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Choosing godparents- how did you decide?

(16 Posts)
IceNoSlice Fri 04-Jan-13 03:46:51

Just that really - what were your criteria?

We are struggling to decide, no real stand out candidates. Was the any of the following important to you:

religious beliefs of potential godparents
Geographical proximity
Likelihood that they will see much of DCs
Relations v friends
Anything else?

HollyMadison Fri 04-Jan-13 06:27:37

No personal experience as DC not christened, but maybe you could speak to the vicar/priest you are hoping would baptize your DC and see what they say and what your denomination's guidance is on the role of godparents.

My own godparents were friends of my parents and have had no hand in guiding me in my faith, so fairly pointless appointments for me. I tend to think relatives are a better bet than the parents' friends if there is no other standout candidate, as relatives are likely to always be close. I guess the distance thing could be a factor depending on how you were hoping the godparents would share their faith eg attend church on Sundays with DC etc.

IceNoSlice Fri 04-Jan-13 09:47:52

Thank you Holly, that is helpful. I hadn't thought of discussing godparent choice with the vicar, good idea- in principle. Unfortunately our church has no permanent vicar at the moment- we are shared and get a different one each week!

There are a couple of people at the church I have got to know though, I'll discuss it with them. Only lived here a few months so don't know them very well but I'm sure they'll help.

Tinkerisdead Fri 04-Jan-13 09:53:23

For us we wanted friends rather than family as we saw it that family already had a role. Godparents were a way of acknowledging to our friends how special they were to us.

We chose three couples as we found it impossible picking off husbands over wives etc if both were special to us. So we had dh's oldest friends. My oldest friends and a couple that we had befriended together. In addition to that we also asked couple no1 to be guardians in the event of our death. They are far more suitable to raise our kids than our feckless siblings.

Each couple has been such a good choice, they embrace our girls into their families and love them to death. In time I'm sure my dd's would readily turn to any of them as they are so much a part of each family in turn.

With hindsight I might have done it differently, but only because it has created an imbalance of Christmas presents (I know that sounds shallow but it upsets DS). DS has my brother, DH's brother and a friend as GPs. DD has 3 friends as GPs. The uncles buy presents for each DC at Christmas, whereas the friends buy inly for their GC (rightly of course). DS gets upset that every single year DD gets 2 more presents than him.

However we would have risked family upset by asking only one if our brothers (possibly). The friend GOs were chosen partly because of being lifelong friends and loyal personalities, us being GPs to their DCs, in 3/4 cases also because of their faith. However due to distance none of them ever see the DCs more than about once a year. I would say the lifelong friendship/loyalty factors are the most important to me.

worldgonecrazy Fri 04-Jan-13 10:00:54

For the equivalent role of Godparent we chose one spiritual person, one worldly person, one policeman and one "most definitely not policeman but very good at having your back when you need to take on the world, nudge, nudge, wink, wink". So all bases covered!

We deliberately didn't choose relatives as we both believe that the role that godparents/guardians take in a child's life should automatically be carried out by relatives anyway.

IceNoSlice Fri 04-Jan-13 10:15:41

Thank you for responses, some interesting stuff here.

Another question: one of DH's siblings and his wife would probably be a high contender... But they haven't christened their DCs. Would it be weird to ask them, do you think?

I don't think it would be weird, but it depends a bit whether they just haven't bothered or are strongly against the idea.

There are so many factors, I agree that family members have a role already, but then again they are more guaranteed to stick around. Friends are great if they are longterm friends for life types but not everyone has a pool of these or if they do they might be grographically distant. I definitely made a bad choice with one of the friends, the friendship would have naturally fizzled by now but we are sort of stuck with each other.

Amerryscot Fri 04-Jan-13 20:13:04

The purpose of Godparents is to pray for the child.

With this in mind, we chose people from within our church family, as well as religious family and friends.

We did not worry too much about geographical factors, which has turned out to be fine in this age of social networking.

