Privacy and cookies
The Church of Scotland takes a proactive approach to user privacy and aims to protect the privacy of its users throughout their visit and to comply with all UK laws and requirements for user privacy. This policy aims to set out the various areas where user privacy is concerned and outlines the obligations and requirements of visitors and the website. This includes the way this website processes, stores and protects user data and information.
Such information may be used in a number of ways to help improve our website and make it a better experience. Some examples may include:
- Providing a more personalise experience for each user
- Sending periodic emails using subscription services (for example, newsletters)
- Administering a competition, survey or other website feature
- Allowing users to register on our website, or when filling out a form (for example, when contacting us you may be asked for your name and email address)
Any user information collected is stored securely until it is no longer required or has no use, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any personal information gathered is kept private and will never be passed on to third parties.
What are 'cookies'?
A cookie is a small text file which is downloaded to your computer or mobile device when you visit a website or application. Cookies typically contain two pieces of information:
- The name of the website
- A unique ID
Your web browser then sends these cookies back to the website or application on each subsequent visit so that they can recognise you and remember things like personalised details or user preferences. They may also be used for things such as website authentication (logging into a website), website analytics (number of site visitors, browser types etc.), saving items to a shopping cart or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data.
Types of cookies
There are two types of cookies:
- Session cookies: These allow a website to link the actions of a visitor during a single browser session. They might be used by an internet bank or webmail service. They are not stored long term and are considered 'less privacy intrusive' than persistent cookies
- Persistent cookies: These remain on the user's device between sessions and allow one or several websites to remember details about the visitor. They may be used to avoid the user having to provide a password with each visit
Which cookies does The Church of Scotland use and why?
The cookies used on this website have been categorised based on the categories found in the ICC UK Cookie guide. If you continue without changing your browser settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website.
Strictly necessary cookies
These cookies enable services you have specifically asked for and are essential in order to enable you to move around the website and use its features. For example: accessing secure areas, shopping baskets, or remembering previous actions (e.g. entered text) when navigating back to a page in the same session cannot be provided.
These cookies collect anonymous information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Any data collected is limited to the website operator's use only, for managing the performance and design of the site. These cookies can be third party cookies but the information must be for the exclusive use of the publisher of the website visited.
These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you are in) to provide an enhanced, more personal experience. For instance, remembering a choice such as not to be asked again to fill in a questionnaire or user poll, or fulfilling a request by the user such as submitting a comment. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Other third party cookies
A cookie is classed as being first party if it is set by the site being visited. However, a third party cookie is issued by a different server to that of the domain being visited. It could be used to trigger a banner advert based on the visitor's viewing habits or for analytical purposes. For example, when visiting a page with content embedded from YouTube, Google or Facebook. These service providers may set their own cookies on your web browser. Such anonymous cookies may be set by that third party to track the success of their application or to customise their application to you. The Church of Scotland does not control the use of these cookies and cannot access them, as they can only be accessed by the party who originally set them. You should check the third party websites for more information about these cookies.
How to control your cookies
If you don't like the idea of websites storing information on your device and find it a little intrusive, it is possible to control cookies by following the steps below. However you should be aware that you may lose some features and functionality of the website if you do so. Cookies, including those which have already been set, can be deleted from your device. Since cookies are maintained by your web browser, the method of enabling or disabling them will greatly depend on which browser you are using. In some cases, you can choose to accept cookies from the primary site, but block them from third parties.
Further information on cookies
- To learn more about cookies please visit www.allaboutcookies.org
- For general information about data protection visit or the new EU cookie law (e-Privacy Directive), please visit the Information Commissioner's Office
Contact, communication and e-mail newsletters
Users contacting the Church of Scotland through this website do so at their own discretion and provide any such personal details requested at their own risk. We make every effort to ensure that any data submitted in forms on this website by users is safe and secure. This information may be required for a variety of reasons, such as to help assist us in answering any questions, queries or requests for further information submitted by the user, to create a user profile to allow them to post comments on the site, or for a subscription service such as email newsletters.
Users can subscribe to email newsletters and do so through an automated process at their own discretion. Some subscriptions may be processed manually with prior consent from the user. Email campaigns produced by this website may contain tracking facilities within the content of the email, which allows subscriber activity to be tracked and stored in a database for analytical purposes and to help improve our services and make them more relevant to the user. Users subscribing to these services are given the opportunity to unsubscribe at any time through an automated system. Instructions on how to do so can be found at the bottom of each email.
Although we aim to only include quality, safe and relevant external links, third party websites have separate and independent privacy policies. Therefore, we have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these websites. Users should therefore note that they click on external links at their own risk and we cannot be held liable for any damages or implications caused by visiting any external websites that we link to. We do however, seek to protect the integrity of our website and welcome any feedback.
The Church of Scotland is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy whilst using our social media channels. We advise that users act responsibly in any activity with social media and be careful and cautious with regards to their own privacy and personal information. Activity taken through any external social media channel is custom to the privacy policies of each individual outlet.
This website uses social sharing buttons to aid users in sharing content from the website to social media channels. Users do so at their own discretion and are advised that individual social media channels may track and save such requests.This website will not ask for personal or sensitive information through social media channels.