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To lie to the church about our godparents?

(369 Posts)
bumblebeesue Fri 03-May-13 15:25:51

We're having our child christened, mostly at the insistence of our parents, but also because it's a nice day and (I suspect) it means more to DH than he is letting on.

I got the paperwork to fill in today and 'godparents' have to be christened with at least one being confirmed.

Even though I'm not sure what I believe, choosing godparents is still important to me as people who will be there for our children should anything happen to us... But out of our two best couple friends (one being my sibling and his wife, and the other being best friends of ours for 20 years) only one is christened. (and confirmed)

I don't want to have to choose other people just because they are christened. I want to choose the very best people for my child in the future. (plus I know that they all really want to do it and would be amazing.)

So AIBU to just tick 'christened' even though they aren't? And what are the chances of being caught out?

superbagpuss Fri 03-May-13 15:28:05

I'm also wondering about this, don't have an answer I'm afraid

NotQuitePerfect Fri 03-May-13 15:28:45

Tick the box. If you know that they're the right choice for your child then that's all that matters, IMHO. Why should the fact that they haven't been christened themselves make them somehow 'unsuitable'?

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Fri 03-May-13 15:28:52

YABU to lie but you're unlikely to be found out, so if you can square it with your conscience that you have lied to your priest then that's fine.

My DN was baptised in our church and we lied to the priest about one of the GM being baptised (she's non-practising Jewish). For entirely unrelated reasons there was a huge falling out around 9 months later and nobody sees this GM anymore. I still see my priest weekly and it upsets me to think that we told a lie to him for no reason at all as the GM has abandoned any contact with my DN. I wish we hadn't done it.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 03-May-13 15:29:15

Godparents are not there should anything happen to you, they are there to ensure that your your dc receives a religious upbringing. Are your potential godparents regular church-goers, even if not christened themselves?

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 03-May-13 15:29:30

I suppose it's possible they'd ask you to bring in certificates - my DH's very fussy priest made me bring in mine when we got married.

Or you could just make your case to the vicar and hope? After all if one is christened and confirmed it's obvious your child will have someone religious in their life, and you've got strong reasons for choosing the other person, so it's not as if you've just not bothered to think it through.

Trill Fri 03-May-13 15:29:31


If you don't really want your child christened, and you want to pick "special people" who are not themselves Christians, then it seems rather silly to have a christening.

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 03-May-13 15:30:35

I would have thought chances of being caught out are very small. Perhaps they can't remember whether they were christened as they would have been so young at the time ?

valiumredhead Fri 03-May-13 15:31:35

I am Godmother to my friend's baby despite them being Catholic and me being C of E, the Godfather was catholic and the Priest said as long as one of us was Catholic then that was fine.

I would talk to the Vicar.

MaxPepsi Fri 03-May-13 15:32:11

They don't check.

My Niece's and Nephews all have god parents - all had the box ticked for being christened. Some weren't, some were, one is a muslim another is an atheist.

I have 3 godchildren, I am christened into CofE and even the very strict catholic priest who wanted other catholics only didn't check!!

JeanPaget Fri 03-May-13 15:33:03

Yes, YABU.

Christening your child isn't a nice party, it's welcoming your child into the church. Godparents are meant to provide religious guidance, not just to 'be there for your child'.

I'm not at all religious (and therefore haven't had my children christened), but I'm still quite hmm at the idea of lying to a church. If you're not faithful enough that lying to the minister and congregation bothers you then why are you having you child christened into the church at all?

Pootles2010 Fri 03-May-13 15:33:54

oldlady is right, Godparents aren't automatically guardians if you pop your clogs, if you want them to be, get it put in a will! Unrelated I know but still important wink

lightfairy Fri 03-May-13 15:34:35

Talk to your vicar/priest because in special circumstances you can have people there who are called something else but aren't God parents.

Anyway, if you want those people to be responsible for your children if anything should happen to you then it should be in your will. Just because they're God parents, it doesn't give them any legal powers of guardianship over your children after you're gone.

God parents are supposed to help your children understand their faith so you could have any one from the parish to do that bit and have it explicitly written down that these other people have parental responsibility.

BigBongTheory Fri 03-May-13 15:35:07

The vicar who baptised DC1basically said she didn't care as long as they would fulfil th role correctly.

NoWayPedro Fri 03-May-13 15:35:13

What oldlady said - its not in case anything happens to you.

Why are you having your DD christened again? 'Nice day....?' [Confused]

Sorry but YABU

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 03-May-13 15:35:34

Anyway I was christened but I wouldn't be able to find a piece of paper to prove it - it was a long time ago !
(Though think I did come across something about my confirmation recently in stuff my parents were sorting through, had a quick look at it, and then lost it again !)

AnythingNotEverything Fri 03-May-13 15:36:06

It doesn't sound like you want a christening, it sounds like you want a naming ceremony and a nice day out.

As a pp said, godparents are meant to take responsibility for a specific part of your child's upbringing, if for any reason you can't do it.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Fri 03-May-13 15:36:14

My friend lied about me being christened so I could be Godmother (vicar didn't ask me personally, I just had to turn up on the day)

I personally feel that being christened as a baby wouldn't have any bearing on how I am as a godparent BUT I do have faith, although not a regular church goer

FreckledLeopard Fri 03-May-13 15:37:23

YABU. Not a great way to set out on a Christian upbringing by lying at the Baptism.

Why are you getting your child baptised if you don't go to church or believe in God? You can have people being important in your DC's life without a baptism.

ImAlpharius Fri 03-May-13 15:37:40

They don't normally check, but a lot of churches will baptise adults before a childs baptism for them to be godparents.

It's your decision if you want promises made on behalf of and for your child to be based on a lie

Kaekae Fri 03-May-13 15:38:29

One of my DS1 godparents had not been christened, I spoke to the church about it and they were fine with it. When I had my DD1 christened, again one of godparents hadn't been christened but did attend her own church weekly. We were not asked about whether our godparents had been christened. But our vicar was aware that we had a godparent who had been christened because she was only 15 and I did ask if this would be acceptable and the reasons behind why we wanted her. If the church has a website sometimes they put details on there.

FairPhyllis Fri 03-May-13 15:39:20

Godparents are not people who look after your children if anything happens to you. They are specifically people who are chosen to take an interest in your DC's religious upbringing and education.

It's possible you may be asked to show their baptismal certificates.

JugglingFromHereToThere Fri 03-May-13 15:40:36

IMHO The church are foolish to ask as it only encourages dishonesty, and why can't anyone be a godparent that the parent's choose ?
However we didn't have ours christened but had other types of welcoming parties for them which were just as fun !

Cloverer Fri 03-May-13 15:42:02

I also think a non-religious naming ceremony would be the way to go - or even a compromise of a naming ceremony with a religious blessing?

If you're not really interested in the churchy/religious bit but want the family celebration and choosing godparents, then just do the bits you want!

EuroShaggleton Fri 03-May-13 15:42:39

Most of my friends have chosen godparents who would not otherwise have been godparents becuase of the "qualifications". Two particularly close friends have mentioned apologetically to me that they could not have me (athiest) even though they know I will play a big role in their child's life.

It seems to me that you are mixing up the role of god parents with other things.

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