In May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation[GDPR] was introduced across the EU in order to safeguard and protect the personal data of individuals. This weekend we would like to inform you, our parishioners, how we as a parish will adhere to this new regulation.
What is ‘Personal Data’?
Personal data is information relating to a living individual who can be identified by that data directly or indirectly by reference to other data held. Examples of personal data include address, telephone number, email, date of birth, gender and other personal information.
Our Commitment as a Parish
The privacy of parishioners is very important to us and we will endeavour to protect that privacy by our commitment to three core principles:
Consent. From now on we will only retain and use the personal data of parishioners who consent to us doing so.
Responsible Management. We will safely store and protect all personal data entrusted to us, protecting it from loss, misuse or unauthorised access. We will destroy data when it is no longer require it and correct or remove it if so requested.
Confidentiality. Your data will be treated as strictly confidential and will not be shared with any third party without your consent. Your data will be used only for the purposes for which you have given consent.
Why does the parish need personal data? What is it used for?
In general the parish retains and uses personal data to keep a record of parishioners and to contact people when needed. We use personal data to administer records held by the parish [baptisms, funerals, lists of parishioners, rotas of those involved in various parish groups and ministries] and to be able to contact parishioners in respect of parish activities and fundraising. Those who have signed up to the Sunday Offering Envelope have also consented to the parish retaining a record of their donations in order to claim a tax refund on same.
Where do we go from here? What are we asking you to do?
In order to comply with GDPR we are now asking parishioners to consent to the parish retaining your personal details in order to be able to contact you into the future. Copies of our ‘Personal Data Consent Form’ are available upon request in our Churches and from the Parish Office. We ask you to complete one and return it in a sealed envelope to ensure confidentiality. Consent Forms will also be delivered to households together with the Autumn Clergy Offering envelopes over the coming weeks.
A special Personal Data Consent Form for Volunteers will be distributed to those in parish groups and ministries which require the sharing of contact details with others in their group [for example, Ministers of the Eucharist being able to contact one another when they are unable to fulfil their duty on the rota].
What happens if I do not sign a Personal Data Consent Form?
If you prefer not to consent to the parish retaining and using your information we will of course respect your decision and destroy all data relating to you on our parish files [with the exception of Baptism, Confirmation and Marriage records which are regarded as a special category under GDPR]. This means we will not be able to contact you into the future.
If you have any questions in relation to Data Protection in our parish please feel free to ask me at any stage. Thank you for your kind attention.