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How do you choose godparents?

(40 Posts)
Moomin1000 Thu 08-Sep-11 23:10:36

hiya what did you consider when choosing?
how many do you have?

moonbells Thu 08-Sep-11 23:25:13

I had my aunt and my uncle and a friend of my parents who never had children and was precious about the housekeeping. I spent my entire childhood wishing I'd had different godparents for entirely shallow (but logical to a child) reasons: if I'd had different godparents to people I was already closely related to, I'd have had more presents. And the single Godparent had no clue what to buy a child. And none of them ever talked to me about faith.

We chose two pairs of unrelated friends who had both had a child so would theoretically understand how DS ticks though in the end they both had two girly girls and DS is a typical boy! And at least two of them are actually Christians.

thisisyesterday Thu 08-Sep-11 23:30:03

you need to pick people who are baptised, and who you think will be able to provide a kind of spiritual and moral guidance to your child throughout their lives.
some churches require godparents to be practicing christians, others are less strict.

LittlePushka Thu 08-Sep-11 23:34:22

Chose people or person with a faith and preferably a strong and obvious faith. Thats it. That is the only criteria

We have one god mother and one godfather for our children. The godmother was my choice and is the same woman for both. The godfather was DS choice and he chose two different people for each child. It transpred that he picked them because they were his mates and they do not have faith at all. This REALLY rankles with me now and I guess it always will.

i had thought (stupidly, it seems) that if asked to be a godparent then someone without a faith would say no.....apparently not hmm

Tommy Thu 08-Sep-11 23:35:04

we really wanted people that the DSs would see regularly - not necessarily old friends of ours don't don't live locally. They are all friends from church and, I have to say, all fantastic godparents. They all have a great relationship with their godson and we see them often

Tommy Thu 08-Sep-11 23:36:11

DS1 has 1 godmother and 1 godfather
DS2 has 1 godmother and 2 godfathers
Ds3 has 2 godmothers and 1 godfathers
no reason for that - it was just the way it worked out!

LittlePushka Thu 08-Sep-11 23:39:46

Not DS choice - they were only four months old at the time - I mean DH choice.!!

I wish I had the opportunity to sack the godfathers and re-appoint!!!! (Lovely though these men genuinely are)

SpeedyGonzalez Thu 08-Sep-11 23:44:05

We chose people who we think are absolutely wonderful, thoughtful, wise, kind and loving. Some of them have a Christian faith, some don't. But we didn't have a church christening, we did our own thing so it's not exactly official but it was fantastic.

cat64 Thu 08-Sep-11 23:55:55

Message withdrawn

naughtaless Fri 09-Sep-11 00:00:11

My kids had four each. Three ladies and 1 man each, all family except one friend. Friend buggered off and has never been bothered with ds (who as a disabled child both physically and educationally, needed all the support he could get) both of our sisters for both kids, they have been brilliant. Ds other god parent moved to OZ. Dd's god parents are my cousins who have never bothered at all. I wish we had only had our sisters to be honest, as I feel when we asked these people to god parent our children we offered them the most important 'thing' in our lives (obv kids most imp) the chance to help mold our precious kids.

naughtaless Fri 09-Sep-11 00:00:49


GraceK Fri 09-Sep-11 00:03:12

Both DD have four - 2 of each sex - traditionally it's two of the sex of your child & one of the other and this was our original plan but the first gent we asked turned out not to have been christened so we asked another friend, then the vicar said he didn't mind so she ended up with both. Decided to give DD2 the same number.

Historically they should be family friends (rather than blood relatives - who'll have an interest in your child anyway - hopefully) with similar beliefs to you and baptised. Until 20th century they were often from a different village in case most of your village / close family got wiped out by a passing plague and left the child alone.

We chose fun people we knew would take an interest in our children's lives & welfare (& take them out to lunch & listen to their woes when they hit adolescence and hate us). I love the fact that my godparents were added adult friends (rather than relatives)in my live and still regularly see my one remaining one (the other two have sadly passed on - so I'd say go for people your age if you want them to have long-term relationship with your child) - he went to uni with my dad & we are only close because of that relationship.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Fri 09-Sep-11 08:09:42

We have life guardians rather than godparents as we're not christians so faith aside, we chose close friends who were all very different to each other but we knew would support DS at different stages of his life, be open and up for being alternative adults he will hopefully be able to talk to, and people who we wanted to show how important they were to us.

One is an ex-marine engineer (my godmother's son who I've known since our mums were pregnant together), one is a gay vet who struggled with his sexuality for years but overcame it and is now incredibly down to earth but also loves travelling, good books etc, and the other is a successful actress (she was out of work when we chose her though!) who has been my rock for the last 10years and is totally different to the boys - she'll take DS for cocktails at the Ivy and would rather die than spend half an hour in a tent!

