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How Do We Choose Godparents? What Do They Do?

The Baptism of a child is wonderful occasion, and being a Godparent is an important part of what is being done. 
It is both a great privilege and a great responsibility.  It’s not just about taking part in the special service and celebration ~ that is just the start of this special role.


This page will help parents choose Godparents and to help Godparents know what is expected of them – on the day of the baptism and in the years ahead. 


What are Godparents for?  What do they do?


Godparents make the same promises as the parents.  They promise to:-


  • to pray for the child;
  • to encourage and support the parents in giving the child a Christian upbringing;
  • to set an example of Christian living
  • and help the child take their place within the church.


Godparents need to take seriously these promises, to think through the meaning of what is being asked of them and to think carefully about how they will fulfil their promises. 


The Decision


Godparents and Parents are asked to say what they believe. 


It wouldn’t make any sense to have Godparents promising to lead by their example if they did not believe the Christian faith for themselves. 


Godparents must reaffirm promises made at their own baptism (and ALL Godparents MUST have been baptized). 


Together with the Parents they are asked 3 questions which all the Parents and Godparents answer together:


Do you turn to Christ?    I turn to Christ.
Do you repent of your sins?  I repent of my sins.
Do you renounce evil?  I renounce evil


Before making these promises Godparents and Parents must ask themselves whether they have decided to follow Jesus and therefore whether they are ready, willing and able to say these things about their own faith.   


If a Parent or Godparent feels unsure about the promises or decision and wants to talk them through – just get in touch and we’ll arrange a time to chat.  


Choosing Godparents


If you are choosing Godparents for your child you may find it helpful to ask questions like these:-


  • Is he or she the sort of person who will pray for me/us and our child?
  • Do I/we think they’ll set a good Christian example?
  • Will they encourage and support me/us in bringing up our child to know Jesus for themselves?


And don’t forget,


  • Every child must have at least one male and one female Godparent, but there is no maximum number of Godparents. 
  • All Godparents must themselves have been baptized. 


When you invite somebody to be a Godparent ~ let them have a look at this leaflet so that they know what will be expected of them.  If they are going to fulfil their promises it’s best that they know what they are saying YES to!  


Chosen to be a Godparent


If you have been invited to be a Godparent, then it is likely that your friends or relations think you are someone who:


  • will be a good example of Christian living;
  • can be relied upon to pray for their child;
  • will speak to their child about Jesus Christ;
  • will encourage them in their Christian faith.


Take time to think carefully about the promises you will be asked to make and the questions you will be asked about your own faith. 

If you want to be a Godparent and are able to say ‘YES’ to the responsibilities then be prepared for a joyful, important commitment to the child in your care.


Preparing for the Service


Find a few moments to read again the promises and statements of faith you will be asked to make and pray, asking God to help you.  Maybe you could use a prayer like:-
Loving Lord, I pray that you would guide and help me in being a Godparent.   Thank you for ….. and for the joy (s)he brings.  Help me to journey with him/her as (s)he learns to know and trust you as his/her saviour and friend.  Amen


During the service sit with the Parents and your Godchild.  The service will follow the order on the screen and further instruction will be given by the minister ~ don’t worry about a thing!


After the Baptism Service


You will be given a special Godparents’ card reminding you of the details of the Baptism and the promises that you have made.  It can be helpful as a reminder to pray for your Godchild as well as a prompt to keep in touch, especially on special days, such as the anniversary of the Baptism.

You may wish to buy your Godchild a gift.  These need not be expensive and there are a wide range of gifts available in Christian shops ~ for instance Green Pastures in Dereham and the Christian Resource Centre in Norwich stock cards, children’s bibles, story and prayer books as well as Christian keepsakes.   

Keep in touch with your Godchild and do all you can to help them get to know Jesus.  Make sure they know you are there for them, that you are committed to them.


Beyond Baptism to Confirmation

We hope that as your Godchild grows up they will decide to follow Jesus and will want to confirm the promises made on his/her behalf at Baptism.  This happens in a Confirmation Service, which is conducted by the Bishop and is usually supported by friends and family.  This is a special day for Godparents, as they celebrate the fulfilment of the promises made at Baptism. 


If you have any further questions or concerns ~ get in touch.  Ring Revd Dave Cossey on  07738 663803.