Privacy Notice for the Research Group on Ethnic Minorities (RGEM)

The Church of Scotland's Faith Impact Forum is providing you with this information to comply with data protection law and to ensure that you are fully informed and we are transparent in how we collect and use your personal data in relation to the Research Group on Ethnic Minorities (RGEM).

Who is collecting the information?

Church of Scotland is the Data Controller. We have an appointed Data Protection Officer (DPO), Alice Wilson, who can be contacted by emailing:

Why are we collecting it and what are we doing with it (Purpose)?

The Church of Scotland's Equality, Diversity and inclusion Group has identified Racial Justice as one of its priorities. As part of this priority a working group has been established, the Research Group on Ethnic Minorities (RGEM) in the Church of Scotland, to look into how many people of an ethnic minority are associated with the church, what their experience has been and what are the attitudes of the white majority in regards to racial justice. The purpose of the research is to:

  • Learn about the lived experience of people from ethnic minorities in relation to their identity and involvement with the Church of Scotland
  • Identify stories of good practice that can be learned from, promoted and built upon
  • Explore the views and behaviours towards racial justice amongst majority white leaders and members
  • Better understand the nature of the challenge in terms of tackling prejudice and challenging bias
  • Identify ways in which the Church of Scotland can prevent prejudicial behaviour and exclusion by transforming its practices, policies, training and culture.

The findings of the research will be used to better enable the Church of Scotland to work collectively towards developing and implementing strategies for improvement, and to address any issues of racial discrimination, building on good practices already taking place.

What personal data do we collect?

The research has identified congregations which have a high number of members of different ethnicities. The research process will then have interviews with individuals on their experience of being involved in the church activities, programmes and services. For example:

  • What you have been involved in
  • How you got involved
  • What worked well for you and how you benefited from it
  • What has been challenging and could be have been better
  • Any ideas you have for making your experience better
  • Any ideas for other ways the church could engage and support ethnic minority people and families.

The personal data involved is basic contact details, which congregation they are a member of, and personal opinions. There is also special category (sensitive) personal data involved which includes religious beliefs and racial or ethnic minority.

How are we collecting this information? What is the source?

The information has been collected directly from the individuals interested in taking part in the research. Congregations are invited to be involved and individuals of that congregation can choose to take part.

The lawful basis for the processing

The research being undertaken will meet the UK GDPR Article 89(1):"Safeguards and derogations relating to processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes" as is detailed under Section 19 of the Data Protection Act 2018. The participants in this research, though, are volunteering to take part, so the lawful basis for processing is UK GDPR Article 6(1)(a) "the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes". As racial/ethnic origin and religious data is involved, the lawful basis for this processing is Article 9(2)(d): "processing is carried out in the course of its legitimate activities with appropriate safeguards by a foundation, association or any other not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim and on condition that the processing relates solely to the members or to former members of the body or to persons who have regular contact with it in connection with its purposes and that the personal data are not disclosed outside that body without the consent of the data subjects".

Who we share the information with

The research is being carried out using volunteers to interview and gather the data. They have a volunteer agreement in place providing safeguards that the data gathered for this research will be transferred to the Church and securely destroyed following that transfer of data. No identifying data will be disclosed outside of the Church.

How long do we hold the personal data?

The data will be held for five years. Following that it will be destroyed securely following Church procedures.

Individuals' rights in relation to this processing

Data protection laws have a number of rights for individuals. This is detailed on our page on your rights and choices.

It's important to note that you can withdraw your consent at any time, to do this please contact

Not all rights apply; some of these rights only apply depending on the lawful basis of processing the data. For this purpose only the right to object does not apply; however, the rest of the rights do apply. If you want to exercise any of these rights you can do so either verbally or in writing. The Church will require proof of identity prior to processing the request. The Church are required to process the request without undue delay and must respond within one month.

Complaints to UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

If you are concerned about how your personal data is being used by the Church of Scotland, in the first instance please can you contact the Church of Scotland Data Protection Officer (DPO) at If you are not satisfied with the outcome then you can complain to the regulator of data protection, the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The ICO has guidance on their website.

You can email them at or call them on 0303 123 113 or you can send a letter to them at the following address:

Customer Contact

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane