Privacy Notice

Purpose of this Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice covers (One) the various unincorporated Councils and Committees of the Church of Scotland which are registered as Scottish Charity No SC011353 and (two) 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 fulfillment 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 using the contact details given below.

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, the Solicitor of the Church, Mary Macleod, at: lawdept@churchofscotland.org.uk

Unincorporated Councils and Committees of the Church

  • The Church Of Scotland Council Of Assembly
  • The Church Of Scotland 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 Church And Society 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 Mission And Discipleship Council
  • The Church of Scotland World Mission Council
  • 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

How to complain

You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office about anything relating to the processing of your personal information by the Church. You can contact the ICO via its website or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.