It is my privilege as a local vicar to be there for families wanting to have their child christened. Often families come with lots of questions about the service and about their choices of godparents. These questions are very welcome and give a great opportunity to address the concerns of the parents and work together as we plan the service.
It is very common for the parents to have made choices about godparents before they see me. Parents make those choices without being aware that there are some criteria for being a godparent, namely that they should be christened themselves. There is no reason why parents should be aware of this, but there is an easy way forward.
Being asked to be a godparent is a huge privilege and demonstrates how much the parents value their relationship with them and their child. It’s also a moment to reflect on life, what is important, and what part faith plays in all of that. So, when a godparent is not christened themselves, the obvious first question is whether this is something they would like to consider. To my delight, the answer has often been ‘Yes’!
For me, christening is all about God’s grace, and to see godparents being baptised in a christening service just before their godchild makes a wonderful occasion even more special. So, while we can’t say yes to godparents who are not themselves christened, we can absolutely say yes to God’s grace being free to all, and godparents and godchildren being baptised in the same christening service!