Choosing godparents

Godparents are really important. Choosing them is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Whether you are still thinking or have already asked some special friends, discover more about what it means to be or have godparents. Whether you have questions about gifts or want to explore the promises, there are answers to your questions here.

Priest at front of church with parents and godparents standing behind her.

Choosing the right people as godparents for your child is a big decision.  Here are some key things which might help you decide:

  • Godparents will be people who’ll be in touch with your family for many years to come. They may be relatives or friends of the family.
  • They’ll be people who you know you can trust and who’ll be there for your child to talk about the bigger questions in life; questions about faith, hope and love.
  • They should feel ready to make some big promises about faith for your child in church.
  • Every child should have at least three godparents, two of the same sex and at least one of the opposite sex to your child. You can have more than three godparents if you wish.
  • Parents may be godparents for their own children, providing they have at least one other godparent.
  • Because of the very special role they have in supporting your child’s faith journey, godparents must be baptized themselves, and ideally confirmed too, but check with the vicar about local policy on this.
  • If you’re thinking about asking someone who is under 18 to be a godparent, talk to your vicar first. There’s no minimum age for godparents, but they must be mature enough to understand the responsibilities they’re taking on; your vicar can help you decide if this is the right choice for your child and the young godparent.

You can talk to your vicar about choosing godparents and involving them in the christening preparation.

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Further information

  • Continuing the journey

    There are lots of ways to continue the amazing journey of faith as a family. It’s not just about special times, but about the ordinary times of wonder, love and joy – and the times when things go wrong. The candle given at the christening reminds us that a child shines as a light in the world – and also that God is always with us.

  • Is there a minimum age for godparents?

    There is actually no minimum age specified for godparents, but if you’re thinking of having a young godparent under the age of 18, talk to your vicar first. This page explains more.

  • Do godparents have to be confirmed?

    Ideally yes, but talk to your vicar if you simply can’t find three confirmed godparents. Read on for more about this.

  • Is it possible to have godparents ‘by proxy’?

    It’s important to choose godparents who can be present at the christening service. Here’s an explanation of why that matters.

  • Can parents be godparents?

    In some situations, finding three baptized godparents can be difficult. It’s possible for parents to step in as godparents – this page explains what is required in this case.

  • Can we change our godparents after a christening?

    There is no official way to change godparents once a christening has taken place, but read on to see what can be done if godparents can no longer fulfil their role for some reason.

  • Do we have to have three godparents?

    Yes, three is the minimum, unless it’s simply not possible to find three. Read on if that applies to you.

  • How many godparents can I have?

    You should have a minimum of three godparents and you can have as many additional godparents as you like. This page explains more about requirements for godparents.