Privacy Notice

The Church of Scotland respects your right to privacy. It is important that you are able to control your personal data. The following statement provides you with details about your rights with personal data:

A Statement About Your Rights With Personal Data

  • You have the right to be informed about how your personal data is, or will be, processed.
  • You have the right of access to your personal data.
  • You have the right to rectify any errors contained in your personal data.
  • You have the right to ask for your personal data to be erased from our records.
  • You have the right to restrict processing of your personal data.
  • You have the right to data portability.
  • You have the right to object to any aspect of our processing of your personal data.
  • You have rights regarding the use of automated decision-making.

You can invoke your rights with the Church of Scotland by making a Subject Access Request (SAR), using the SAR form in this Privacy Centre.

Complain To The Church of Scotland

You have the right to make a complaint about our processing of your personal data. You can make a complaint directly to The Church of Scotland:

Or in writing to:

Law Department
The Church of Scotland
121 George Street
Edinburgh
EH2 4YN

Complain To The Regulator

You can make your complaint to the UK regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office ( ICO ), at the following address:

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Or by visiting their website.

This Privacy Notice is relevant for anyone sharing their personal data directly or indirectly with The Church of Scotland (“The Church”, “we” or “us”) when visiting our websites or using our services. The Church of Scotland is a charity registered in the UK and as such, we adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation – Regulation (EU) 2016/679 , the Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) 2003.

Our address is 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN. With regard to data protection matters, we are happy to receive your questions or concerns by email privacy@churchofscotland.org.uk. In this Privacy Statement, we explain what types of personal data we process and for what purposes. We also explain the choices you have in relation to our processing and how you can learn more about our processing and exercise your rights.

Scope of this Privacy Notice

Please note that this Privacy Notice concerns the processing of personal data for which The Church is the data controller, i.e. where The Church has decided the purposes and means of the processing. For the avoidance of doubt, this Privacy Notice does not concern any processing of personal data that The Church may conduct as a data processor on behalf of another Data Controller.

Personal Data Processed

When you share your personal data on this website or through any personal data collection form associated with this website, you are giving your Personal Data to the Church of Scotland as the Data Controller.

Personal data refers to data that relates to you. We process the following types of personal data related to you:

  • Identity details such as your name.
  • Contact details such as e-mail address and phone number.
  • Information generated as a result of your use of our services. Such information may include IP address, device and browser type and also information about how you interact with our services.
  • Plus other information we receive from you through your contact with us.

Purposes of Processing

We process personal data for the following purposes:

  • To provide our services in accordance with relevant terms and conditions.
  • Administration of the business relationship with you.
  • To develop and improve our services.
  • To provide you with information about our services.
  • Marketing and promotion of our services and activities.

Data Protection Principles

Your personal data shall be collected and processed:

  • Lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
  • Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.
  • Accurate and kept up to date.
  • Kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary.
  • In a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data.

Data Sharing

We share personal data with third parties who process your personal data on our behalf for the purposes explained above.
For the avoidance of doubt, we will not share personal data with third parties in a manner that enables such third parties to use personal data for direct marketing purposes in relation to you as a private individual.

When we transfer personal data to a country outside the UK and EEA we will in such cases obtain your consent first, or ensure the transfer is legal and safe by taking other measures. For example using the EU/US Privacy Shield to protect transfer to data processors the USA or by using Standard Contractual Clauses to govern the transfer and processing of personal data involved.

This Privacy Notice covers:

  • The various Unincorporated Entities of the Church of Scotland which are registered as Scottish Charity No SC011353
  • Its statutory corporations as listed below (together referred to as “the Church”). The Church recognises the importance of your privacy and this Notice sets out the way in which the Church will use, disclose and protect your personal information. This means any information that identifies you personally, such as your name, address, email address or telephone number.

The Church is the data controller, because we decide how your data are processed and for what purpose. Contact details for our Data Protection Officer are provided below.

