Being a Godparent

… Is a Great Honour                                                                                                                                         It suggests that you are special to your Godchild’s family and that you will be a special person to that child. It is certainly a compliment to have been asked- but it is a real responsibility too.

How much you can do will depend on a lot of things such as whether you live nearby, how easy it is to keep in touch with the family as a whole and your concerns with your own life and family. However, the main thing is to try to keep in touch so that your Godchild knows that essentially you are a special person for them.

 … Is an Ancient Practice
The origins of the practice of appointing Godparents go back many centuries. It has always been the custom of the church to appoint sponsors to guide and teach those who are preparing for Baptism. Therefore at the heart of your task is the upbringing of your Godchild as a Christian.

” Parents and Godparents, the Church receives this child with joy. Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith. Will you pray for them, draw them by your example into the community of faith and walk with them in the way of Christ? ”  – From the Baptism Service.

… Is a Holy Calling and an Opportunity
At the baptism service the Church will pray that you will be given the strength of God’s Holy Spirit to carry out this task. Whatever your experience of the Christian faith so far, becoming a Godparent is an opportunity for you to think more about what it means to be a follower of Christ so that you can give the right support and encouragement to your Godchild and their parents. If you are not already Confirmed or perhaps your Confirmation was many years ago and you would like a ‘refresher’ in the basics of the faith do have a chat with your Rector who be happy to guide you.

At the Baptism you will be asked the following questions:

  • ” Do you turn the Christ? – I turn to Christ.”
  • ” Do you repent of your sins? – I repent of my sins.”
  • ” Do you renounce evil? – I renounce evil.”

From the Baptism Service.

Godparents at the Service
During the service Godparents usually sit with the parents and for the baptism itself stand near them, probably slightly apart from everybody else. You may get to hold the baby at some stage (so do practice first so that the baby feels secure with you). You will join the parents and other Godparents in promising to bring your Godchild up to know and love God as a part of His Church.
 
It’s Good to be a Godparent
It can include the joy of knowing someone from a different generation and being special to them. It can also mean having the satisfaction of being part of someone’s growing up and of the person they become.

When children become teenagers Godparents can be very important indeed. If you’ve developed a friendship with your Godchild in the early years you can be trusted adult who is not part of the immediate family and so is not involved with the everyday tensions that are a natural par of family life. At this stage Godparents can really come into their own as wise and helpful friends and guides.

Some Suggestions for Godparents
• Remember, distance is no barrier to the power of prayer, so hold them daily in your prayers. Each prayer is an expression of your love for your Godchild. Don’t be shy of telling them that you pray for them. You will receive a card marking as a memento of the Baptism. Keep it in a prominent place – perhaps in your Bible – so that you will remember your Godchild each day.

• Mark each anniversary of their baptism as a kind of extra birthday. A card or gift may be appropriate. Christian bookshops usually have a helpful selection of things to choose from which will help your Godchild learn more about God.

• Keep in touch by letter or speak with them about how your understanding and experience of God is changing. This helps them see by your example that the Christian faith isn’t a ‘Sundays only’ affair. Take a special interest in what they’re doing and, above all be prepared to listen.

• When you visit or stay with your Godchild’s family do offer to read and pray with your Godchild at bedtime. If you’re there on a Sunday, be sure to take them with you to church.

• Encourage them to look forward to being Confirmed and receiving Holy Communion. Ask the Rector if you can present them to the Bishop at their Confirmation.