With tradition saying there should be three godparents, you can have a mix of people.

A rich homosexual would be ideal ... grin

MichaelaS Sat 05-Jan-13 10:08:57

We chose friends not family because family should always be involved in our sons lives. DHs sis was upset until we pointed out she doesn't actually believe in God! We are Christians and both our families are atheist so it was important to us to choose GP who share our beliefs and will pray for our sons and educate them in the ways of God.

We chose Dhs business partner and wife, my oldest friend and her DH, and a teenage boy (my bridesmaids brother) because I want my sons to have someone older than them but closer to their generation who they can turn to when they decide we're old and out of touch and they hate us. ;-)

sarahtigh Sun 06-Jan-13 09:20:42

it just depends why you are baptising if it is because you are christians and faith is important you should choose friends or family who are also christians as a god parent in the religious sense is about spiritual guidance primarily though historically they would be guardians if anything happenned to you and DH, this is no longer the case unless your will stipulates this.

if baptising is something traditional but not principally religious then maybe different criteria for godparents apply

personally I could not choose someone who did not take the vows seriously or believe in God, but then I really do not see why non-believers baptise child

Polyethyl Sun 20-Jan-13 18:08:14

I chose old friends, who have something I'd like my daughter to emulate in their character/world view. And who do believe in the existence of God.
My requirement that they do actually believe that God exists means that my choice ended up being a CofE, a Jew, and an ex CofE-now RC.

Italiangreyhound Sun 20-Jan-13 18:26:47

Hi IceNoSlice hope you are finding some way through the decision making. My hubby and I had our DD dedicated but we choose to give her God parents. I had heard that traditionally there were three, two of the same gender as the child and one of the opposite gender. We decided not to stick to that! We picked 5 people, two couples and a single lady. The single lady was a long-time friend who has prayed very faithfully for DD, has visited us once a year at least and who sends a simple gift and card for birthdays and Christmas. The older couple live very close but due to all kinds of factors don't see us that much as a family but the mum still sees a lot of DD, and we are very happy about this. They were from the church we attended when DD was dedicated, but we now attend another local church. The third couple were younger than us, something I wanted as we became parents later in life. They also went to our church and they already had two children, one of which is our Godson. We see each other once a year at Christmas and we buy a gift for their whole family kids (like a game).

We chose these people because they were all Christians who believed similar things to us.

We hoped that when DD is older and is probably feeling rebellious etc if she wants to talk to someone Christian and not us, there will be people in her life who she knows well and can turn to for advice of just someone to talk to.

For us that was the key thing, that being a God parent is a long term job and we wanted the God parents to take it as such.

Between us DH and I have three Godsons and two God daughters ranging in age from 20 something to 8 months.

We did not pick family members because (as others have said) they will be in our DD's life all the time anyway.

Don't know if that helps but just wanted to share.

cloutiedumpling Sun 20-Jan-13 20:34:10

You may not need godparents. We don't in our church. None of our DCs have godparents for various reasons and, so far, it does't seem to matter. Anyone that we would have asked to be a GP would be a close friend or family member who is already involved in their lives.

Bunbaker Sun 20-Jan-13 20:48:26

I would add that one way not to choose a godparent is to choose a friend because you don't want to hurt their feelings. That isn't a good enough reason. As a baptism is a religious ceremony and the godparents make promises to God we felt that having non believers as godparents would be hypocritical.

OH and I come from small families who also live hundreds of miles away so two of DD's godparents are friends.

Kahlua4me Sun 20-Jan-13 20:48:40

We chose godparents for our dc based on who would be there for them as they grew up.
They have 3 each. I wanted the role of the godparents to be primarily somewhere else they could turn for support or advice if for any reason they felt they could not confide in us.

Our choices have worked out well. They each have at least one who has taken the role very seriously and is honoured to have been asked so have stepped up the to the plate. The others love the children and see them regularly but not so much especially within that godparent/child relationship.

Pleased with our choice.

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