Secretaries in St. Martin's Town Hall. Opened by the Dean of St. Paul's (Gregory). Coloured ribbons to distinguish the Dioceses used for the first time.
 Nov. 21. Meeting of Central Council. New chapter (and additional clauses) re Candidates for G. F. S. Membership inserted. in Constitution.
Branches, 1,345. Associates, 32,436. Members, 155,708 Candidates, 55,575. Branch Workers, 330. Married Branch Helpers, 585.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: The Hon. Mrs. Campion.
Mar. 20. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved to issue a Senior Candidates' Card.
April 3. Death of the Dowager Countess of Aberdeen, for twenty years President of the G.F.S. Central Council in Scotland.
April 6. Death of the Rev. Sir Talbot Baker, Hon. Treasurer of the G.F.S. 1876-1881. One of the Trustees of the Society since 1879.
June 21. Twenty-second Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Thetford (Lloyd).
June 21. The President and Central Council gave an At Home to Associates in Westminster Town Hall.
June 22. Twenty-fifth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Church House. Opened by the Rev. Cosmo Gordon Lang, Vicar of Portsea.
Aug. . . . The Queen was graciously pleased to accept from the Winchester Diocesan Council a copy of the poem, written in 1887 by Miss Agnes Money, on 'The Jubilee Procession.' The Queen sent her thanks to the Diocesan Council and to Miss Agnes Money. (The poem to be sold for the benefit of the Shanklin Home of Rest.)
Branches, 1,361. Associates, 32,103. Members, 152,398. Candidates, 55,521. Branch Workers, 350. Married Branch Helpers, 736.
 Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Candidates' Department and C.W.O. organised as one Department, with a Head for each section.
Jan. 22. Death of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Patron of the G.F.S. for twenty years.
Mar. 19. Central Council. Viscount Hampden appointed as a Central Trustee. It was decided to open a Memorial Fund to Her late Majesty Queen Victoria.
Mar. 19. Home of Rest opened at Maymyo, Rangoon.
April 23. Her Majesty Queen Alexandra consented to become Patron of the G.F.S.
June . . . Meeting of Colonial Workers by invitation of Viscount and Viscountess Gort. The Archbishop of Cape Town in the Chair.
June 13. Twenty-third Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of London (Winnington Ingram).
June 14. Twenty-sixth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by Archdeacon Bourke.
June . . . Visit of Mrs. Wood, President of the G.F.S. in Canada, as guest of the English G.F.S.
Sep. . . . Canadian G. F.S. Constitution passed at Montreal.
Sep. 15. First number of Our Letter (magazine for Candidates) published.
Dec. . . . Constitution adopted for New South Wales.
Branches, 1,359. Associates, 32,189. Members, 152,174. Candidates, 58,077. Branch Workers, 511. Married Branch Helpers 838.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Jan. 1. Friendly Work for Friendly Workers issued monthly, to take the place of the Girls' Quarterly.
 Jan. 14. Miss MacMichael started on a Deputation Tour in New Zealand.
Mar. 18. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved: To send 200 guineas from the Queen Victoria G.F.S. Memorial Fund to the National Memorial, and to devote the interest on the remaining £1,020 13s. 7d. to the formation of three Pensions for Incurable Members of £10 each per annum, to be called the Queen Victoria Pensions.
Mar. 18. The G.F.S. in India and in Ceylon made an integral part of the Central Society.
Mar. 24. Death of the Hon. Lady Grey, President of the G.F.S. Central Council from 1883-1889 inclusive.
April 27. H. R. H. the Princess of Wales consented to be Vice-Patron of the G.F.S.
June 19. Twenty-fourth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of Exeter (Ryle).
June 20. Twenty-seventh Branch Secretaries' Conference at the Church House, opened by the Rev. Canon Holmes, Rector of Sonning.
July 8. As guests of the Queen, 750 young maids-of-all-work, Members of the G.F.S. in London and St. Albans, were entertained at a Royal tea. Telegram sent to the Queen.
Branches, 1,371. Associates, 32,502. Members, 152,431. Candidates, 62,335. Branch Workers, 556. Married Branch Helpers, 1,043.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Mar. 17. Meeting of Central Council. Resolved: 'Branches shall have power to elect Associates or Members (being Members of the Church of England) as Representatives of the Departments.'
 June 18. Twenty-fifth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of Truro (Gott).
June 18. At Home given by Members of Central Council to Associates in the Church House.
