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Image of the Holy Spirit on the Stephen Foster triptych at Northampton Cathedral

THE DIOCESE > DIOCESAN DEPARTMENTS > Finance and Property > ~Data Protection
Data Protection & the GDPR Minimize

Alarm clock with GDPR sticker

A big shake-up in Data Protection law came into force from 25th May 2018.


This is based on the European "General Data Protection Regulation" (GDPR) which was agreed by the UK in 2016, pre-Referendum, and has only now come into force - unaffected by Brexit. 

The Regulation applies directly into UK law from that date but there are some modifications in a new Data Protection Act 2018 which received Royal Assent on 23rd May. 

There are massive consequences for all businesses and organisations which process people's personal data, especially those who depend on mass mail-outs for marketing . The aim is to give individuals more control over how their data is used, by compelling organisations to obtain positive consent for such use, and to tighten up considerably on the security and sharing of such data. . 

Churches are among many charities who are having to review their practices, particularly when it comes to censuses, databases, and IT security

There is an excellent Church Times article here about the spiritual dangers of getting too preoccupied about the concept of privacy and data rights. 

The Diocese has appointed Brin Dunsire to be its Data Protection Manager and he ran a series of eight roadshow sessions around the Diocese during May. In July and August 2018 he was engaged in doing follow-up visits to parishes (42 done up to 30th July.) These were intended to continue throughout the late autumn., but some of these, and their progress-chasing follow-ups, were suspended because of his stroke, and because of the need to co-ordinate with the scheme to roll out generic role-related e-mails across the Diocese., which has been held up.   Brin is back in full production and visits may again be requested.  (Late Oct 19 - there are only a few parishes still to do)

The roadshow meetings were primarily intended for

  • Parish Priests (assistant priests and Deacons also very welcome)
  • Parish secretaries and administrators
  • Gift Aid organisers
  • Finance Committee Chairs, and other members if they wish

The parish meetings are intended for the same people, dealing with matters specific to each parish rather than generally, but can also include any lay people who organise rotas or parish groups. It has been found necessary to produce a Volunteers' Guide booklet, and this is available in print at parish meetings, and as another download from the list on the right. 

Schools and Academy trusts are in a different category and should be receiving separate input from their Local Education Authorities. 

Gift Aid documentation, revised in the light of the GDPR, is here

Documents and policies Minimize

Key documents and policies are available to download as Word or PDF documents - just click on the titles.

The Guide for Volunteers that Brin was distributing in July 2018,, and which has been sent out to all the parishes he visited earlier, is now available as a download.(PDF). This has been paginated to be printed double-sided, folded and centre-stapled - not to be readable on-screen.

Also here is the first (Sept 19) of his "Updata" bulletins,  covering topics not dealt with in the Guide, and best-practice tips arising from inter-Diocesan meetings. Sent to all parishes on 22.10.19. 

Presentation slides Part One and Part Two from the Roadshow dates during May 2018 ( 2-part PowerPoint, too big to upload as one) 

General Diocesan Privacy Notice (reviewed by Trustees 18th July 2019) 

Template for Parish Privacy Notice (insert parish name and logo, and attend to the points in red text. NB in old versions, please amend Brin's contact number to 01494 865574)

Diocesan Data Protection Policy  (v.2.3 - re-adopted by Trustees 19th July 2019) 

Diocesan IT Security, Acceptable-use and Passwords policy (v.1.5  - re-adopted by Trustees 19th July 2019) 

"Bring-your-own-device" policy  (use of your own computer or smartphone) (v.1.2 - re-adopted by Trustees 19th July 2019) 

Short privacy and consent clauses for parish documents (slightly amended 16th May)

Gift Aid Declaration and associated material all here

Records-Retention and Disposal policy (parishes )  ; and a version for the curial departments, agencies and commissions here. If printing these documents, to avoid upside-down pages, staple it along the long top edge so it opens like a calendar. 

The Parish Privacy Notice and the Short Clauses may be adapted for parish use, by replacing the titles, graphic etc, and you may change the font and numbering scheme, but if any significant changes to wording are desired, please check them with Brin Dunsire first. 

Copyright 2019 by the Catholic Diocese of Northampton, Registered Charity No. 234091