The role of a godparent

Godparents are really special. They are not just special on the day but special for a child’s life, even when they are grown-up themselves. It’s a life-long commitment which will involve special times and treats, but much more as well. Discover more about what it means to be a good godparent here.

Man hugging baby

Godparents are among the most important people at a christening, who make big promises to encourage their godchild to grow in faith and commit to helping them understand how to live their life in a Christian way.

Alongside your godchild’s parents, you will

  • Give your time to your godchild to talk to about the bigger questions of life – questions about hope, faith and love.
  • Model and encourage them to develop Christian values – being kind and compassionate towards others, being generous towards others in need with time or money and standing against things in the world that cause injustice and suffering.
  • Pray for your godchild through the ups and downs of their life and their faith journey.
  • Show them practically how to make good choices in life, for themselves and for others. This might mean talking to them about how to stay healthy, how to resist temptations that can harm us and other people, how to care for God’s amazing world and how to handle peer pressure as they grow older.
  • Help them to learn more about the Christian faith, through their church and in other ways. Going to church with them, talking about what the Bible shows us and helping them learn how to pray are all brilliant ways to support your godchild.

It’s a demanding role, but help is always at hand, through your church, online, and of course from God, who will bless all you do to help your godchild.

Further information

  • The godparents’ promises

    During the Christening godparents say some very important things, making promises that will last a lifetime. It’s helpful to look at these before the day, so read on to find out more about these promises and how to discover more about what they mean.

  • Are godparents also legal guardians?

    No. The role of a godparent is not a legal commitment. Read on for more about this.

  • Christening gifts

    Friends and family, godparents and guests might want to buy something special for the christening. There are keepsake presents, religious gifts or gifts that make a difference. All of these can reflect the values that matter to you – values like kindness, generosity and thinking of others. There are a lot of ideas here, and some will help benefit other children through our special partnership with The Children’s Society.

  • Discovering prayer

    Prayer is both simple and special, and is one of the things that everyone can do for the children in our lives. It might be lighting a candle or pausing for thought, or it could be something you discover together. Here are some ideas to help you pray with and for a child who is special to you.

  • Discovering the Bible

    If a christening is the start of an amazing journey, the Bible is an amazing book – a map for that journey. There is adventure and excitement, mystery and wonder. There are really well known stories – like Noah or the Christmas story – and new ones to discover.

  • Continuing the journey

    After the christening day, the amazing journey of faith continues. Godparents can play a special part in helping a child throughout their life by being there for them, encouraging them and supporting them. Find out some of the ways that you can be part of your godchild’s journey here.

  • What if I’m not really a churchgoer?

    Being asked to be a godparent is a good opportunity to think about your own faith. You’ll make some big promises on the day of the christening. Read more about them here.

  • Do godparents have to be baptized?

    Yes, this is a basic requirement for a godparent. Visit this page to read more about godparents.

  • Do godparents have to be baptized in the Church of England?

    They can be, but they don’t have to be. This page explains more.