Careful thought should go into choosing godparents. It is a huge honour so, before asking, you must think about whether the individual will be prepared and able to fulfil the role. Parents usually select godparents who will complement, or compensate for, their personal characteristics or interests.
Parents may choose friends or relations or both and a mixture may be a good plan. Friendships do not always last and parents must accept that some godparents will not have much of a relationship with the child.
If the parents are religious they will be looking for the godparents to provide spiritual and moral guidance: it is important that both the parents and the godparents share the same values, not just on religious matters, but on wider moral or ethical ones too.
If the parents are not religious, they are usually seeking a 'mentor' who will watch over their child and steer them through life with love and care. Most importantly, they may also see the godparent as the person who will be there for their child should relationships at home become strained.
Ultimately, parents should choose people they love and trust, and not base their choice on hopes for financial gain or because they want trophy godparents for social reasons. Many people are reciprocal godparents to each other’s children, which can work well. Others go down the generations within the extended family or close family friends, choosing the child of their own godparent for their baby, which can prove an enduring bond.