History and Mission
The Compassionate Friends was founded in England in 1969. Two sets of parents and a bereaved mother who each lost a child were brought together in an informal way by Rev. Simon Stephens to share their common bond of grief and memories. Soon they invited other familes who had also lost a child to join them. The idea for a society of “Compassionate Friends” was born.
The first US Chapter was founded in 1972. In 1978 The Compassionate Friends was incorporated as a non-profit organization. There are now more than 625 Compassionate Friends Chapters in every state of the United States and hundreds of chapters in Great Britain, Canada and other countries throughout the world.
The local Fairfax Chapter of The Compassionate Friends was formed in 1981 and now serves as the largest Chapter in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. Each chapter, along with the supporting National Office, is committed to helping every bereaved parent, sibling, or grandparent who may walk through our doors or contact us. The Fairfax Chapter of TCF embraces this mission. We are not counselors or therapists. We are parents, siblings and grandparents who have journeyed the same road you are now traveling. We reach out in support and friendship to share our experiences, learn from each other and offer understanding.