Christchurch Hitchin aims to store and process personal information in ways that meet both your expectations and the requirements of the relevant legislation, including the Data Protection Act, the General Data Protection Regulation and the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.
B General principles
1) We only retain contact information for those who are part of the church family. This means people who fall into one or more of the following categories:
a) Church members: those who have attended membership classes and made the decision to become members (either at Christchurch or at a previous church elsewhere)
b) Adherents: those who take an active part in church services and similar events, but are not church members
c) Church groups: those who attend any of the various groups and activities run by Christchurch, whether or not they attend services; this includes some organised events that require bookings
d) Volunteers: many members and adherents also help with activities, look after the buildings, do administrative work, or take other roles
e) Staff: the small number of people employed directly by Christchurch; this does not include our ordained ministers, who come from the national Methodist and United Reformed Churches
f) Children: in storing information about children, we will additionally consider our safeguarding policy, and the need to inform parents of what we are doing
Legal basis: We process the information of these people in the ways set out below, because this is necessary to the legitimate interests of Christchurch, and to fulfil our public-interest purposes under charity law. Where specifically stated, we may also carry out additional processing, with the consent of the individuals concerned.
2) As a member, and in some cases as an adherent, it is likely that you also contribute to the life of the church as a volunteer. That may involve you in processing data, for example when dealing with contact lists for church events or rotas. As such, you are responsible to others in the church family to follow this policy, as well as being entitled to expect others to do the same.
3) We invite enquirers to contact us using a Web form, email, phone or post, or preferably to visit us on any of the many occasions when the building is open. If you do this and are not part of the church family, we will keep your information for as long as we need it in order to deal with your immediate enquiry or request. We will not send you communications, for example about church activities and services, as a result of your enquiry (unless that was what you asked, for example concerning an Alpha course).
4) We collect only the information that is necessary to the legitimate interests of Christchurch. We store the information securely, and retain it only as long as you remain associated with the church, unless legal requirements or other recognised standards mean that we must keep it longer.
• For example, this applies to Gift Aid and employment records, and youth organisations may need to keep attendance and accident reports in order to answer future enquiries.
• If moving away, you may also ask us to keep in contact with newsletters and so on. We will treat such requests as consent for us to keep your information, until you ask us to stop.
5) We believe that giving to the work of the church is principally the role of church members, as part of the stewardship of the resources that God has given us. Whilst we welcome voluntary donations, we do not fund-raise by contacting the wider public.
6) We distribute our newsletters and magazines among the church family, and do not send wider mailings. Copies are available from the church entrance, and we may also publicise some events on posters outside the church. We welcome guests at all of these events, including at some that are to raise funds for various worthwhile causes in this country and abroad.
7) As well as our own groups, various organisations that are not part of Christchurch use our rooms as venues for their meetings. We do not have access to the membership lists of these groups, except for those of their officers who make bookings and act as contact points.
8) We do not share your information with other bodies, except where we are legally required to do so (for example, for safeguarding purposes), or where you have agreed that we should (for example, if you volunteer to represent us to bodies of the wider church outside Christchurch).
9) We are a relatively small organisation of people who know each other. Many of us share contact details informally with friends. Whilst we strongly encourage members and adherents to show appropriate care towards each other, the use of personal information by private individuals is not covered by data protection legislation or this policy.
C Specific groups within the church family
1 Members and adherents
We process your data for the following purposes:
To maintain membership lists for the church as a whole, and for the various groups and activities that are part of Christchurch
To distribute information, in our monthly magazine and the weekly newsletter, about church activities and services
For members, to send notices of church meetings, and other information that we are constitutionally required to provide
If you have chosen to apply Gift Aid to your giving, to keep the required records, which we must retain for seven years
To make records and certificates of life events, including weddings, baptisms and our cradle roll. We comply with legal requirements regarding storage where relevant, specifically for weddings.
If you have specifically consented to inclusion in this, for the circulation of a printed and/or electronic directory of contact details of members and adherents
o If you withdraw this consent, we will exclude you from the electronic directory within one week, and from the next edition of the printed directory
o You can do this in My ChurchSuite, or using the contact details in the printed directory
For prayer requests and similar purposes. Where members raise these on behalf of others, we ask that privacy be considered. Often, full names are not used.
2 Church groups and events
If you are a member of a church group, or attend an event that requires bookings, then we process your data:
To maintain a membership list for the group, and keep attendance and other records necessary to running it safely and effectively
To inform group members and/or their parents about activities of the group
We process your data:
To plan and distribute roles, and in many cases rotas, for the running of church activities
To communicate among the teams responsible for those activities
To meet requirements such as Safeguarding and the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
To record the ways in which individuals serve the church
We process your data to meet our obligations under employment and related law and your contract, including but not limited to contact details, pay, leave, sickness, maternity pay and tax
D Your rights
1 Access to information
You have the right to ask to see the information that we hold about you
We must supply you with a copy of this within 30 days of receiving a “subject access” request from you
If you use the My ChurchSuite system, you can view and update your own information there
2 Correction of information
You have the right to ask us to correct information that we hold about you
You have the right to ask us to erase information that we hold about you. We will do this provided that we do not need to retain it to meet legal and related obligations (e.g. Gift Aid), or to fulfil our legitimate interests (e.g. because you remain an active part of the church family and we need your information to enable this).
4 Restricted processing
You have the right to ask us to restrict our processing of your information to limited purposes. Normally, this right will apply because of special circumstances and for a limited time. For example, you may need us to retain your information for legal reasons, after we no longer need to process it to meet our legitimate interests, or we may be investigating your claim that the information is not accurate.
You have the right to ask organisations to facilitate the transfer of your information. For us, however, this most often happens when members move away and therefore join other churches. In these circumstances, we communicate with the new church to enable the transfer of membership (but the contact details that we hold are generally no longer useful).
E Enquiries and complaints
Please direct enquiries about data protection to the Church Secretary at the Christchurch address, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Christchurch is part of two national denominations: the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church
The regulator for data protection in the United Kingdom is the Information Commissioner: https://ico.org.uk/
F Review date
This policy is next due for review in September 2019.
Approved by the Leadership Group on 24/04/2018