They're all unmarried and childless and we didn't choose them in terms of having DS should anything happen to us.

whizzyrocket Fri 09-Sep-11 09:14:02

I've chosen mine. My best friend and one of my husband's close friends (he considered his best friend but I suggested that his childless, less irresponsible, less prone to tantrums good friend might be better) but not just because they are such good friends. My requirements were these:

1. That they be practising Christians- one is Catholic one is Baptist; to us it doesn't matter as long as they believe in Jesus, and our son will be able to ask different questions of each of them.
2. That they be good role models.
3. That they be approachable, good fun and want to spend some time with our child.
4. That they be people we will be in touch with for the rest of our foreseeable lives.
5.This is less a requirement but we chose people who didn't have children as those who are parents will be quite naturally more concerned with their own child.
6. That they be people we would like to have a major role in bringing up our son should one or both of us snuff it! We have told them they needn't worry about taking him on and bringing him up themselves should this happen- my sister and I have agreed between us that we will take care of the other's children should the other couple die- but I would still like the Godparents to have a significant role in our son's life.

I hope that helps. I never had much contact with my own Godparents as they lived a good 6 hours away... well my Godmother does, I've no idea who my Godfather is, only that I have one! My husband's Godparents were fairly old and so copped it before he was an adult.

Good luck choosing yours.

H007 Fri 09-Sep-11 09:20:36

We are going to choose two of my best girlie mates for this baby along with OH's best boy mate. I think these people will want to have an active role in the babies development and if the worst happened to OH and me they would undoubtedly step in and ensure the baby has the best upbringing either with them or with our family members.

cravingcake Fri 09-Sep-11 09:44:31

Whatever you do, dont ask someone who is a very good friend and loves the child dearly but is not christened (and tells you that straight away when asked to be a god parent that they are not christened) and tell them dont worry I still want to you and then organise the whole christening and turn around a week before and tell them that oh, sorry you cant be god mother now because your not christened, I've asked my neighbor instead - it can be rather upsetting... sorry, rant over.

You should choose someone you think will be there to help support the child through any situation as they grow older and would be someone you would hope they go to for advice.

Fluter Fri 09-Sep-11 09:47:34

Well, we're just in the process of thinking about it, and have decided to have just two for each twin - one of each sex. My best friend (female) will be one, primarily because I know that if something happened to us she'd swoop in and care for both children without blinking (and TBH she has the resources to do so), and to put it mildly, she's 'lived'... IYSWIM. The godfather for that child is a vicar, so we reckon that takes care of the faith side, there. The other twin, we're thinking of my DH's own godson, who is 21, because of the age thing - someone closer to their age, and the current evidence is that he's quite a good role model as well (you watch, NOW he'll go off the rails!!). The godmother for that twin is possibly also likely to be someone in her mid-late 20's, who is a GP, and has quite a strong faith.

So, I suppose the answer is that although strictly speaking, it's people with faith (and we are church-goers), having one eye on the child's general welfare, and people who could step in and also be appointed guardians should the worst happen to us, seems sensible (it's what my parents did - although for both my brother and I, we had an aunt/uncle who was both godparent and guardian).

melliebobs Fri 09-Sep-11 10:09:12

um what's all this about having to be baptised/christened to be a god parent. I'm a godparent to my niece and i'm not christened or a practicing christian. But it doesn't make me a bad role model!

MrsHuxtable Fri 09-Sep-11 10:25:37

As the word GODparents implies, it is a Christian tradition. There are only very few churches or ministers who would let a non-christened person become an official godparent. If the minister is tolerant they can be some sort of witness but not the main godparent.
They should be practicing Christians because their role (what they promise at the christening) is to give the child guidance in their faith, so if they don't believe themselves, they can hardly do that.

MrsHuxtable Fri 09-Sep-11 10:30:45

I have another question about godparents though. What do you expect your childrens' godparents to do for your children?
Where I come from, there are certain things that are the responsibility of the godparent but at the same time I notice that more and more new godparents are really just that on paper and nothing more. Thinking about my own baby's future godparents, I'm finding that so sad because I think she will never have what I had in that respect..

melliebobs Fri 09-Sep-11 10:31:14

well me and DH are our nieces only godparents. Neither of us practicing christians. Don't know if the vicar took our names o checked etc or what he didn't even speak to us before hand. But it doesn't stop us doing a good job at it. Just saying

Pootles2010 Fri 09-Sep-11 10:36:49

Well, we had naming ceremony not Christening, so obv bit different, but we waited to see how many people actually took a real interest in him, and wanted to spend time with him.

From a Christening point of view, be very wary about asking non-Christians - I would not be happy about being a god parent, as I'm obv not Christian, it can cause huge ruptions! Obviously some people are fine with doing it if they aren't Christians, but just give them a get-out clause.

TheBride Fri 09-Sep-11 10:36:59

melliebobs Most churches require godparents to be baptised themselves.

A lot of people appoint "godparents" for their children without actually having a christening, in which case baptism is obviously not a requirement, although they're not actually officially godparents. I like the term "life guardians" used above.

MrsHuxtable Fri 09-Sep-11 10:38:24

I'm not saying it does, mellie. Like I said, in many aspects you might be doing a better job than for example my religious sister who never sees her godchild (our cousin's daughter) or does anything for her. But at the same time, you will prob not be fulfilling the faith aspect of godparents. But if that is not important in your family, then it wouldn't really matter anyway.

I guess you were lucky with the vicar. Does that mean he was even catholic??? They are usually super strict, wanting to see your christening, communion documents etc...For example, I couldn't be my cousin's baby godmother even though I was christened as a catholic but in adult life changed to be a protestant...

Crosshair Fri 09-Sep-11 11:15:13

Most people I know seem to have the Christening for the party/celebration.(CoE)

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