Managing Trustees are advised that there are now three new resources available to them:

Retention Schedule:

TMCP and the Connexional Team are pleased to announce that the updated Retention Schedule has now been uploaded to the Methodist Church in Great Britain’s website. This is available from the Archivists page.

The Data Protection Working Party, which comprises data protection specialists within the TMCP Team together with the Connexional Data Protection Officer, Georgina Crowhurst, have worked closely with the Connexional Liaison Officer for Methodist Archives, Jon Purcell, to update this document as required by the Data Protection Act 2018.

The revised Retention Schedule is intended to provide some brief practical notes and guidance for Ministers, church officers, and volunteer archivists who are involved in managing records on behalf of Local Churches, Circuits and Districts.

As well as revising the previous information against statutory and good practice retention periods, the Retention Schedule now includes new information in relation to the following documents:

  • Data Protection
  • Safeguarding
  • Property and Trusts

The Retention Schedule is a fluid document and will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.  The Data Protection Working Party also ask that Managing Trustees let us know if they believe that any further documents should be included on the Retention Schedule.  Further guidance will be produced by the Connexional Team in respect of Members, Adherents, Pastoral Lists and Community Rolls in due course.

If Managing Trustees have any queries regarding the Retention Schedule then please contact TMCP for further assistance regarding general data protection matters and the Conference Office for queries specifically relating to safeguarding or complaints and discipline matters.

Word Version of the Data Protection Annual Checklist (Annual Checklist):

As requested by Managing Trustees, a shortened Word version of the Annual Checklist is now available to enable the Annual Checklist to be completed and submitted to the District Data Champions electronically. Please click on the below link to the Annual Checklist page from where you can click on the link to download in Word:

Please note that if your District does not have a District Data Champion then please check with your District Chair as to who these should be sent to.

The Word version is intended to be read alongside and in conjunction with the full version of the Annual Checklist.

You may also be aware that due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has been agreed to extend the deadline for this year only, for handing in the Annual Checklist.  Managing Trustees will now have until the end of this Connexional year, 31st of August 2021, to submit the Annual Checklist to their Data District Champion. Please refer to the News Hub Article Data Protection Checklist Guidance & Update – April 2021.

Guest Wi-Fi Acceptable Use Policy

Although not directly related to Data Protection, we have also been working with the Connexional team on producing an Acceptable Use Policy (Policy) for guests using Church Wi-Fi. This is available to download from the Safeguarding Forms section of the Methodist Church Website:

The Policy sets out the terms and conditions of the contract between the Managing Trustees and the guest using the Wi-Fi network. The Policy should be displayed or be accessible to guest users by means of a prominent hyperlink before the user gains access to the Wi-Fi network.

The Policy must be available in a way that allows the user to store and reproduce it. You could do this by encouraging users to print the Policy/ the terms and conditions.

Zoom Guidance

We would also like to draw your attention to the guidance that has been produced by the Connexional Team as part of the Digital Communication Guidance for Churches. From a data protection perspective, please bear in mind the implications particularly with regard to recording Zoom sessions, deleting those recordings and locking the meeting to guard against “Zoom Bombing”:

If Managing Trustees have any queries then please contact TMCP  for further assistance regarding general data protection matters and the Conference Office for queries specifically relating to safeguarding or complaints and discipline matters.