June 19. Twenty-eighth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by the Rev. Prebendary Ridgeway, Vicar of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate.
Sep. 5. Miss Beckwith started for her Deputation Tour in South Africa.
Sep. 28. Miss K. M. Townend started for her Deputation Tour in India.
Nov. . . . Constitution passed for South Australia.
Dec. 8. Treaty signed with the G.F.S. in Tasmania.
Branches, 1,382. Associates, 32,891. Members, 156,885. Candidates, 65,125. Branch Workers, 486. Married Branch Helpers, 931.
Jan. . . . President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Jan. 4. Death of Dr. Alice Marval, G.F.S. Missionary at Cawnpore.
May . . . Resolution unanimously passed at a Meeting of the South African Provincial Synod, commending the G.F.S. to all the Clergy in the Province.
May 25. First number of Friendly Light published in Braille (magazine).
June 20. Colonial Conversazione at Lambeth Palace.
June 23. Twenty-sixth Anniversary Service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of Lahore (Lefroy).
June 24. Twenty-ninth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by the Rev. Canon Southwell, Provost of St. Nicholas College, Lancing.
Oct. 15. G.F.S. Silver Jubilee Festival held at Adelaide, South Australia.
 G.F.S. Constitution passed in New Zealand.
Treaty with the G.F.S. in New Zealand, signed for the Dioceses of Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Waiapu, Dunedin, and Nelson.
Treaty with the G.F.S. in South Africa, signed for the Dioceses of Cape Town, Grahamstown, Natal, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein.
Branches, 1,404. Associates, 33,448 Members, 160,673. Candidates, 65,941. Branch Workers, 609. Married G.F.S. Helpers, 966.
The G.F.S. in the Twentieth Century.
 THE opening years of the twentieth century have brought some developments, in our Society at home and throughout the Empire, and I have been called upon briefly to set them down here because the first compiler of this History has passed into 'the peace,' and the 'vanished hand' can work for us no longer upon earth; she had wished to bring the book up to date last summer, but her strength failed for the labour of getting material together, though not the keen interest which followed every detail of the Society's advance up to the close of the Anniversary of 1910.
Perhaps the chief feature of that advance in this century's first decade has been the tendency to attempt large and stirring enterprises and gatherings, thus striking the keynote of a representative unity in our great friendly sisterhood.
The Grosvenor House Sale and Exhibition, opened by H.R.H. Princess Louise in May, 1905, was the result of energetic efforts throughout England, and loyal help from over seas. More than £600 was made for the Organisation Funds for India and the Colonies, and right well has it been spent in strengthening our Empire work.
The gathering in 1908, when 8,000 Members were massed in the Albert Hall, will never be forgotten by those who had the happiness of being present, nor 'the thrill that went from floor to roof, through all those watching thousands,' when [133/134] the Central President (Mrs. Chaloner Chute) and her supporters crossed the hall and took their places on the platform. Here were assembled Vice-Presidents, Members of Central and Diocesan Councils, Secretaries, Archbishops and Bishops, and Representatives of the G.F.S. from all parts of the world. The Bishop of Southwell took the Chair, and gave an address after reading the following message, which has since become so well known:
'The future of the Girls' Friendly Society lies with its Members throughout the world. Will they keep before them its threefold ideal, never more needed than now--the upholding of the purity of womanhood, the strength of friendship, and the bond of prayer--or will they let it sink into a mere secular organisation, without living force for work or fighting in the Name of Christ? To what purpose so great an army if it does not lead to victory?'
The Archbishop of Canterbury sent an inspiring letter, and after many speeches and addresses the proceedings closed with a message of greeting sent through the Bishop of Springfield to our great and beloved Sister Society in America.
On March 1 (St. David's Day), 1910, another great gathering was held in the Queen's Hall, when the Princess of Wales (now our gracious Queen) consented to receive purses and present certificates on behalf of the Lodges and Homes of Rest Fund, which, by the untiring energy of Miss Hotchkis (Head of Lodges Department) and her workers, had reached the total of over £20,000. As the Princess, escorted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, Mrs. Chute, Hon. Mrs. Campion, Hon. Mrs. H. Corry, and Miss Hotchkis, came on the platform, the whole audience stood while the opening bars of the National Anthem and God Bless the Prince of Wales' were played [134/135] on the organ. Then, although 430 purses were presented, the long procession passed by very quickly, the last to come up being those bearing purses for the Fund for the G.F.S. Worker in South Africa. Amongst special purses was one from the G.F.S. in America, presented by Miss K. M. Townend, who wore the little flag with the stars and stripes in honour of our friendly sisters over the water. Purses also came from Ceylon and Bombay, from Guernsey and Alderney Branch, and from Ramsey, Isle of Man. Another special purse was that contributed by the young lady employees of the Army and Navy Auxiliary Co-operative Society, Ltd.
