This page was last updated on the 20th April 2023 to insert the date of the latest update to the Managing Trustees’ Privacy Notice (being 3rd March 2023) in section 1 (Changes to the Privacy Notice and your Duty to Inform us of Changes). This reflects the previous update on the 3rd of March to reflect the change in the postal address for Methodist Church House.
Welcome to the privacy notice for Local Churches, Circuits and Districts within the Methodist Church in Great Britain.
The Local Churches, Circuits and Districts within the Methodist Church in Great Britain respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal information (personal data). This privacy notice lets you know how we look after your personal data which either you provide to us or we obtain and hold about you and it tells you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.
This privacy notice is available online in a layered format so you can click through to the specific areas that you may be interested in. These are set out below. Alternatively you can download a PDF version (PDF version) or you may have been provided with a hardcopy (printed) version of the notice. Please also use the Glossary to understand the meaning of some of the terms used in this privacy notice.
- IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND WHO WE ARE
- THE DATA WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU
- HOW YOUR PERSONAL DATA IS COLLECTED
- HOW WE USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
- DISCLOSURES OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA
- INTERNATIONAL TRANSFERS
- DATA SECURITY
- DATA RETENTION
- YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
PURPOSE OF THIS PRIVACY NOTICE
This privacy notice aims to give you information on how Local Churches, Circuits and Districts within the Methodist Church in Great Britain collect and process your personal data which either you provide to us or we obtain and hold about you including any data you may provide when you become a member, volunteer to help at your Local Church or provide your details to be included in the Circuit or District directories.
It is important that you read this privacy notice together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or dealing with personal data about you (e.g. website privacy notices and employment privacy notices) so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This privacy notice supplements the other notices and is not intended to override them.
The Methodist Church in Great Britain is a membership church made up of different bodies of Managing Trustees; Local Church Councils, Circuit Meetings and District Synods. These individual charities form part of the wider connexion of the Methodist Church in Great Britain details of which can be found here. This privacy notice is issued on behalf of Local Churches, Circuits and Districts within the Methodist Church in Great Britain and when we mention, “we”, “us” or “our” in this privacy notice, we are referring to the relevant charity within the wider Connexion of the Methodist Church in Great Britain that is responsible for processing your data.
Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes (TMCP) is the controller and responsible for general data protection issues arising in respect of day to day matters such as lists of members, third party users of church premises and lay employees employed by local Churches, Circuits and Districts. The Connexional Team (registered under the name of the Methodist Church in Great Britain) is the controller and responsible for data protection matters concerning safeguarding and complaints and discipline issues. When we mention the controller we mean the relevant controller.
We have appointed a data protection working party (Working Party) comprised of representatives from both controllers which is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this privacy notice.
If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the relevant contact for the Working Party using the details set out below.
Our full details are:
The Local Contact is the individual at the Local Church, Circuit or District who is responsible for day to day administration of data protection matters and their details will be set out in the fair processing notice issued by that charity. In the absence of specific information, the minister (in the case of a Local Church), the superintendent minister (in the case of Circuits) or the appointed data champion or District Chair (in the case of the District).
The controller for routine, day to day data protection matters for Methodist Local Churches, Circuits and Districts is:
Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes
The controller for matters relating to safeguarding matters or complaints and discipline for Methodist Local Churches, Circuits and Districts is:
The Methodist Church in Great Britain
The Conference Office
Methodist Church House
25 Tavistock Place
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (www.ico.org.uk). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.
CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY NOTICE AND YOUR DUTY TO INFORM US OF CHANGES
This version was last updated on 3rd March 2023.
We have the right to update and amend the provisions of this notice to ensure continual compliance with data protection legislation. We will provide you with copies of the new notice wherever it is practically possible to do so but please check the online or locally displayed hardcopy notice regularly to see if any updates have been made.
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with the Methodist Church in Great Britain.
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about a living individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about our members, ministers, volunteers, employees, adherents, church attendees, users of our premises, those who are interested in and supportive of the work of the Methodist Church, individuals who provide services to us and individuals who contact us.
We have grouped the different kinds of personal data together as follows:
- Administrative Data includes details about you included in orders of service; Circuit plans; Church Council, Circuit Meeting and District Synod Minutes; Local Church notices; lists of room bookings; invoices; supplier and contractor details; catering records and back-up files e.g. something that you said in the Circuit Meeting that could identify you.
- Image Data includes photographs taken of you where it is possible to identify you and images of you caught by any CCTV or similar devices at Local Church, Circuit or District premises.
