Data Protection



on behalf of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of the Parish of Ledsham with Fairburn


This notice comes to you both on behalf of Parochial Church Council (PCC).  The reason for writing is that there has been a change in the law regarding data protection and the new General Data Protection Regulations will come into force on May 25th 2018.  These regulations require all organisations that keep any personal data to issue a data privacy notice explaining what we are doing with any information we may hold.

Don’t panic

These regulations have come into force largely as a result of the extensive leakage and sale of people’s data by commercial organisations.  The church is just trying to do and be what the church has always tried to be:  to be faithful to the teaching of Jesus Christ and to care for people.  So we already treat people’s personal information with great care and confidentiality. It is just that from now on we need to be able to demonstrate it by publishing statements like this one.

What personal data do we hold, who holds it and what do we do with it?

Personal data held is generally limited to the names and contact details of people who have indicated they may be interested in a church event or activity of some kind, or for the purposes of providing pastoral care. Also, some records are required to be kept for legal reasons (eg parish registers of baptisms, weddings and burials etc.). Administrative records of these matters are also kept for several years. Records of memorial applications and funerals are kept for several years. All paper records are kept in locked cabinets inside locked buildings. Records are kept for a limited period and reviewed and either shredded or deposited at the Borthwick Institute of York University for permanent storage.

Other records required to be held by the PCC include details held for reasons of fundraising – Gift Aid purposes and the like.  Also by law the church electoral roll has to contain the  names and addresses of all those signed up to vote at the annual meeting. Minimal records of people’s names and contact details will be held by people organising church activites (eg those delivering the parish magazine will have the names and addresses of the people they are delivering to, and may keep records of who has paid their subscription etc.).  It is necessary to keep limited details of people who volunteer of behalf of the church or who work on committees are take part in other activities so that these activities may be organised.

Some names and contact details are kept in computer files for administrative and pastoral purposes. These are password protected on an external hard drive kept in a locked cupboard in a locked building and are kept for a limited period. Email correspondence may sometimes contain personal data, but this is never shared with third parties and is password protected and kept for a limited period. Some pastoral records and paper correspondence with personal information is held in a locked filing cabinet in a locked building. A system of reviewing data retention is in place ensuring that nothing of a sensitive nature is stored beyond when it is required to be, and personal information is treated strictly confidentially. Some records may be legally required to be stored for long periods, especially records relating to safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and accident reports.

Reviewing this policy

As a church we are very conscious that we are not experts in the field of data protection but we are trying our best to do the right thing. We are committed to following advice from the appropriate bodies especially the Diocese of York and its representatives. This data protection notice will be reviewed at every meeting of the PCC until our annual meeting in 2019 and from then on, annually.

Your rights

As mentioned earlier, we treat all information about people with the greatest of care. But if you are concerned about anything the church may be doing with your information, you have the following rights under the new legislation:

  1. To request a copy of the personal data held and the right to have anything inaccurate or out of date corrected.
  2. The right to request the erasure of your data if it is no longer necessary for the PCC to keep it.
  3. You can withdraw your consent for data to be held.
  4. In the unlikely event of a disagreement or dispute you can request that we cease to process your data until the problem is resolved.

To exercise all relevant rights or make queries or complaints please in the first instance contact us.

You can also contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.