Privacy Policy

This information sheet tells you how Foundation Church uses personal data. Personal data means information about you from which you can be identified such as your name and address.

Why is my data being collected?

The main reasons that we use your personal data are to provide you with information about our current and future programme of activities and to facilitate administration of the church. Here are other reasons:

  • To meet our legal and statutory obligations (e.g. employment data)
  • For safeguarding procedures, including Access NI enhanced disclosure checks
  • To organise our services, events, courses and activities
  • To maintain accounts and records, including processing of Gift Aid
  • To operate our website and social media
  • To manage our employees and volunteers
  • To provide you with pastoral care
  • To include you in Foundation Church’s searchable church directory
  • To include you in WhatsApp groups to share information
  • To tell you about news, events and services at Foundation Church, the local community or in the wider Christian community.
  • To help publicise the work of Foundation Church by sharing photos, films or personal stories on our website or social media sites

How is my data collected?

In most cases, you have given us your personal data. For example, you may have filled in a form at Foundation Church with information such as your name, email and telephone number.  You may also have given us personal data about your children, for example on a Foundation Kids registration form. You may have provided us with financial data, for example to purchase items, facilitate Gift Aid or receive salary payments.

We may have taken photographs or film clips of you (or your children) if you gave your consent.

If you (or your children) are part of any church groups such as fellowship groups we will record this information. Data relating to safeguarding, (e.g. safeguarding checks for our team, Foundation Kids and Creche registers), will be collected by staff, group leaders or safeguarding coordinators. Pastoral information may be recorded by individuals providing pastoral care.

What is the legal basis for processing my data?

Most data is processed because it is necessary for our legitimate interests. For example you may be helping to run a church activity and we are contacting you about this. Some data processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation, such as safeguarding data. Some data is processed for performance of a contract (e.g. employment). We will ask for your consent to use your data if use is not covered by one of these legal bases. Examples of this include asking for consent to use your data in Foundation Church’s church management system (ChurchSuite) and WhatsApp groups. You can remove your consent at any time by contacting us (details at the end of this document). In many cases, data we process is categorised as sensitive personal data because it can be linked to religious belief.

Who is my data shared with?

In general, your data is shared with the elders and trustees, plus individuals providing leadership, administrative and/or organisational support to the eldership team. This includes small group leaders, our safeguarding team and (for children’s data) Foundation Kids leaders. Sensitive data such as financial, safeguarding or pastoral data is shared on a need-to-know basis. If you help on the church rotas your name is visible to other church rota members through our ChurchSuite system.

If you give consent to being included in ChurchSuite then your name, address, telephone and email can be found by others in the directory. You can choose to hide some of this information. If you join a WhatsApp group your name and mobile number is visible to others in the group.

With consent, information about you may be visible to the public via our website and social media (e.g. photographs, film clips, biographies). Please be aware that we have no control over subsequent storage, copying and sharing of information once it is in the public domain.

We may use a range of different third parties acting as processors in order to provide database, website, social media, media, IT and system administration services. Our main church database is run by ChurchSuite, a UK-based company. 

Our third-party providers include:

  • Website platforms, website design companies, databases and event management systems including ChurchSuite, Textlocal, M247 Servers, WordPress and Eventbrite.
  • Companies processing payments (e.g. donations) including GoCardless, Square and Stripe.
  • Social media and communication platforms including Gmail, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • The organisation coordinating our Access NI safeguarding checks, Child Evangelism Fellowship Ireland.
  • Professional advisers including lawyers, bankers, auditors, pension advisors and insurers based in the UK who provide consultancy, banking, legal, insurance and accounting services.
  • HM Revenue & Customs, Charities Commission NI, Companies House, and other regulators and authorities based in the UK who require personal data in line with our statutory obligations as a registered UK charitable company.

See the following websites for GDPR/privacy information for third party providers:

How long will my data be held?

We keep different categories of personal data for different lengths of time. These are summarised below.

If you gave us your information by filling out a paper form or if you booked into one of our events, the data you gave us will be held for up to 2 years. It will then be destroyed unless you consent to us keeping your data to contact you again.

If you registered on our ChurchSuite system as a regular attender of Foundation Church, the data from this will be held until you leave Foundation Church and will then be destroyed within 1 year unless you have opted-in to staying in touch.

You can still choose to stay in touch, for example, to continue to receive ministry updates or information about future events. We will then keep your name, email and mobile number until you ask us not to contact you anymore.

If your child or children joined any of our children’s activities, information from registration and consent forms will be held for up to 2 years after they leave the group or finish the activity. For safeguarding, we will keep their name and date of birth indefinitely and these will be included on our attendance registers.

For staff and volunteers involved in children’s work, your contact details and a minimum data set relating to Access NI checks will be retained indefinitely. Pastoral data may be retained indefinitely. Safeguarding data, and staff personnel records will be retained indefinitely. Finance-related personal data will be retained for up to 8 years.  If you gave consent for us to use photographs and film clips of you, these will be retained indefinitely. You can withdraw your consent at any time.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

Your right of access – You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.

Your right to rectification – You have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.

Your right to erasure – You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.

Your right to restriction of processing – You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances.

Your right to object to processing – You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances.

Your right to data portability – You have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us to another organisation, or to you, in certain circumstances.

Please contact us if you wish to make a request (details at the end of this document).

What if there is a problem?

If you are unhappy with how we have used your data you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office via their website or by telephone on 0303 123 1113. We encourage you to come and talk to us about the problem first so we can try and resolve it.

Who can I speak to for more information?

If you would like more information about data protection, please speak to David Varney or email Alternatively you may write us: Foundation Church Belfast, 2d Knockwood Crescent, Belfast, BT5 6GE.

Last updated July 2023.