- Contact Data includes home address, email address and telephone numbers e.g. information used to contact you.
- Employment Data includes employment history, training records, pension information, details about next of kin and other details relating to your employment by Local Churches, Circuits or Districts.
- Financial Data includes bank account and payment card details.
- Identity Data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth and gender.
- Marketing and Communications Data includes your preferences in receiving information from us about church events and fundraising and our third parties and your communication preferences.
- Member and Group Data includes details of membership of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, offices held, membership of Local Church groups, rotas, registration for Local Church groups and events, attendance information (e.g. Sunday School attendance).
- Official Records includes lists of those who have been baptized, confirmation records, marriage records, funeral records and lists of visitors to Local Churches.
- Parental Contact Data includes details of parents (e.g. on parent contact forms).
- Pastoral Data includes details and records of pastoral support and prayer requests.
- Special Categories of Data includes your race or ethnicity, your religious beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, information about your health, also information about criminal convictions and offences in keeping with the Safeguarding Policy of the Methodist Church in Great Britain.
- Tax Data includes national insurance numbers and other information that may be required by HMRC relating to gift aid donations and other tax related payments and receipts.
- Technical Data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access any websites or social media operated by Local Churches, Circuits or Districts .
- Transaction Data includes details about payments to and from you and other details of your room hire, licence agreement or rental agreements that you enter into with us relating to our premises.
IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DATA
Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with accommodation under a tenancy agreement or process gift aid payments). We will notify you if this is the case at the time.
We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:
- Direct exchanges. You may choose to provide personal information to us direct e.g. by speaking to us at Local Church, Circuit and District events, by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:
- join and take part in Local Church, Circuit or District groups;
- become a member of the Methodist Church in Great Britain;
- apply for paid or voluntary roles within the Methodist Church in Great Britain; or
- enter into property contracts with us including leases, licence agreements, tenancy agreements and booking forms;
- Automated technologies or interactions. As you interact with any websites run by Local Churches, Circuits or Districts (Local Websites), we may automatically collect Technical Data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns. We may collect this personal data by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies. Please see website privacy notices and cookie policies available from such Local Websites for further details.
- Third parties or publicly available sources. We may receive personal data about you from various third parties and public sources as set out below:
- Your family members;
- Our ecumenical partners in the case of shared churches and Local Ecumenical Partnerships;
- Identity and Contact Data from publicly available sources such as Companies House, the Charity Commission and the Electoral Register based inside the EU.
The Methodist Church in Great Britain takes its obligations under data protection law (including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)) seriously. Local Churches, Circuits and Districts keep personal data as up to date as possible and take active steps to rectify any personal data we find to be incorrect. Local Churches, Circuits and Districts store and destroy personal data securely and do not collect or retain personal data which is in excess of our processing activities. Local Churches, Circuits and Districts take steps to protect all personal data (including Special Category Data) from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure by ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to protect personal data.
Local Churches, Circuits and Districts ensure that personal data is processed in accordance with the principles of the GDPR and is processed:
- Lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner;
- For specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not processed in a manner which is incompatible with those purposes;
- Accurately, relevantly and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed;
- Kept accurate and where necessary kept up to date, with all reasonable steps being taken to ensure that all inaccurate data is erased or rectified without delay;
- Is not kept longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is processed; and
- In a manner that ensures appropriate security of the Personal Data including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage by using appropriate technical and organisational measures.
HOW WE USE YOUR DATA
We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:
- Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or those of a third party) and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
- Legitimate interests means the interests of Local Churches, Circuits and Districts in operating as a membership Church, supporting our members and the communities we work in and conducting and managing our missional activities to enable us to fulfil the calling of the Methodist Church in Great Britain. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law). You can obtain further information about how we assess our legitimate interests against any potential impact on you in respect of specific activities by contacting your Local Contact.
- Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you.
- Performance of Contract means processing your personal data where it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such a contract including employment contracts and property contracts, such as licences and tenancy agreements.
- Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
- Comply with a legal or regulatory obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to.
In rare cases we may need to use your personal data in the following circumstances:
- Where we need to protect your vital interests e.g. in an emergency life or death situation where the emergency services are called to treat you when you are with us.
- Vital interests means where it is necessary to use your personal data to protect your "vital interests" or those of another person (such as a child) in a life-or-death situation.
- Where we need to perform a task carried out in the public interest e.g. in certain safeguarding situations.
Refer to the Lawful bases Guidance Notice (click here if you are reading this privacy notice online) to find out more about the types of lawful basis that we will rely on to process your personal data.
