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I became a godparent today! An atheist godparent!

Yep, today I reached another milestone in this short and hectic journey we call life.

I became a proud godfather for the first time.

I have been good friends with the father of my god-daughter for as long as I can remember, I have pictures of the two of us going all the way back to nursery. So it was great to be asked.

Waking up I noticed how beautiful a morning it was. Not one cloud in the sky and the sun beaming through my window. I was also feeling very under the weather yesterday, my worst fear was to be a sneezing disruption in the church but thankfully I was fine. The Parish of St. Andrew (seen in my featured image) is a beautiful 13th Century church on a hill overlooking the rest of the town. The christening consisted of a small group of close family and friends, so we gathered around the font as instead of sitting. The baptism itself was an interesting one. There were a bunch of very young kids varying from babies to ten year old’s, the Vicar at times looked like a substitute teacher trying to control a difficult class. The Godparents had to be lead too, as we had to be reminded to respond on one occasion.

I could tell we weren’t the most religious group, in fact I didn’t know anyone who regularly attends church when I looked around. There was a feeling it wasn’t about religion all that much. It was about the gathering of loved ones, the keeping on with family tradition and an excuse to have a nice meal and a few too many beverages. I haven’t even been christened myself! To be a godparent, do I have to? (Please feel free to educate me on this) If I do, I certainly slipped the net. We were a mix of Protestants and Catholics, it was a Catholic service, the father Protestant and mother Catholic. The village I am from is pretty much split 50/50 between the two, children usually have a pre-planned path of education due to the villages two schools. I always answered Protestant growing up. There is never any trouble, if anything it helped us fairly decide on two equal teams when playing football on the pitch behind (what was) the chemist.

Similar to Christmas, most now use it as a time to gather and remember what we have, who we have and a reason to celebrate in a world of bad news. I received a card from the Vicar on leaving the church, prayer was one of the duties of a Godparent. No one is expecting this though. I think it would be met with laughs if I told the birth parents this was my intention. What they want is for me to be a good role model and be a loving presence in their daughters life.

I am delighted to be given this opportunity and even as an atheist, I know I will fulfil this role as best I can.

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