The United Reformed Church – Data Privacy Statement

  1. Your personal data – what is it?

Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data.  Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

  1. Who are we?

The Executive Council of The United Reformed Church (Yorkshire Province) Trust (“the Trust”) is the data controller on behalf of the Trust, The Yorkshire Congregational Union Inc. (“ the YCU”) and the Yorkshire Synod of the United Reformed Church (collectively, “the Synod”).  This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes. Our contact details are below. The person normally responsible for the Synod’s data protection policy and procedures is the Synod Clerk assisted by the Moderator’s Secretary and Investments Administrator as Deputies.

  1. How do we process your personal data?

The Executive Council complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.

We use your personal data for the following purposes: –

  • To keep records of membership of Synod committees and to organise committee meetings;
  • To include your contact details in any directory which is circulated to URC churches, Local Ecumenical Partners, (or office bearers or employees thereof) and members of the URC;
  • For payment of expenses incurred by you on Synod business;
  • To administer YCU property records;
  • To fundraise and promote the interests of the URC in Yorkshire and nationally;
  • To manage our ministers, candidates, employees and volunteers;
  • To maintain accounting records of the Synod;
  • To manage grant applications from individuals and churches;
  • To maintain records of investments held on behalf of churches in the Synod;
  • To fulfil the URC’s safeguarding obligations;
  • To inform churches and their members about relevant regulatory changes and guidance, including information circulated by the URC nationally;
  • To keep you informed about news, events, activities organised by the Synod or the URC nationally or on their behalf, in which you may be interested;
  • To enable and assist event organisers to carry out their functions;
  1. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?
  • Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a religious aim provided: –
    • the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and
    • there is no disclosure to a third party without consent;
  • Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the Synod or by third parties with similar legitimate interests, including URC churches, the URC nationally and other church denominations involved in Local Ecumenical Partnerships with the URC;
  • Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law;
  • Processing is necessary to enable the Synod to carry out a legal obligation;
  • Processing is necessary for the purposes of a legal contract with the data subject;
  • Explicit consent for circulation of contact data in printed or electronic versions of the Synod Handbook;
  1. Sharing your personal data

Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other parties connected to the Synod in order to carry out a service to them or for purposes connected with the Synod as set out above. We will only share your data with third parties unconnected with the Synod with your consent.

  1. How long do we keep your personal data?

We keep data in accordance with the following table

Nature of data Retention period
Ministers’  data Until service in Synod ceases
Ministerial candidates’ data Until ordained and appointed or relocated out of Synod. Rejected candidate data will be held indefinitely but will be deleted upon request.
Retired ministers’ data Until death or relocation out of Synod
Church secretaries’ data While in office
Church treasurers’ data While in office
Church property persons’ data While in office
Accredited lay preachers’ data While serving in Synod
Elders’ (serving and non-serving) data Indefinitely
Safeguarding link persons’ data While in office
Synod representatives’ data While in office
Minister’s widows’ data Until death or relocation out of Synod
Synod committee members’ data While in office
Synod committee convenor’s data While in office
Moderator confidential files re ministers and retired ministers relating to events, incidents, or pastoral care and spiritual support/guidance for which additional information is gathered Disposed of immediately after the event or incident occurs or spiritual support and guidance is provided unless anything has occurred which indicates that records should be retained for a longer period.
Personal data relating to events for which (parental) permissions and additional information is gathered Disposed of immediately after the event or unless anything has occurred (eg an accident) which indicates that records should be retained for a longer period.
Participant data for Synod events organised by the Development Officer Historical data held and archived indefinitely; recent data deleted after 2 years
Personal data relating to ministerial disciplinary matters for which additional information is gathered Indefinitely
Minutes of Synod meetings and committee meetings Indefinitely
Welfare grant applications 2 years
Synod handbooks Archived indefinitely
Professional adviser contact and banking data Indefinitely
Supplier contact and banking data indefinitely

Specifically, we retain statutory records and contact directories in a permanent archive, and accounting records for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate.

  1. Your rights and your personal data

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: –

  • The right to request a copy of your personal data which the Synod holds about you;
  • The right to request that the Synod corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;
  • The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for the Trust to retain such data;
  • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time
  • The right to request that the data controller provide the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [Only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject and in either case the data controller processes the data by automated means].
  • The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;
  • The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [Only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics]
  • The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.
  1. Further processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Privacy Statement, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

  1. Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact the Synod Clerk at the address at the foot of this notice.

You can 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.