The quiet work of the Society, seen and unseen, has been steadily maintained through its Central and Diocesan Councils, its Branch work, and an increasing number of Members' Committees. The need of a 'Forward Movement,' to gather in the interest of young ladies of leisure as Members of the Society, was brought before the November Council of 1909, and the possible power of the G.F.S. as a Missionary force before the Branch Conference in 1910. Already we can see the dawn of an increasing interest in Missions and in Imperial work, and we believe the motto of the Society for the twentieth century will be expansion both for Home and Empire.
Space fails to give in these pages more than the faintest sketch of our Empire work, beginning with India and Ceylon, where in 1903-4 the G.F.S. attained a wider development, owing to the Bishops of Lahore, Lucknow, Rangoon (and, later on, the Bishop of Bombay), appealing to the home Society to send out ladies who could live and organise in their respective Dioceses. In Lahore an Honorary Worker has succeeded Miss FitzGerald, now returning on furlough after five years' residence. At Rangoon the G.F.S. is in charge of Mrs. Chard (G.F.S. Associate and Honorary S.P.G. Worker). [135/136] The Bishop of Lucknow having built a house for Church workers in the cathedral city of Allahabad, two Associates went there as Honorary Workers, and towards the maintenance of a third the Committee has made a grant of £30 per annum for the last four years. The Bishop of Singapore is at present bent on organising the G.F.S. in his difficult and scattered Diocese, and is taking advantage of a visit from Miss FitzGerald on her way home from Lahore to do this. He also asks for a grant towards a permanent Worker. It has been thought better to work Singapore with the Eastern Group, though (like Ceylon) it is a Crown Colony.
Besides the personal work amongst girls, something has been done in the way of starting Lodges and Homes of Rest in Bombay, Allahabad, Murree, and Colombo (Ceylon). The way, indeed, is opening in many directions, but means are lacking to take advantage of opportunities.
The G.F.S. in South Africa is gradually becoming more indigenous, and is still working in the same six Dioceses, with a Provincial Council, meeting at Cape Town. Miss Whitley, who went out in 1909 as Special Organising Worker for three years, has been travelling through the Dioceses, visiting towns and villages, starting new Branches, inspiring workers in the most scattered settlements with the high ideals of the Society, making suggestions for practical work, helping the Mothers' Union, and encouraging Candidates' Classes among the children. The Society not being as yet entirely self-supporting, the heavy expenses of this special envoy are defrayed by a Special Home Fund, though, without the hospitality so generously given in South Africa, this could hardly have covered the great cost of travelling, etc. One of the principal features of the G.F.S. in South Africa is the formation of Branches at the 'Camps' of the Railway Mission. The number of people in these camps perpetually [136/137] fluctuating as railway work contracts and expands, the actual Branches are apt to alter in the same way, but the work, especially among Candidates, will surely bear fruit in many a lonely spot; and in that work Members are beginning to take their part.
There is now but one G.F.S. Lodge in South Africa--at Durban, the Port of Natal--but this is a most successful centre and the greatest boon both to girls and women, either working in the place itself, arriving from England, or coming down from the Transvaal and Rhodesia.
In the Dominion of Canada the Deputation Tours of Miss Whitley in 1905 and Miss Townend in 1908 have done much to vitalise the work, but it is still far from adequate to the immense area to be covered, and to the enormous increase in the number of emigrants and emigrating families which are constantly pouring into the country of 'Our Lady of the Snows.' No less than 320 Members and 43 Candidates were commended in 1910. The G.F.S. in Canada has started a Correspondence Department, to try and keep in touch with isolated Members, and the Women's Auxiliary for Church Mission Work has promised to co-operate in the matter of commendation. Lodges are much needed, and great efforts are being made to start one at Lloydminster. A Travelling Secretary has also been appointed.
In Newfoundland the Society continues its successful work, and the Bishop has keen interest in it. There are four Branches and a large number of Candidates. Quarterly meetings, weekly social meetings, classes, lectures, etc. are held. There is still an energetic Members' Committee at St. John's, and the Anniversary is kept on the same day as in England.
