Godparents’ Sunday is less than 2 weeks away. What are you doing to prepare for this special Sunday this year?
This initiative, begun by the Church of England is a really important way to connect – or reconnect – with families who come to the church for baptism. Godparents’ Sunday is a response to research undertaken on behalf of the Archbishops’ Council looking at parent’s real experiences and expectations around the baptism of their child. In 2016, Godparents’ Sunday took place for the first time with resources made available to help create a great day of welcome and celebration.
In 2018, it will take place on May 6th, but you can celebrate the role of godparents at any time of year if you wish. One of the biggest findings of the research was that godparents really, really matter to families. Godparents are part of family life for all the years ahead, a relationship that will last into adulthood and beyond.
So setting apart a Sunday to celebrate and pray for this special relationship is a great opportunity to share with families and ask for God’s blessing on godparents and godchildren everywhere.
Look at the website www.churchsupporthub.org and keep to date on Twitter (@CofE_CSH) and Facebook for new posts and videos. #godparentssunday #prayinggodparent #blessedgodchild #lovechristenings
Here are some ideas for how to celebrate Godparents’ Sunday in a simple way where you are
- Pray intentionally for all who have been baptised in the past year or few years, or those who are preparing for baptism, in the lead up to Godparents’ Sunday
- Create a prayer tree, prayer board or include in the intercessions names of those to be baptised or those who have anniversaries of baptism. You may also think about sending baptism anniversary cards. These are great ways to build links with families and show them you care about them and remember them in prayer.
- Set up ‘baptism buddies’ where a member of the congregation ‘adopts’ in prayer a family who have come to the church for baptism in the past 1-3 years. This can also work when regular congregation members attend the baptism of a child when it takes place outside the service, meaning that if they come along on a Sunday morning they will see a familiar face.
- Hold a special service for Godparents’ Sunday and carefully consider the following; Welcome – ensure that there is a good welcome on the door as families come to celebrate Godparents’ Sunday. Try and see if there is a family already attending the church who might help with this. Accessibility – is the way your service is presented helpful to newcomers or those less familiar? Is there something you can do specially for this Sunday to make it more accessible to all? Inclusion – all-age worship can be hard to do well but make sure whatever you do that there is something for everyone and a place where all ages can feel part of worship and fellowship together. Make sure simple things are done too e.g. providing a changing mat for small children or set aside space for children to use during the service Timing – consider not only the time of your Sunday service but how long it takes, how much time you have afterwards to speak to families and spend time together and how long it will be before you have another ‘Family Service’ or event for them to engage in worship together.
- Plan a follow up event – Don’t leave it too long! It sounds simple, but you need to have your next event ready so that you can advertise it on Godparents’ Sunday. Whatever you are doing next, make sure there are posters or fliers available so that any families who come along know what’s happening and feel encouraged to come along. It might also be a talking point for them to get to know others and ask questions.
Finally download our full resource pack here
with lots more ideas, resources and some of the research behind the whole idea. Whatever you do – please do support Godparents’ Sunday this year!