Once you understand the pastoral aspects of your expected role, you need to get to grips with the more practical aspects. Here's our guide to being a good godparent:
- Never forget a birthday, Christmas or other significant date. Neglecting the big days of a child's life is unforgivable.
- Call them on their birthday or at Christmas: if they never hear your voice you will always be a stranger to them.
- Give generously on birthdays and at Christmas.
- Find ways of keeping in touch: send them little presents in the post.
- When they are old enough, send regular emails and text messages and encourage them to contact you independently from their parents.
- Think carefully about what you buy for them: a child will probably prefer to receive frequent inexpensive presents than one very expensive gift.
- Try and be there for big occasions such as special family days, school plays and birthday parties.
- Spend time with your godchild alone: you can build up your own rapport together away from the parents.
- Speak to them as your equal: you have a unique opportunity to be one of their first grown-up friends.