In the Commonwealth of Australia our work was much strengthened by Miss Peacock's tour in 1906. In W. Australia [137/138] the Society has spread from the Diocese of Perth, where it is steadily increasing, into the Diocese of Bunbury. Here in the outlying districts, where homesteads are often many miles apart, it is very difficult to make much headway, but the six Branches already formed at Bunbury, South Bunbury, Busselton, Collie, Katanning and Wagin are vigorously maintained. In his recent charge to the Diocesan Synod, the Bishop of Bunbury said: 'The G.F.S. continues to do good work . . . I am glad to say that nearly every Branch endeavours to observe the annual Day of Intercession in June, and that some Branches offer their Members opportunity for Bible-study.'
In South Australia the great event of 1910 was the keeping of its first Anniversary Week by the G.F.S. in Adelaide, following day by day our Anniversary at home, and including a Quiet Day for Associates, an Industrial Exhibition of Members' work, the Services of the Day of Intercession, and a Mass Meeting for Members, to which a greeting was sent from the Foundress, repeating and emphasising the Albert Hall message. In Victoria and Queensland the Society's work is maintained, but the need of an Organising Worker is much felt. Rockhampton (Queensland) has its own Diocesan Council and two Branches, Rockhampton and Capella--the latter organised as a Country Branch by a Member from Ipswich. Delightful letters are received by the Lincoln Diocesan Leaflet from the 'Mother' of St. Mary's Home, Rockhampton, who says the G.F.S. is the 'best Society for girls ever started.' In Thursday Island (Carpentaria) there is a flourishing Candidates' Class. The G.F.S. in Tasmania follows the lead of the enthusiastic worker who first started it, Mrs. Mercer, the wife of the Bishop, who has now been called to her rest. The work prospers, and new Branches are added every year.
 In the Dominion of New Zealand the G.F.S. is working well in five out of the six Dioceses, and is likely to make a -fresh start in the sixth. Miss Whitaker's visit will do much to carry on the impetus given by former Organising Workers from England. There are two excellent Lodges in Wellington and Auckland, very important to Members coming out from the home-land.
Two new 'spheres of influence' have been slowly forming for our Society during the past few years in the West Indies and South America.
In the autumn of 1905 the aims and organisation of the G.F.S. were laid before the Archbishop of the West Indies, and after correspondence with his Grace and with Sister Madeline of Kingston, it was decided that the work should be started among the girls in High Schools in the Diocese of Jamaica, beginning with the Deaconess House School, Kingston. Miss Brewin (Associate of Twickenham Branch), who was visiting in Jamaica in November, 1905, was asked to address a Meeting of Clergy at the Bishop's Lodge, and it was decided that girls of the fourth and fifth forms should be enrolled Candidates, while some teachers and girls who had left or were leaving school should be admitted as Members. The Inaugural Meeting was held on June 13, 1906. The Society is at present reckoned as one Branch in Jamaica, but this includes eight groups of School Branches (High Schools and Diocesan Schools), the Head Mistress of each being an Associate, and the pupils, Candidates (Junior and Senior), who become Members upon leaving. These groups are in the following schools: Spanish Town, Deaconess House School, Kingston; Richmond; Port Maria; Falmouth; Highgate; St. Ann's, Browns Town; Montego Bay. [139/140]
After the Society had been started in Jamaica (hindered, alas in 1907 by the terrible calamity of the earthquake), the Archbishop placed it before the other Bishops of the Islands in the Province, but no action was taken until a beginning was made in Antigua, where, however, the Society has as yet failed to take any root. But in 1909 a vigorous start was made in Barbados, a Diocesan. President and Council being elected, and a Branch organised at Bridgetown. Over eighty Members have been admitted, having first been Senior Candidates, almost all being educated girls--pupils in the schools, relations of the Associates, etc. The G.F.S. in Barbados held its first Anniversary Service on June 23 in the cathedral. The Bishops of Guiana and British Honduras have also sanctioned the Society, and it is hoped that the Bishops of Nassau and Trinidad will allow Diocesan representatives to be appointed.
As regards South America, it must be explained that the division of the Diocese of the Falkland Islands in 1909 was a new departure in the great effort the Anglican Church has been making since 1870 to carry the Gospel of Christ to the heathen of that vast continent, and also to minister to her own people who have settled along its coasts.
