The Girls Friendly Society Diocesan Festival Service this year included a celebration of 140 years of G.F.S. work in Ireland. The magnificent 17ft birthday banner welcomed all to Drung on Sunday 28th May.
The bright sunshine was perfect for banners from all ten branches in Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh to line up outside the church and offered Bishop Ferran Glenfield an opportunity for prayer with the banner bearers.
Revd. Nick Jones led the service and taught a lively praise song that had everyone join in with the actions. His address, complete with relevant props, captured the attention of even the youngest girls present. With the help of volunteers in the role play, Revd. Nick showed how we can be found ‘NOT GUILTY’ through God’s mercy in sending Jesus – THE LAMB – to die on the cross for our sins.
The Prizegiving was then introduced by Mrs Violet Morton, Diocesan President, who welcomed everyone, expressed thanks and congratulated the girls on their excellent work. Violet presented the Diocesan Cups and Plaques to the winners in both Handcraft and Bible Study competitions. She added a big well done to every member who had competed and praised the leaders and parents for their loyalty week by week.
We were delighted that Mrs Sylvia Quinn, All Ireland President was also able to join us and Mrs Florence Higgins, former All Ireland President. Violet then called on Sylvia to present the All Ireland prizes which the Diocese had the honour of winning. Following this Sylvia paid tribute to all who down the years, built G.F.S. into the vibrant and strong society it is from its humble beginning in Bray. She then encouraged us to carry on the work and with God’s help empower girls to meet the challenges of the future.
At the conclusion of the service the banners were paraded out of the church followed by girls and leaders for photographs in the sunny outdoors.
Everyone enjoyed the wonderful array of refreshments served in the hall afterwards. Much interest was shown in the colourful display of posters there from the branches charting 140 years of G.F.S history and activities. A picture storyboard of giant K.E.A letters showing G.F.S events in the diocese drew many favourable comments. Also featured was a copy of the first meeting of G.F.S in 1877 – a testimony to the vision of those involved for the nurturing of girls and women and to “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ” Galatians 6:2.
Sincere thanks to Audrey and her helpers for mounting the displays and making the birthday banner and to Violet for the birthday cake. A big thank you to the tea team who prepared, served and cleaned up after, also thanks to the road stewards who did a fantastic job.
Revd. Nick and everyone in Drung, your hard work is much apricated for making the day a memorable joyful celebration enjoyed by one and all.