Generally we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sharing your personal data with third parties (including where Contact Details are made publicly available through Circuit and District Directories, Circuit Plans and noticeboards), sending marketing communications to you via email or to legitimise dealing with Special Category Data. You have the right to withdraw consent at any time by contacting the appropriate Local Contact although this will not prevent processing where the law allows us to process for a different reason in addition to consent.
SPECIAL CATEGORY DATA
Where data processing relates to Special Categories of Data (e.g. health information included in pastoral records or prayer requests) the following processing conditions apply in addition to the legal basis identified in the table in the Annex to this privacy notice:
- Explicit Consent has been given by the data subject;
- Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;
- Processing is carried out by a not for profit body with a religious aim provided:
- the processing relates to member 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 relates to personal data manifestly made public by the data subject;
- Processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise, defence of legal claims or where the courts are acting in their judicial capacity; or
- Processing is necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific and historical research purposes or statistical purposes.
PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE WILL USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
We have set out in detail in the Annex to this privacy notice, in a table format, a description of the main ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate.
Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please contact the Local Contact if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table in the Annex.
NOTIFYING YOU ABOUT EVENTS AND FUNDRAISING
We like to notify our members, those in regular contact with the Methodist Church and third parties who support the Methodist Church about upcoming church events and fundraising opportunities so that you can play as much of a role in the life of the Church as you choose from time to time. Most of the time we will let you know about such opportunities on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in doing so.
If we decide to contact you by email or telephone where you are registered with the telephone preference service we will provide you with choices as required to do so under data protection legislation and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).
As a Church we will not share your personal data with any third parties for marketing purposes but if a Local Church, Circuit or District thought you might be interested in hearing from another Christian denomination or a community group or charity about certain events or fundraising we will get your express opt-in consent to us sharing your information with them before we do so.
You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages (e.g. messages about church events or fundraising) at any time by contacting your Local Contact.
CHANGE OF PURPOSE
We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact the Local Contact.
If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
SHARING PERSONAL DATA
We treat all personal data as strictly confidential, except where consent has been provided for it to appear in publications available to general members of the public.
Personal data will not be shared with third parties, other than those listed below unless we are legally obliged to do so or:
- with your explicit consent;
- it is necessary for law enforcement purposes; or
- it is necessary to protect our rights, property or safety of our members, ministers, volunteers or staff.
We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the table in the Annex.
- Internal third parties such as other Methodist organisations which form part of the Methodist Connexion and family, such as TMCP or the Connexional Team.
- External third parties such as:
- Any third party groups who provide support for Local Churches, Circuits and Districts in providing services to their members and the local communities in which they serve.
- Professional advisers including lawyers, surveyors, bankers, auditors and insurers based in the UK who provide legal, surveying, consultancy, banking, insurance and accounting services.
- Estate agents who provide advice and administrative support in relation to transactional matters and ongoing residential tenancy matters.
- HM Revenue & Customs, regulators and other authorities based in the United Kingdom who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances.
- Our ecumenical partners in the case of shared churches and Local Ecumenical Partnerships.
We will ask all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow third-parties to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
We may at times transfer and process personal data outside of the EEA. This is particularly relevant where members Local Churches, Circuits or Districts are engaged with providing missionary and support services abroad.
Storing, publishing or transmitting personal data via the internet, (this includes by email), is not completely secure and therefore whilst Local Churches, Circuits or Districts take all reasonable and necessary precautions to protect personal data from unauthorised access, you acknowledge that there is a risk that your personal data may be transferred and accessed outside of the EEA.
We implement reasonable and appropriate security measures against unlawful or unauthorised Processing of personal data and against the accidental loss of, or damage to, personal data in accordance with our internal data security policy. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those members, volunteers, ministers and employees who have a need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place reasonable and appropriate procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
HOW LONG WILL YOU USE MY PERSONAL DATA FOR?
We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.
To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.
Full details of retention periods for data processed by the Methodist Church in Great Britain can be found on the Methodist Church website at: http://www.methodist.org.uk/for-ministers-and-office-holders/office-holders/archivists/
In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see Section 9 and details about Request erasure below for further information.
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.
Unless personal data is subject to an exemption under GDPR, such as it is subject to the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of a criminal offence, you have the following rights with regards to your personal data:
- Where consent is used as the legal basis for processing personal data, you have the right to withdraw consent to the data processing at any time. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent or processing carried out using an alternative legal basis such as performance of a contract or legal obligation;
- The right to request a copy of the personal data which the Local Church, Circuit, District or any other Methodist body, such as TMCP or the Connexional Safeguarding Team hold about you (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it. If you would like to exercise this right then please complete the relevant Data Subject Access Form and forward to the relevant controller as described in section 1 of this privacy notice.
