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to think we don't need godparents?

(61 Posts)
lilyb84 Thu 10-Sep-15 09:24:52

Expecting first DC in January. Have several good friends who'll be 'aunt' this and 'uncle' that, I'm sure. DH has already mentioned to one that he can be godparent - I don't think entirely seriously.

We're not religious, my own godparents were my aunt and uncle who I've never been close to and who certainly didn't provide any guide of moral guidance - or anything else - in my life.

I don't see the need for our DC to have godparents and would rather avoid potentially putting people's noses out of joint if we were to pick one person or couple over others.

AIBU? Do (non-religious) people still have godparents? Or come to think of it, christenings which I also don't want?

FruSirkaOla Thu 10-Sep-15 09:28:05

YANBU. If you're not religious and don't want a christening, then there's no point in having a godparent.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 10-Sep-15 09:28:40

I'm not Christened, so have no godparents. I haven't suffered for it smile

ShatnersBassoon Thu 10-Sep-15 09:29:46

I should say my children are happily without godparents too.

DH doesn't know who his godparents are.

Catsize Thu 10-Sep-15 09:30:31

The christening kind of comes first in order to create the godparents. hmm

ShatnersBassoon Thu 10-Sep-15 09:32:43

Catsize, I think the op was initially considering a Christening without godparents, but then talked herself into wondering whether a Christening was worthwhile at all.

elliejjtiny Thu 10-Sep-15 09:33:18

My boys don't have godparents and neither does DH. My godparents are family members and, like you, I don't think it made any difference to me that they are godparents as well as aunties etc. We had a thanksgiving service for the dc at church because we wanted them to decide about baptism themselves when they were old enough to choose. I don't think they or DH has missed out by not having godparents.

WhatTheJeffHasGoneOnHere Thu 10-Sep-15 09:35:00

To have the godparents you have to have the christening.

Of course you don't have to do anything, I'm not christened. You can have a naming ceremony or just choose people to be special aunts and uncles should anything happen.

lilyb84 Thu 10-Sep-15 09:35:02

Showing my ignorance here - I had no idea the godparents were related to the christening. I know plenty of people who have the former without the latter.

Well that sorts that out as I don't want one of those either!

noiwontstoptalking Thu 10-Sep-15 09:35:12

If you are Christian and are having a Christening then have Godparents.

Otherwise why on earth would you?

PurpleDaisies Thu 10-Sep-15 09:36:35

I don't have any godparents and I don't think I have missed out on any way.

I'm a Christian and I do have two godchildren. In practice I don't think this has really made much difference to how we would have interacted with these kids other than guaranteeing them birthday and Christmas presents! The kids weren't Christened because the patents wanted them to make that choice for themselves when they were old enough (it was a thanksgiving service instead).

Absolutely no need to have godparents or a christening if you don't want to.

ScarletRuby Thu 10-Sep-15 09:36:59

I'm a godparent, I'm anti-religion and just didn't say the words at the service (to be fair there were 6 godparents and no-one noticed), I ok'd this with the parents before hand. I haven't seen my god-daughter for 3 years she seems to be coping fine.

I see my god-father all the time because he's a close family relative. On the other hand I see my god-mother about once every 5 years. I'm fine too.

grumpysquash Thu 10-Sep-15 09:37:32

My DC are not christened and don't have godparents. We didn't get married in a church.

It might be worth thinking about a legal guardian ???? I think godparents would be expected to pick up this role, generally speaking, but I'm not sure that it has any legal standing or obligation in reality.

PurpleDaisies Thu 10-Sep-15 09:38:52

Being a godparent has no legal standing any more grumpy.

Heathcliff27 Thu 10-Sep-15 09:39:45

Nope no godparents here either ad we arent religious. It would never cross our minds to have godparents.

We do, however, have instructions in our will as to who brings up our children in the event of our death occuring while they are still children.

MrsS1980 Thu 10-Sep-15 09:42:55

Godparents. The clue is in the name surely! If you are religious and want to have your baby baptised then have Godparents who are strong in their faith and who can provide spiritual guidance. If you are not then don't. My best friend will provide wonderful moral guidance to my children but is not a godparent as she is not at all religious.

I think whether or not it includes godparents just being aware of the value of having lots of Aunts and Uncles and friends involved in your child's life and upbringing is really important. If it would encourage a few to take on this role then have some godparents, or you may feel like us that there are plenty of people who can be encouraged to take an interest and make their own unique relationships with your child.
Deciding who to ask and put in your will as caregivers for your child if that were needed is also a really good idea, but tricky to decide/do. Have to admit we've never managed that, but then haven't written a will either.

lilyb84 Thu 10-Sep-15 09:49:39

I was christened and have godparents and know lots of other - non-religious - people for whom that's true. I wonder if it's one of those things that people just do out of some sort of generational habit...

WhatTheJeffHasGoneOnHere Thu 10-Sep-15 09:53:07

For some people yes it is just one of those things they do, the religious element has nothing to do with it, they just want a party.

We haven't got our dc christened as we aren't religious.

I also have good friends who had a naming ceremony/welcome to the world party and had godparents for their child who each said a few words during some toasts/speeches. So you can have one without the other (ie. without the christening if you're not religious)
Some might like to consider though that a christening can help with school places a few years down the line! No harm in being aware of these things and then you can make your own decision how you respond to the situation smile

TeenAndTween Thu 10-Sep-15 09:58:07

(If you may want your DC to go to the local outstanding oversubscribed CoE school, then getting him Christened might help. wink You'll need to check out the school entrance requirements. It the 'pay or pray' issue)

EponasWildDaughter Thu 10-Sep-15 09:58:39

I think it is habit.

Think about what, exactly, you would expect of a god parent OP. What are you asking them to do?

The most basic traditional role was to ensure their god children were raised properly in the christian faith and to attend church with them. In older times when mortality rates were higher the GPs might be expected to take on the role of parent if the real parents died.

molyholy Thu 10-Sep-15 10:00:12

We had a thanksgiving service which was basically to stop our catholic brainwashed parents thinking our child would end up in limbo, should anything unfortunate happen mentalists grin

We had no godparents and because christenings are done en masse, and not many people want a thanksgiving services, we were the only family there and it was really peaceful and chilled.

MissBattleaxe Thu 10-Sep-15 10:02:12

How can you have Godparents without a christening?

Godparents are intended to guide your child in religious growth. Many people these just appoint their friends, who are often not religious and in fact, christenings are often more about tradition than religion.

But appointing godparents without a christening really is pointless.

You could have sponsors, mentors or honorary "Aunties" but they really wouldn't be Godparents.

Also, you can't really appoint a friend as a legal guardian as a PP said as they would then be legally allowed to help raise your child and sign school permission forms and stuff!

There is also a commonly held belief that godparents raise your kids if you die before the child is 18. This is a myth and has no legal bearing.

PurpleDaisies Thu 10-Sep-15 10:02:25

Are you sure being christened helps you get into C of E schools? Christians disagree about whether infant baptism is a good thing or not and certainly the schools round here don't look on it either favourably or unfavourably.

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