In 1902 Bishop Every succeeded Bishop Stirling, who had laboured for thirty years as Bishop of the Falkland Islands. When the Diocese was divided he became Bishop of the Anglican Church in Argentina--that is, the eastern or Atlantic side of South America, with Buenos Aires, one of the largest cities in the world, as his centre--and Bishop Blair was consecrated (March, 1910) as Bishop of the Falkland Islands, including the charge of the Western or Pacific side. The Falkland Islands are a British possession, and here, at Port Stanley, is the Cathedral of the Diocese. On the Pacific side is Valparaiso (Chili), with a population of [140/141] 200,000 people, who live, we are told, for the most part 'in lightly-built houses of all sizes, shapes, and colours, clinging like limpets to the bare, brown hills.' The British Colony in Valparaiso is a large one (at least 4,000); here is the Anglican Church of St. Paul, and here the Bishop will have his permanent residence.
The new Diocese comprises the five new Republics of Colombia in the North, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chili in the South. Rapidly-growing towns along the coast are expanding through commercial enterprise, and attracting in increasing numbers the young life of the Old Country. In the interior remain the American Indians, people for the most part lost in heathen darkness, and diminishing under the pressure of commercial advance.
The Girls' Friendly Society has been sanctioned by both Bishops. In Argentina Bishop Every has appointed as Diocesan Secretary Mrs. Caldwell, Pontresina, Quilmes, Buenos Aires. In Chili Bishop Blair has commended the G.F.S. to his Chaplains, and inquiries are being made by them. He is also desirous of starting the Mothers' Union, and it is hoped that these two Societies will co-operate, that work for Candidates may be first started, and that all ranks may be included in the Membership of the G.F.S., which should have a great sphere of usefulness when it becomes indigenous in this vast continent. Educated Members, governesses, nursery governesses, etc., are going out from time to time, and also some girls to join their own relations. Up to the present those who go out have been commended to the Chaplains, for there are as yet no Branches of the Society, and life in the country and on the Estancias is extremely lonely. Great care should also be taken to ascertain that desirable posts are chosen by our Members before they leave home for this far-distant land.
M. E. TOWNSEND.
 This book has still one message to carry, and it is this--that while we give God thanks for the work which can be seen and recorded, and still more for that which is unseen and unrecorded, yet surely this is a time seriously to ask ourselves whether our methods are now adequate to our present scope. Year by year we have enlarged our borders, year by year our objects have been widened to comprise every age and rank of girlhood and womanhood. We are no longer an association of ladies working for girls chiefly of one class, but a band of women, of all ranks, ages and occupations, invited to share in the same work and to uphold the same principles, each according to her powers. Thank God that it is so; but must we not set ourselves to rise to the measure of our own capacities, that in our methods, our machinery, our literature, our ideas, we may adapt ourselves to this development; above all, that we may find means definitely to organise the working powers of our vast and varied Membership which is now able to carry the ideal of the Society into every sphere of life?
'The Girls' Friendly Society was born of the longing to save, of the longing to protect and preserve in purity, the maidenhood of England. And now on all sides we still hear and know of the need for rescue work, of the loosening of sacred ties, of the dangers to morality of our modern literature. Have we not a right to hope that there should be an appreciable lessening of the great evil we were and are banded together to fight? To what purpose this great army if it does not lead to victory? Our principles are unshaken, and our watchword--the honour of womanhood, not for its own sake, but for Christ's sake--is still the same.'
M. E. T.
From 'L'Envoi,' History of G.F.S. (First Edition, 1897.)
 G.F.S. Calendar.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute;
Jan. G.F.S. Lodge opened at Durban.
May. Imperial Sale held at Grosvenor House, opened by H.R.H. Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll.
June 21. Colonial Conversazione at the Westminster Palace Hotel.
June 22. Twenty-seventh Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of Barrow-in-Furness.
June 23. Thirtieth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Chelsea Town Hall, opened by the Rev. Leonard Burrows, Vicar of Croydon.
Aug. 5. Death of Miss M. Rashleigh, Head of the Industrial Department since 1898.
Sep. 14. Death of Sir Wyndham Portal, who helped to draw up the Objects of the Society, and gave much useful advice on all matters connected with thrift.
Sep. Miss Whitley started on three months' Organising Work in Canada.
Sep. Mrs. Jerome Mercier visited Western Canada.
