Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles

1. Introduction

1.1  The Diocese of Argyll and the Isles (the “Diocese“) is a charity registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. Our charity number is SC002876 and our registered address is:

Diocesan Office, Bishop’s House

Corran Esplanade


In this Notice, references to ‘we’ and ‘us’ mean the Diocese.

1.2  We are committed to protecting your privacy and take our responsibility regarding the security of your information very seriously. We will be clear and transparent about the information we collect and what we will do with that information.

1.3 When you provide us with Personal Data in order to engage with us and/or benefit from our activities, we will keep a record of the data you give to us in order to enable us to comply with our statutory obligations and to achieve our charitable objects of advancing and maintaining the Roman Catholic religion through the operation of our parishes and our other activities. (Personal data means any information relating to you which allows us to identify you, such as your name, contact details, payment details and information about your access to our website.)

1.4 For the purpose of the general Data Protection Regulation 2016/279 (GDPR), the Diocesan Trustees: –

Right Rev. Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles,

Rev. Roddy Johnston, Vicar General, and

Rev. Michael Hutson, Chancellor,

will be the Data Controller in respect of your Personal Data. Please be aware that our parishes form part of the Diocese and are not separate legal entities. Parishes are not the Data Controller.

1.5 Everyone has rights with regard to how their Personal Data is handled by organisations. The Diocese is committed to ensuring that Personal Data is properly and securely managed in accordance with the relevant data protection laws and believes this is an important part of achieving trust and confidence between the Diocese and those with whom it interacts. Please read this Notice to understand how we use and protect the information that you provide to us or that we obtain or hold about you, and to understand what your rights are in relation to information that we hold. This Notice applies to information about living identifiable individuals only.

1.6 This Notice sets out the following:

  • What personal data we collect and process about you in connection with your relationship with us and through your use of our website and online services
  • Where we obtain the data from
  • What we do with that data
  • How we store the data
  • Who we transfer/disclose that data to
  • How we deal with your data protection rights
  • And how we comply with the data protection rules.

All personal data is collected and processed in accordance with UK and EU data protection laws.

2.What Personal Data Do We Hold About You?

2.1 We may hold the following types of Personal Data:

  • Name and contact details
  • Gender, age, date of birth, marital status, and nationality
  • Information about your education/work history and professional qualifications
  • Information about your family and any dependents
  • Information about your current involvement in Diocesan activities and events
  • Financial information (e.g. bank details) and details of any donations you have made to us in the past
  • Information obtained as a result of any background checks on volunteers, staff, clergy
  • Information we collect through your use of our website
  • And any other information that you choose to provide to us or that we are provided by others.

2.2 We may also hold Special Categories of Personal Data e.g. information about your religious beliefs, information about your health and wellbeing, information revealing racial or ethnic origins, information concerning your sexual orientation or in the case of background checks, information about criminal records or proceedings.

2.3 We may also receive Personal Data about you from third parties, for example, your family members, other parishioners, other dioceses, referees, medical professionals, the police and other law enforcement bodies.

3. How Do We process your Personal Data?

3.1 The Personal Data which we hold about you, whether it is collected directly from you or whether we receive it from a third party, may be processed in a number of ways, for example:

  • To communicate with you in relation to news about activities and events taking place in the Diocese or in any Diocesan parish, including seeking feedback and informing you of any changes to our activities
  • To improve our activities and the way we communicate with you including our website or the website of any parish;
  • To carry out our activities, from weddings and funerals to general pastoral and spiritual care;
  • to process donations that you may make to us or other payments where, for example, you hire facilities belonging to the Diocese;
  • To administer, support, improve and develop the administration of the Diocese’s work and operations and to keep the Diocese’s or any parish’s accounts and records up-to-date;
  • To process applications from you, including grant applications and applications for a role within the Diocese;
  • For audit and statistical purposes. For example, there is an annual statistical return for the Diocese and the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, or, every five years there is a statistical return to the Vatican.
  • To ensure we comply with our legal obligations (e.g. by providing information to the Charity Commission or HMRC or carrying out safeguarding activities);
  • In the case of CCTV recordings, to prevent or detect crime, and to help create a safer environment for our clergy, staff, parishioners and visitors.

4. On What Grounds Do We Process Your Data?

4.1 We must have a lawful basis for Processing your information; this will vary according to the circumstances of how and why we have your information but typical examples include:

  • The activities are within our legitimate interests in advancing and maintaining the Roman Catholic religion in Argyll and the Isles, in providing information about the activities of the Diocese or any Diocesan parish, and to raise charitable funds;
  • You have given consent (which can be withdrawn at any time by contacting us using the contact details below) for us to process your information;
  • We are carrying out necessary steps in relation to a contract to which you are party or prior to you entering into a contract;
  • The Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. [where we pass on information to a local authority for safeguarding or other reasons]);
  • The Processing is necessary for carrying out a task in the public interest (e.g. maintaining the register of baptisms, marriages and deaths); or
  • To protect your vital interests (e.g. if you were unfortunate enough to fall ill or suffer an injury on our premises, then we may pass on information to the NHS for treatment purposes and / or to family members).