- The right to request that the Local Church, Circuit or District corrects any Personal Data which is found to be inaccurate. Note that we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us;
- The right to request that the Local Church, Circuit or District erases any Personal Data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.;
- Where consent or the performance of a contract is used as the legal basis for processing Personal Data, you have the right to request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you and this right is unlikely to apply to personal data held by us.
- The right to request for a restriction on data processing. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.;
- Where legitimate interest is used as the legal basis for processing Personal Data, you have the right to object to the processing of personal data where there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. Note that in some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms;
- The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).
Contacting the ICO
Further information, guidance and advice is available from the ICO at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Tel: 0303 123 1113
If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact your Local Contact.
NO FEE USUALLY REQUIRED
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
WHAT WE MAY NEED FROM YOU
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.
TIME LIMIT TO RESPOND
We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
“controller” is the controller described in Section 1 of this privacy notice.
“data subject” is a living, identified or identifiable individual about whom personal data is held. e.g. our members, volunteers, lay employees, those who join us in worship and/or those who are interested in and supportive of the work of the Methodist Church and third parties such as community groups who use our buildings and other third parties.
“explicit consent” is a very clear and specific statement of consent.
GDPR means the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679). Personal data is subject to the safeguards specified in the GDPR.
“lawful bases” are the five lawful grounds on which we can lawfully process personal data set out under Article 6 of GDPR. The lawful basis or bases on which we rely are set out under Section 4 of this privacy notice.
“Local Contact” is the individual at the Local Church, Circuit or District who is responsible for day to day administration of data protection matters whose details will be set out in the fair processing notice or in the absence of specific information, the minister (in the case of a Local Church), the superintendent minister (in the case of Circuits) or the appointed data champion or District Chair (in the case of the District).
“Methodist Church in Great Britain”, “Methodist Church” or “Church” refers to the united church or denomination known as the Methodist Church formed under the provisions of the Methodist Church Union Act 1929 and a deed of union on 20 September 1932.
“personal data” is any information identifying a living individual or information relating to an individual that can be identified from that information/data (alone or in combination with other information in your hands or that can reasonably be accessed). Personal Data can be factual (for example, a name, email address, location or date of birth) or an opinion about that person’s actions or behaviour. Personal information includes an individual’s name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address, a photograph or disability, health or ethnicity data.
“Processing” “processed” or “process” means any activity that involves the use of personal data. It includes obtaining, recording or holding the data, or carrying out any activity or set of activities on the data including organising, amending, retrieving, using, disclosing, erasing or destroying it. Processing also includes transmitting or transferring personal data to third parties. E.g. sharing member information by email and shredding when information is no longer required.
Purposes for which we will use your personal data
Type of data
|Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest|
To publicise details of ministers, officeholders, relevant employees and other volunteers.
(c) Member and Group
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to operate as a Church, further Mission and enable third parties to contact relevant office holders)
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to fulfil the calling of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, grow our Church (further Mission) by engaging with current and prospective supporters of the Church, developing the worship, activities and events available) and general fundraising (in all cases in respect of individuals who have a continuing relationship with the Church))
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to operate as a membership organisation, keep our records updated, study how our membership changes over time, identify the needs of the communities in which we operate and support our members)
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for supporting our members and the communities we work in to enable us to fulfil the calling of the Methodist Church in Great Britain where there is a continuing relationship with the Church)
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for supporting our members and the communities we work in to enable us to fulfil the calling of the Methodist Church in Great Britain) where there is a continuing relationship with the Church.
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for keeping official records of those who have been baptized, confirmed, received into membership, wish to be married or whose funerals take place and visitors to church premises, running our charity and providing support to members and the communities in which we operate at different times of their relationship with the Church where there is a continuing relationship with the Church)
(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our charity, fulfilling our obligations under charity law, complying with the Constitution Practice and Discipline of the Methodist Church and providing of support to members and the communities in which we operate)
To administer, run and protect our Local Websites (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)
|Details provided in relevant Local Website privacy notices.|
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our premises and fulfilling our obligations as charity trustees)
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our charity, fulfilling employer responsibilities and looking after our employees)
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for ensuring and demonstrating compliance with Safeguarding Policy and Practice to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults within our Local Churches, Circuits and Districts)
|(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep church premises and our members, ministers, volunteers, employees and third parties secure)|
v1.5 3rd March 2023