A post by GillyK about a ‘riotous’ baptismal service got me thinking.
I was a mature student. In those days it meant I was twenty-five years old, or more. A relative youngster really. I was approached by a woman I had got to know, who asked if I would be a godparent to her baby daughter. Being very honest, she told me I was not a first choice because she thought I would not want to be involved in a Christian religious celebration. There were two sets of godparents and one couple had excused themselves. The baby was going to be Christened in the local cathedral, but only because the local church was closed for refurbishing. Of course, they were delighted with the upgrade. It did mean though, that the baptism was going to be incorporated into the main service; again, they were content.
These were the days before personal computers were even on the horizon, anyones horizon, and no ordinary mortal owned a mobile phone. I don’t think they had been invented then. …And no, I was not born in the 19th century!!
I wanted to speak to the local priest, or, a Cathedral priest, about the invitation to be a godparent given my heathen status. I was not and am not a member of the church. I needed to know if my position was acceptable; also, what would be expected of me? The conversations were very pleasant and centred on how I felt about making the commitment to stand in for the parents, if that need were to arise and to bring the child up in the Christian faith.
Because it was Easter time there were a few extra service ‘flourishes’. In total three babies were Christened sequentially during the service. The congregation looked on. I remember many smiling faces. We all exited the Cathedral with the throng to beautiful sunshine.
I am in contact with my god-daughter to this day. I have not seen her for years, but we have spoken, occasionally exchange emails and there’s always a little package at Christmas. She is an adult now with a family of her own. From what I glean, I am the only godparent of those given the role, who maintained contact.