Sep. Resolution passed by the Upper House of the General Synod of the Canadian Church commending the G.F.S. and the M.U. to the Clergy in the Provinces.
Sep. Inauguration of the G. F. S. in the West Indies.
Oct. 30. G.F.S. Central Employment Office opened at 14, Victoria Street by the Lord Bishop of Barking.
Oct. Miss Clarke and Miss FitzGerald started for India as G.F.S. Workers in Rangoon and Lahore.
Nov. 20. Resignation of Mrs. Townsend as Colonial Correspondent.
Dec. 16. Death of Mr. Townsend, Trustee of the Society from 1879.
Branches, 1,442. Associates, 34,009. Members, 164,174. Candidates, 68,639. Branch Workers, 588. Married Helpers, 1,106.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute;
Jan. G.F.S. organised in the Diocese of Carpentaria.
Mar. 23. Miss D. Peacock started on an Organising Tour through Australia and New Zealand.
April 1. Death of Mrs. Harold Browne, first President of Winchester G.F.S. Diocesan Council, and Hon. Member of the Central Council since 1887.
April. Resignation of Mrs. Wood, first President of G.F.S. in Canada.
May 18. Public Meeting for the G.F.S. at the Church House, Westminster, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
May. G.F.S. Lodge and Home of Rest opened at Murree.
June 19. Meeting of Central Council. The collection of £20,000 to form a Central Fund for Lodges and Homes of Rest sanctioned.
June 19. Resignation of Miss Bowlby, Central Secretary since 1896, received.
June. Twenty-eighth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Primate of New Zealand.
June 22. Thirty-first Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by the Rev. Prebendary Dalton, Rector of Stepney.
Sep. G.F.S. Lodge opened at Frankfort-am-Main.
Nov. 21. Meeting of Central Council. Miss Ethel Smith (11 years Winchester Diocesan Sec.) appointed Central Secretary.
Dec. 19. Presentation of £300 to Miss Bowlby, on her retirement from the post of Central Secretary.
Branches, 1,485. Associates, 35,014. Members, 170,614. Candidates, 71,397. Branch Workers, 716. Married Helpers, 1,734.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Feb. 20. Meeting of Central Council. Issue of a Central Station Card sanctioned.
 June 20. Twenty-ninth Anniversary Service in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway.
June 21. Thirty-second Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by the Lord Bishop of Dorking.
June. G.F.S. Lodge opened in Bombay.
June. Constitution for G.F.S. in Victoria submitted and approved.
Oct. Mrs. Foster appointed G.F.S. Worker for Bombay.
Oct. Colonial Edition of the Members' Guide Book first issued.
Oct. Constitution for Queensland submitted and approved.
Nov. 20. Meeting of Central Council. Six Almshouses at Rugeley accepted as a gift from the Rev. Hon. C. J .Littleton.
Nov. Joint Committee for Committee of Women's Work of the S.P.G., Mothers' Union, and G.F.S., appointed to consider questions affecting mutual work in India.
Branches, 1,534. Associates, 35,187. Members, 175,354. Candidates, 73,626. Branch Workers, 746. Married Helpers, 2,100.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
June 29. Archdeacon Peacock, of Ballarat, attended Joint Meeting of Sectional Committees for Australia and New Zealand.
July 2. Mass Meeting of Associates and Members in the Albert Hall in connection with the Pan-Anglican Congress. Chairman: The Lord Bishop of Southwell.
July 2. Special Services held in St. Paul's Cathedral; Preacher, the Bishop of St. Albans. Westminster Abbey; Preacher, the Bishop of Perth, Australia. Southwark Cathedral; Preacher, the Bishop of Montreal. St. Mary Abbott's, Kensington; Preacher, the Bishop of Bunbury. Holy Trinity, Sloane Street; Preacher, the Bishop of Grahamstown.
The total collections amounted to £234 7s. 7d. and £134 15s 10d; was sent to the Pan-Anglican Thank-offering.
 July 3. Thirty-third Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by the Lord Bishop of Auckland, New Zealand.
July. The President, Central Council, and Members of the Colonial and India Committees, gave an "At Home" to Associates at the Criterion.
Sep. The Bishop of Bombay attended Committee of Council for the G.F.S. in India and Ceylon, held at the G.F.S. Central Office.
Oct. Miss K. M. Townend started on a Tour in Canada and U.S.A.