How We Use Information to Resource Congregations

We use the information you give to us:

  • To further our charitable aim, which is the advancement of religion.
  • To run the central administration of the Church.
  • To liaise with and support Church of Scotland congregations and Presbyteries.
  • To recruit, train, support and provide a central payroll for ministers and other staff.
  • To deal with matters of government and discipline in the Church.
  • To administer the Church’s pension schemes.
  • To provide social care services.
  • To provide Safeguarding services to the Church and its congregations.
  • To manage the central finances of the Church.
  • For the fulfilment of contractual, regulatory compliance and legal obligations.
  • For the purposes of property administration.
  • To administer membership records.
  • To provide and administer housing for retired ministers and their widows and widowers.
  • To provide loan and grant funding for congregational projects.
  • For pastoral care purposes.
  • To provide you with information about news, events, and activities within the Church of Scotland.
  • To recruit, train, support and manage our employees.

Disclosure of information

The Church will only share your personal information where this is necessary for the purposes set out above. Information will not be shared with any third party outwith the Church of Scotland without your consent unless we are required or permitted to do so by law.

Basis for processing personal information

The Church processes your information in the course of its legitimate activities, with appropriate safeguards in place, as a not-for-profit body with a religious aim and on the basis that our processing relates solely to members, former members or people who have regular contact with us, and that this information is not disclosed to any third party without your consent.

We also process information where this is necessary for compliance with our legal obligations; where processing is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests and such interests are not overridden by your interests or fundamental rights and freedoms; where (in relation to the processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences or related security measures in a safeguarding context) the processing meets a condition in Part 1, 2 or 3 of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018; where the processing is for reasons of substantial public interest and necessary for the purpose of protecting an individual from neglect or physical, mental or emotional harm; and where you have given consent to the processing of your information for a particular purpose.

Storage and security of personal information

The Church will strive to ensure that personal information is accurate and held in a secure and confidential environment. We will keep your personal information for as long as we are obliged to keep it by law or may need it in order to respond to any questions or complaints or to show that we treated you fairly. We may also keep it for statistical purposes but if so we will only use it for that purpose. When the information is no longer needed it will be securely destroyed or permanently rendered anonymous. Further information about our data retention policy is available here.

Getting a copy of your personal information

You can request details of the personal information which the Church holds about you by contacting us.

Inaccuracies and Objections

If you believe that any information the Church holds about you is incorrect or incomplete or if you do not wish your personal information to be held or used by us please let us know. Any information found to be incorrect will be corrected as quickly as possible.

You have the right to object to our use of your personal information, or to ask us to remove or stop using your personal information if there is no need for us to keep it. There may be legal or other reasons why we need to keep or use your data, but please tell us if you think that we should not be using it.

If we are processing your data on the basis of your explicit consent, you can withdraw your consent at any time. Please contact us if you want to do so.

Contact us

You can contact us by getting in touch with our Data Protection Officer at: privacy@churchofscotland.org.uk

Unincorporated Entities of the Church

  • The Church Of Scotland Faith Nurture Forum (formerly the Mission and Discipleship Council and the Ministries Council)
  • The Church Of Scotland Social Care Council (CrossReach)
  • The Church Of Scotland Assembly Arrangements Committee
  • The Church Of Scotland Central Services Committee
  • The Church Of Scotland Faith Impact Forum (formerly the Church and Society Council and World Mission Council)
  • The Church Of Scotland Committee On Church Art And Architecture
  • The Church Of Scotland Ecumenical Relations Committee
  • The Church Of Scotland Guild
  • The Church Of Scotland Housing & Loan Fund For Retired Ministers & Widows & Widowers Of Ministers
  • The Church Of Scotland Legal Questions Committee
  • The Church Of Scotland Pensions Department
  • The Church Of Scotland Panel On Review And Reform
  • The Church Of Scotland Priority Areas Committee
  • The Church Of Scotland Safeguarding Committee
  • The Committee On Chaplains To Her Majesty’s Forces
  • The Go For It Fund
  • The Scottish Churches Parliamentary Office
  • The Scottish Storytelling Centre
  • The Society Religion And Technology Project
  • John Knox Museum
  • Life And Work
  • Scottish Faiths Action For Refugees
  • Saint Andrew Press
  • The statutory corporations of the Church
  • The Church Of Scotland Investors Trust
  • The Church Of Scotland Trust
  • The Church Of Scotland General Trustees