As a godparent, you have a special role. It’s about helping a child to come to know God, encouraging them in their spiritual life and supporting them in their membership of the local church. You will be expected to attend the child’s baptism, where you will make promises to help to bring them up in the Christian faith. It’s a role that will develop over time, as your godchild grows up and develops their own faith.
Being asked to be a godparent is a good opportunity to think about your own faith. Godparents must have been baptised themselves and it’s best if you are also confirmed. Baptism or confirmation preparation can help you with your own questions about the Christian faith. It will also help you to support your godchild in developing their own faith. If you have any questions at all, why not speak to your vicar or another Christian you know.
The most important gifts you can give your godchild are your time, presence and prayers, but you may also want to mark the baptism or confirmation by giving a special gift. Godparents don’t have to buy expensive gifts. A simple, meaningful present is a good choice – maybe something to be used at the baptism, or a gift to be kept for later. Possible gift ideas would include Bibles, Books of Bible Stories, Books of prayers, a nativity set, posters, pictures, games or toys based on Bible Stories (for example Noah’s Ark). You’ll find many of these at Christian bookshops and cathedral gift shops. Or ask your minister for details of local suppliers.
We will give you a special card to remind you of your godchild’s baptism and the promises you have made. Keep it somewhere you’ll see it every day, so you remember your godchild each day and ask God to bless them daily as they grow up. Why not keep an up-to-date photograph alongside the card?
Children love to get letters, postcards and emails. Why not send a card or small gift on the anniversary of the baptism, to show you care about them and to remind you both of what’s special about this relationship. Keep in touch regularly as they grow up. Perhaps when they’re older, they’ll want to ask questions about faith or Christian life. If you’ve kept in touch, they might be able to ask you – and that’s something special.
A prayer for yourself:
I pray that you will guide and support me in being a godparent.
Give me your wisdom and your love.
Help me to be a good example of Christian living
and keep me mindful of my precious godchild [child’s name]. Amen.
A prayer for your godchild:
thank you for the gift of [child’s name]
and for all the joy she/he brings us.
Be with her/him on her/his Christian journey
so she/he may come to know our Lord Jesus Christ
as Saviour and friend. Amen.
For more information, see the Church of England’s Guide for Godparents.