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How to choose Godparents for children's baptism

(10 Posts)
MrsShrekTheThird Tue 26-Jul-11 16:50:50

Ds2 and DD have decided that they would like to be baptised. I wanted them to be able to choose rather than doing baby baptism when they were very small, and at 7 and 5 they now want to be part of the Christian family which is great. They are each able to give me their choice of a godparent, but I've not really got a clue beyond that. DH and I both have older brothers, but I don't know how many godparents a child needs and whether gender is an issue. My GodPs were my brother and my mums friend. Any advice to help me out?

MindtheGappp Tue 26-Jul-11 17:00:39

Typically, it is two of the same sex and one of the opposite sex. This is just a guide rather than a rule.

MrsShrekTheThird Tue 26-Jul-11 17:12:44

Thank you - it's a start!

MrsShrekTheThird Tue 26-Jul-11 18:45:03

Bumping for any suggestions how/who to ask?!

MaryBS Tue 26-Jul-11 19:52:08

I assume this is in the C of E? You are supposed to have one Godparent who has been confirmed. You can have up to 4 Godparents. I was asked about the 2 of 1 and one of the other, it used to be a requirement, but is not generally enforced.

Do you have someone in mind who will support them in their faith? Some people like to pick family members, others close friends who can act as unofficial aunties/uncles. No real rule on this, although it CAN cause upset when you have relatives/friends who "expect" to be asked and then aren't!

MindtheGappp Tue 26-Jul-11 20:17:46

Are you DCs churchgoers? Do they have role models in church, such as their Sunday School teachers?

MrsShrekTheThird Wed 27-Jul-11 01:58:25

I do go to church and I work in a c of e school, DH doesn't but will support them. Ds2 thinks his cub leader is a good role model for his faith (she is!) and we have family friends who support the dc in this way too. Although not potential godparent, ds2s teacher is a lay reader in our church. Dd goes to services with me and takes part in church parade with rainbows etc.

The friends we might ask are the sort who wouldn't be part of our own church but would encourage them iyswim? I thought all godparents had to have been confirmed tbh...

MaryBS Wed 27-Jul-11 07:47:35

They sound fine, ideal in fact! No, only 1 has to be confirmed, they all have to be baptized though. (I'm a Lay Reader and I've been preparing families for their children being baptized)

tortilla Wed 27-Jul-11 08:00:15

The point of godparents is to help your children grow in their faith, isn't it? And on a non-faith basis it is to be an additional adult influence in their lives who they can turn to when they need help and support, or just fun! So it isn't just about who is a good influence in their lives now - please think carefully and don't just choose the most 'Christian' person you know (I'm not assuming you will by the way!). Think about whether this person will be in your children's lives as they grow up. Neither my brother nor I have godparents that we keep in touch with because they just happened to be friends in my parents' lives at that time but then drifted apart or moved away and then never kept in touch with us. We each had one uncle as a godparent, but that always seems a little bit of a waste of the godparent role IMO because uncles are already there to provide that guiding role within a familial context really and I see the godparent role as a way of providing an additional adult influence separate from the family role. My best friend has a wonderful godmother - her mother's best friend so wasn't disappearing anywhere! - who has been there for her for 35 years and counting, and I am so jealous of the relationship they have! I would love to have an adult who has seen me grow up, and supports me in my life, but is not a member of my family with all that entails.

I'm sure you will make a good decision, as you and your children seem to be going about this so carefully and thoughtfullysmile

nickelbabe Fri 29-Jul-11 16:46:29

FUnny you should have posted this - we're expecting our first in November, and haven't a clue who to choose as godparents.

my criteria are:
someone who lives close by, therefore that will be available as the child grows up to help with faith etc
someone who is a church-goer and a beleiver (not always the same thing! grin ), so that I know they will be willing and able to help them grow in faith
someone who isn't too old, so that they will be around for a good many years.
and someone who is our friend too, so that we should remain close to their family.

We have many problems with this, because it rules out all my family (too far away), most of my close friends (too far away and not all religious), most of DH's close friends (not religious), most of DH's family (not religious), most of the people we know in church (too old!), the rest of the people we know from church (too young, or we're not that close friends with)
it's such a dilemma. you can't just choose someone with only 1 or 2 of those criteria, because it doesn't guarantee that you'll have a godparent that will help to encourage the child's faith. An I don't want to fall into the trap of asking a close friend in the same way we did for representatives at our wedding, because they're promising something completely different - ie they can support us in our marriage without being religious, but they can't do that for a child's religious nuturing.

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