29 April 2017
At least six million people have been asked to become a
Godparent at a Church of England christening since the millennium,
according to a new analysis released in advance of special church
services to celebrate the role of Godparents.
Godparents’ Sunday will take place tomorrow, aimed at supporting
the relationship between Godparents and their Godchildren.
Around 120,000 Church of England baptisms take place every year
with an estimated six million people taking up the role of
Godparent since the millennium alone.
Godparents’ Sunday was launched by the Church of England following
research with 1,000 parents conducted in 2013 showing that having
Godparents was one of the key reasons for wanting to have a child
christened, alongside wanting God’s blessing and starting a child
on the right path in life.
During a christening, Godparents will make important promises to
pray for their Godchild and support them as they discover more
about the Christian faith.
Godparents also spend time with their Godchildren and help them to
make good choices in life for themselves and for others. They
are there as a listening ear for their Godchild over the years and
help children discover more about the Christian faith, through
their church and in other ways.
Rev Canon Dr Sandra Millar, who leads research on christenings for
the Church of England, said: “Our research shows that Godparents
are really important to families. Parents put a lot of thought into
choosing Godparents, often honouring existing friendships.
“Godparents are part of child’s life for a long time and families
really appreciate having an extra voice to bring wisdom,
encouragement and love.
“It’s a mutual relationship – Godchildren and Godparents bless and
pray for each other. Godparents’ Sunday is a great day to be in
touch, to be supported and encouraged on the journey by the wider
church and to discover more about the amazing journey of faith that
starts at a christening.”
Notes to editors
There were more than two million baptisms of infants and children
in the Church of England between 2000 and 2015. The figure of six
million Godparents was calculated on the minimum requirement of
three Godparents for each child baptised.