Oct. 27. First Monthly Intercession Service held in the Boardroom of the Central Office; the address was given by the Rev. Prebendary Pennefather, D. D., Vicar of St. Mary Abbott's, Kensington.
Nov. 11-17. Doll Pageant held at 9 Tufton Street, Westminster, in aid of the Shanklin Home of Rest and the Central Lodges Fund, opened by H. R. H. the Duchess of Albany.
Branches, 1,554. Associates, 37,004. Members, 180, 396. Candidates, 78,408. Branch Workers, 874. Married Helpers, 2,039.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Mar. 20. Miss Whitaker, formerly Diocesan Secretary of Birmingham, sailed for Wellington, New Zealand, for two years' Organising Work.
April 24. Miss Whitley, formerly Branch Secretary of Weybridge, sailed for South Africa for three years' Organizing Work.
April 29. G.F.S. Lodge opened at Bradford.
June. Donation of £10 received from H.R.H. The Princess of Wales for the Central Lodges Fund.
June 16. Meeting of Central Council: New Chapter re G.F.S. Monogram added to the Constitution.
June 17. Thirty-first Anniversary Service held in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Bishop of Birmingham.
 June 18. Thirty-fourth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Portman Rooms, opened by the Bishop of Kensington.
June. Constitution for the G.F.S. in the West Indies approved.
Aug. G.F.S. Lodge at Auckland, New Zealand, dedicated and opened by the Bishop.
Aug. G.F.S. Lodge opened at Allahabad as Annexe to the All Saints' House.
Nov. 9. Death of Miss Bowlby, late Central Secretary of the G.F.S.
Dec. 6. Death of Mrs. Milman, Head of Sick Members Department since 1892.
Dec. 29. Miss Underhill, formerly Diocesan Worker for Lichfield, sailed for Allahabad as G. F. S. Worker in Lucknow Diocese.
Branches, 1,606. Associates, 38,006. Members, 186,499. Candidates, 80,234. Branch Workers, 907. Married Helpers, 2,145.
Jan. President of Central Council: Mrs. Chaloner Chute.
Jan. South African Leaflet first issued.
Jan. Inauguration of the G.F.S. in the Diocese of Singapore.
Jan. 22. Miss Ruth Wordsworth sailed for Japan as Our Own Missionary in place of Miss Palmer, resigned.
Jan. 23. Death of the Dowager Lady Lawson, President of Carlisle G.F.S. Diocesan Council for thirty-one years.
Jan. Inauguration of the G.F.S. in the Diocese of Barbados.
Jan. Temporary G.F.S. Lodge opened at Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.
Mar. 1. H.R.H. the Princess of Wales received purses at the Queen's Hall on behalf of the Central Lodges Fund. The purses contained £3,722, making the total amount of the Fund £20,744.
May 12. Assistant Bishop of Qu'Appelle, Rev. Canon Welch, and Rev. Douglas Ellison, attended Sectional Committee for Canada at the G.F.S. Central Office.
 June 23. Thirty-second Anniversary Service held in St. Paul's Cathedral. Preacher: The Lord Bishop of Gloucester.
June. The Branch Secretaries of England and Wales gave an 'At Home' to Members of the Central Council, etc., at the Royal Horticultural Hall, Westminster.
June 24. Thirty-fifth Branch Secretaries' Conference in the Royal Horticultural Hall, Westminster, opened by the Lord Bishop of Stepney.
June. Women's Auxiliary of Canada asked to co-operate with the G.F.S. in Canada in befriending Members.
June. G.F.S. work in South America sanctioned by the Bishop in Argentina and the Bishop of the Falkland Islands.
June. Anniversary Week first observed in South Australia.
June. Special G.F.S. Appeal for Canada issued.
July. Her Majesty Queen Mary consented to become Patron of the G.F.S.
Aug. 17. Death of Miss Agnes Money, Member of the Central Council from its formation in 1875.
Sep. Death of Archbishop Maclagan.
Oct. Miss Deey and Mrs. Chard started for Allahabad and Rangoon as G.F.S. Workers.
Oct. 18 First Meeting of Sectional Committee for West Indies. The work of the G.F.S. brought before the Synod of the West Indian Bishops, at the Church House, London.
Nov. 6. Miss FitzGerald, formerly G.F.S. Worker in Lahore, started for Organising Work in Singapore.
Nov. Appointment of M.U. representative on Colonial Committee.
Dec. West Indian Treaty sent for signature.