Guidance for Godparents
It is a real privilege to be a Godparent. When a friend or family member asks you to be a Godparent to their child, it is a sign of real trust and friendship, love and respect. You are being invited to share the responsibility for the child throughout its life – it is a serious life-long commitment and should bring with it moments of great happiness.
Godparents are among the most important people at a Christening. They make big promises to encourage their Godchild to grow in faith and they commit to helping them understand how to live their life in a Christian way.
Alongside your Godchild’s parents, you will
- Give your time to your godchild to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
- Model and encourage them to develop Christian values – being kind and compassionate towards others, being generous towards others in need with time or money and standing against things in the world that cause injustice and suffering.
- Pray for your godchild through the ups and downs of their life and their faith journey.
- Show them practically how to make good choices in life, for themselves and for others. This might mean talking to them about how to stay healthy, how to resist temptations that can harm us and other people, how to care for God’s amazing world and how to handle peer pressure as they grow older.
- Help them to learn more about the Christian faith, through their church and in other ways. Going to church with them, talking about what the Bible shows us and helping them learn how to pray are all brilliant ways to support your godchild.
It’s a demanding role, but help is always at hand through your church.
During the Christening service, Godparents are required to make some big promises to support their Godchild throughout their life.
These are the first things you will be asked in the Christening service:-
- “Will you pray for [your Godchild/ren], draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ?”
- “Will you care for [your Godchild/ren], and help them to take their place within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?”
To the questions above, the parents and Godparents answer: “With the help of God we will”.
You will then be asked some questions which you answer on behalf of a child who is too young to answer for themselves:
- You will be asked to turn away from all things that are against God – this includes turning away from the wrong in our own lives (as defined by God) and standing courageously against the wrong in the world.
- You will then be asked to turn positively towards Jesus – the unique Son of God, the saviour of the world and the companion and guide for the amazing journey ahead.
These are big questions and big promises and not to be taken lightly! In fact, they are the same promises made for a service of adult baptism or confirmation. Godparents need to take time to explore them for themselves before making them on behalf of a small child. To this end, we invite prospective Godparents to join the parents as they explore what a Christening means through Considering Christening and Christianity Explored.
Help is always at hand:-
- In the service itself, the vicar will pray for God to help you in your role as a Godparent.
- Wherever you live, the church will be there for you with help and advice about Godparenting if ever you need it.