Privacy Policy and Cookies

Privacy Notice

Data Protection Principles

The Connexional committees of the Methodist Church in Ireland comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as implemented in May 2018. We aim to ensure that, when processing information belonging to individuals, we will use that data lawfully, fairly and transparently; for limited purposes, and; we will request only the data that is relevant and necessary. We will endeavour to ensure such data is accurate; not kept forever, and; kept secure and confidential. Training in data protection is recommended for all our staff and volunteers who store and/or use people’s information. We will post this Privacy Notice in our buildings, official publications and on our website. We will review this policy every three years.

Your Rights

You have data protection rights that you can exercise over the information you give us. These rights include: to be informed how your data is being used; to have access to the information we hold about you; to have inaccuracies corrected; to have your information erased; to object to or restrict the ways we process your information; to not be subject to decisions made by automated processing including profiling, and; data portability (to receive your digital information in a useful format). There may be some legal restrictions on these rights, which we will explain as appropriate. If you feel your rights haven’t been upheld please contact us in the first instance, or you can communicate with the Methodist Church in Ireland (Secretary of Conference) at 1 Fountainville Avenue, Belfast BT9 6AN; Phone: (028) 9032 4554; E- mail: secretary@irishmethodist.org.

Our Contact Details

If you need to get in touch with us please contact: The Secretary of Conference
Address: 1 Fountainville Avenue, Belfast BT9 6AN Phone: 028 9032 4554
E-mail: secretary@irishmethodist.org

Your Data

We may record and process some or all of the following personal information about you, depending on your role within the denomination:  

  • contact details (address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses) date of birth
  • photographs/video recordings
  • financial giving to the church
  • religious beliefs
  • health and medication
  • records of experiences, public appointments, skills, training and work completed bank account details
  • passport details
  • spent convictions and bankruptcies

We use this data so that we might:

  • facilitate the organisation and work of our committees at district and Connexional levels ensure best practice in a wide variety of activities
  • share photographic and video recordings/livestreams of our events online and in print
  •  publish accurate contact details of office-bearers, employees, local preachers, ministers, ministers’ widows & widowers, mission partners and other people with specific roles on our website  and/or in the Minutes of Conference each year
  •  ensure transfers of membership from one circuit to another are carried out correctly
  •  assist with grant applications to Methodist-related bodies
  •  facilitate cooperation and communication between the Methodist Church in Ireland and other
  •  organisations
  •  process payments for expenses incurred in the service of the Methodist Church in Ireland
  •  determine need and allocate payments from funds that benefit ministers and their families
  •  administration connected with visits of volunteers serving within the Methodist Church in Ireland
  •  fulfil our responsibilities with regard to charities law
  •  share experiences in fellowship and ministry to inspire and encourage
  •  follow any other Methodist Church in Ireland directives as recorded in the annual Minutes of
  •  Conference

Legal Bases for Processing

Our legal bases for processing your data are usually ‘legitimate interests’ (for activities related to the everyday functioning of the church) [GDPR Article 6.1(f)] and ‘consent’ (for everything else) [Article 6.1(a)]. In a small number of instances we rely on ‘contract’ (for example, if we are your employer) and ‘legal obligation’ (for example, in relation to safeguarding issues).
When using ‘legitimate interests’ as the legal basis for using the information you have given us we will ensure it is for a genuine purpose, necessary for the smooth running of the denomination, and not invasive to your privacy. For all other purposes we will ask for your positive consent before processing your details.
We are able to process ‘special categories of personal data’ (such as your health, religious beliefs, or spent convictions) in the course of our legitimate activities because we are a not-for-profit body with a religious aim relating to you as a member, former member, or person with whom we have regular contact [Article 9.2(d)].

Sharing Your Data

Only people appointed to specific roles within the Methodist Church in Ireland (for example, ministers and lay staff, society/circuit stewards, Connexional officers) can access your details, and what they can see is limited to what they need in order to carry out their role.
If you are appointed to a specific role within the life of the Church we may publish your details (eg in the Minutes of Conference or our web presence) or share them directly so members and other relevant individuals/organisations can contact you. This will cease when you step down from the role.
We occasionally post photographs and/or video taken at church events on our website (www.irishmethodist.org) and/or other online platforms (including the ‘irishmethodist’ accounts on facebook, twitter, vimeo and youtube).
If you donate money to us using the UK Gift Aid scheme we will send details of those gifts to HMRC.
If you donate money to us using the Irish Charities Donations Scheme we will send details of those gifts to the Revenue Commissioners.
We will not share your information with any third parties without your permission unless we have a legal obligation to do so.

Security and Retention

  •  We use Microsoft Office 365 cloud services for digital files, which have integrated appropriate security measures to keep your data safe, including instances where their servers are located outside of the EEA.
  •  To prevent unauthorised disclosure of your information, our paper-based records are stored securely. Electronic and portable memory devices are protected by passwords or equivalent security measures. Digital documents containing personal data are either encrypted or password- protected.
  •  Other than our permanent records or details that need to be kept for legal compliance (such as Safeguarding notes or Gift Aid declarations), we will remove your information from our systems no less than six years after you turn eighteen years old or your last personal contact with us (whichever is later).

Subject Access Request

You have the right to ensure our use of your data is lawful, and that the data we hold is accurate. If you would like to access the data we process about you, please write to us at:
Secretary of Conference
Trustees of the Methodist Church in Ireland, 1 Fountainville Avenue, Belfast BT9 6AN secretary@irishmethodist.org

In order to locate the information you are requesting and to ensure proof of your identity, please send us:

  •  Your name (including any names by which you used to be known) and Date of Birth
  •  Address (incl postcode), e-mail address(es), telephone number(s)
  •  Two pieces of identification that between them clearly show your name, date of birth and current
  • address (eg passport, photocard driving license, birth certificate, recent bank statement/utility bill)

In response, and within one month at the latest, we will send to you:

  •  The personal data we hold on record for you
  •  The types of processing we do with your data
  •  The people/groups with whom your data will have been shared (or will be in the future)  Our intentions regarding how long we might store your data
  •  OR our reasons for not providing your data

We will not charge for this service unless you make multiple requests within a short space of time.

Further Information

You can learn about Data Protection principles, your rights, and more – including making a complaint about our handling of your data – from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in Northern Ireland, visit www.ico.org.uk, call 0303 123 1113 or write to the Information Commissioner's Office:

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF 

and the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) in the Republic of Ireland, visit www.dataprotection.ie, call (0761) 104 800 or write to The Data Protection Commissioner: 

Canal House, Station Road, Portarlington, Co. Laois R32 AP23

Guidance for Methodist churches is available here.