Privacy Policy


The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (GAUFCC) (Registered Charity No. 250788) will seek to protect and respect the privacy of all those with whom we have contact reflecting our commitment to the “worth and dignity of all people”.

In this policy we set out the data we collect, how we use and process that information, and how you may contact us. Where we employ partner organisations and institutions in this process we ensure that they provide a level of service and protection in accordance with UK data protection laws.

The GAUFCC is the “data controller” for the purposes of this policy and the policy extends to its staff, trustees, volunteers and anyone else processing data on our behalf from time to time. Any personal data collected by the GAUFCC will only be processed in accordance with this privacy policy. Any queries regarding this policy should be addressed to and will be dealt with by the most appropriate person.

This policy will be kept under review and updated versions will be published on the GAUFCC website with the date of publication.

1. How the law protects you

Data Protection laws say we are only allowed to use personal data if we have a proper reason to do so. The GAUFCC is primarily a membership organisation comprising organisational and individual members for whom we provide services. We therefore process data on the basis that:

  • We have a legitimate interest in doing so in the fulfilment of our charitable objectives, and/or,
  • We have express and informed consent from the person whose data is being processed, and/or,
  • It is necessary in relation to a contract or agreement which the person has entered into or because the person has asked for something to be done so that they can enter into a contract or agreement, and/or,
  • There is a legal obligation on the GAUFCC to process the data, and/or
  • As a not-for-profit, religious body we may undertake processing of data when it relates to members, former members (or those who have regular contact with us) in connection with those membership purposes and where there will be no disclosure to third parties; in particular relating to religious affiliation.
  • Where we have relied solely on consent as the basis for processing data you may modify or withdraw this consent at any time by notifying us in writing, although this may affect the extent to which we are able to provide services or interact with you in future.

2. What data do we collect?

We collect data that is necessary for the GAUFCC to pursue its charitable objectives and to meet our legal obligations. Activities currently used to achieve these objectives are described in the Annual Report, however, these may change over time. Data collected includes that of officers of member congregations and other bodies as well as of individuals. Data collected and processed may include, but not be limited to:

  • Names, role and contact information such as telephone numbers, email and postal addresses.
  • Financial information including gift aid, bank account details. We do not retain credit card details after any transaction has been completed.
  • Records relating to those seeking admission to and undertaking training for the ministry and subsequently admitted to the Rolls maintained by the GAUFCC.
  • Human resources information.
  • Photographic images and video footage.
  • Any other information that is relevant and necessary for the GAUFCC to carry out its activities, charitable purposes and legal obligations.

3. What do we do with the data we process?

We use the data collected to maintain accurate records of those with whom we work to facilitate our activities in accordance with our charitable objects. Data may be processed and viewed by staff, trustees and volunteers in the course of GAUFCC’s activities but only in accordance with this policy and a “need to know”. Data will only be retained as long as is reasonable and permissible in law and in line with our records retention schedule. We may keep your data if this is necessary for statistical and historical research purposes but we will ensure that all personally identifiable information is removed where technically feasible and in any case we will have measures to ensure its security is protected.

The General Assembly works closely with the British and Foreign Unitarian Association Incorporated and the Essex Hall Trust and will ensure that any data that is shared with these bodies is done so in accordance with this policy. We may share data with affiliated bodies of the GAUFCC but only when we are satisfied that any use of such data will accord with our privacy policy. We will not sell or share your personal information with other bodies.

The historic archives of the GAUFCC are deposited at Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR and are managed in accordance with legal obligations and good practice in records management.

4. Your rights in relation to your personal data

You may request details of personal information which we hold about you. Any such request must be made in writing.

You may choose to restrict the collection or use of your personal information, but this may inhibit or limit the way in which GAUFCC is able to serve you. You may at any time change your mind about what information we hold about you subject to any legal obligation to retain data.

You are responsible for the accuracy of data that you have provided to GAUFCC. If you believe that any information we are holding on you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to us. We will correct any information found to be incorrect.

You may obtain further information about Data Protection by contacting the Information Commissioner.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data you can contact us to have the matter investigated. If you are not satisfied with our response you may complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

5. How we protect your personal information

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. We take appropriate measures to ensure that the information disclosed to us is kept secure, for example, by having physical, electronic and managerial procedures. We work with external contractors who comply with the UK’s Data Protection legislation.

The transmission of information over the internet is not always secure and we cannot therefore guarantee the security of data is these circumstances.

6. Cookies

What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a small file, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded on to a device when the user accesses certain websites. Cookies allow a website to recognise a user’s device. For more information see the AllAboutCookies website.

Session and persistent cookies

Cookies can expire at the end of a browser session (from when a user opens the browser window to when they exit the browser) or they can be stored for longer.

Session cookies

– allow websites to link the actions of a user during a browser session. They may be used for a variety of purposes such as remembering what a user has put in their shopping basket as they browse around a site. These session cookies expire after a browser session so would not be stored longer term.

Persistent cookies

– are stored on a users’ device in between browser sessions which allows the preferences or actions of the user across a site (or in some cases across different websites) to be remembered. Persistent cookies may be used for a variety of purposes including remembering users’ preferences and choices when using a site or to target advertising.

First and third party cookies

Whether a cookie is “first” or “third” party refers to the website or domain placing the cookie. First party cookies in basic terms are cookies set by a website visited by the user – the website displayed in the URL window. Third party cookies are cookies that are set by a domain other than the one being visited by the user. If a user visits a website and a separate company sets a cookie through that website this would be a third party cookie.

What do we use cookies for?

We use cookies to display our pages in particular style layouts. We use session cookies, which do not store information about users when you have closed our site. We may also use Google Analytics cookies, which collect information in an anonymous form, such as data including the number of visitors to our website, where visitors have come from and the pages they have visited during their session/ time spent on the website. We use this non-personal information to compile reports on usability for internal use only, and so we can learn from the needs of our visitors and improve their experience of the website.

Can I turn off any cookies?

Yes, you can do this by re-setting the privacy settings in your web browser to automatically exclude cookies. Please be aware that this may affect your experience of our website, however.

Policy published 25 May 2018