4.2 If we Process any Special Categories of Personal Data we must have a further lawful basis for the processing. This may include:

  • Where you have given us your explicit consent to do so (e.g. to cater for your medical or dietary needs at an event);
  • Where the Processing is necessary to protect your vital interests or someone else’s vital interests (e.g. passing on information to the Police);
  • Where the Processing is carried out in the course of our legitimate interests as a Roman Catholic diocese working with and supporting our current and former parishioners and the information is not shared outside the Diocese other than with your consent (e.g. carrying out parish censuses);
  • You have made the information public;
  • Where the Processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims;
  • Where the Processing is necessary for carrying out the Diocese’s employment and social security obligations; or,
  • The processing being necessary for reasons of substantial public interest (e.g. where steps are taken to prevent fraud or other dishonest activity); provided that the legal basis is proportionate to the aim pursued and provides for suitable and specific measures to safeguard your rights, or as part of our legitimate interests as a Roman Catholic diocese and charitable institution.

4.3 If we process any Personal Data comprising criminal convictions or offences we must also have a further lawful basis for the processing. This may include:

  • Where the Diocese is exercising obligations or rights which are imposed or conferred by law on us or you in connection with volunteers, employment, social security or social protection and the Diocese has an appropriate policy document in place (e.g. to undertake appropriate checks on individuals prior to taking up a role);
  • Where it is necessary for the prevention or detection of an unlawful act (e.g. passing on information to the Police or other investigatory body);
  • Where the Diocese is complying with or assisting others to comply with regulatory requirements relating to unlawful acts or dishonesty (e.g. passing on information to the Police or other investigatory body);
  • Where it is carried out in the course of safeguarding children or other individuals at risk (e.g. making a safeguarding disclosure);
  • Where an individual has given their consent to the processing;
  • Where the Diocese is establishing, exercising or defending legal claims (e.g. providing information to our insurers or lawyers in connection with legal proceedings);
  • Where it is necessary to protect the vital interests of an individual (e.g. passing on information to the Police); or
  • Where it is carried out in the course of the Diocese’s legitimate activities as a not-for-profit body with religious aims (e.g. carrying out pastoral activities).

5.Who Will We Share Your Information With?

We will only use your Personal Data within the Diocese for the purposes for which it was obtained, unless you have explicitly agreed that we may share your Personal Data with another Diocese or organisation, or unless we are otherwise permitted or required to under the Data Protection Rules or order of a Court or other competent regulatory body or as set out in this Notice.

  • We may share your information with other members of the Church seeking relief and any ecclesiastical body enjoying canonical jurisdiction or powers of governance as detailed in the Code of Canon law or the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus.
  • We may share your information with government bodies for tax purposes or law enforcement agencies for the prevention and detection of crime.
  • Sometimes the Diocese contracts with third parties whom we ask to Process Personal Data on our behalf (e.g. IT consultants, distributors of parish newsletters and directories). We require these third parties to comply strictly with our instructions and with the GDPR.
  • We also may be required to share your Personal Data so that the Diocese can benefit from Gift Aid nominations you have made e.g. with HMRC.
  • We have in place administrative, technical and physical measures designed to guard against and minimise the risk of loss, misuse or unauthorised processing or disclosure of the Personal Data that we hold.
  • In the course of Processing your Personal Data, or disclosing it to the recipients referred to above, we may transfer it to countries which are outside the European Economic Area (EEA), some of which may not have laws which provide the same level of protection to your Personal Data as laws inside the EEA. In such cases we will take steps to ensure that the transfers comply with the GDPR and that your Personal Data is appropriately protected. We do so by taking the following measures: –

–Putting in place a contract with the recipient that means theymust protect the personal informationto the same standards as is required in the EEA;

Transferring it to a non-EEA country with privacy laws that give  the same protection as the EEA;

Transferring it to organisations that are part of Privacy Shield(or any successor or replacement scheme).
This is a framework that sets privacy standards for data sent between the US, EU countries to ensure that
those standards are similar to what are used within the EEA;

Transferring it to organisations or countries that have other  approved schemes or codes in place.

6.How Long Will We Keep Your Information For?

We have a Retention and Disposal Policy, copies of which are available from our Website, or from the Diocesan Office. In any event we will only keep Personal Data for as long as is necessary.

In the case of Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage and Death Registers, these are kept in perpetuity.

7.Your Rights

You have rights in respect of the Personal Data you provide to us. In particular:

  • The right to request a copy of some or all of the Personal Data that we hold about you (including, in some cases, in a commonly used, machine readable, format so that it can be transferred to other Data Controllers).
  • If we Process your Personal Data on the basis that we have your consent, the right to withdraw that consent;
  • The right to ask that any inaccuracies in your Personal Data are corrected;
  • The right to have us restrict the Processing of all or part of your Personal Data;
  • The right to ask that we delete your Personal Data where there is no compelling reason for us to continue to Process it;
  • The right to object to us Processing your Personal Data for direct marketing purposes e.g. in relation to fundraising carried out by the Diocese; and
  • The right not to be subject to legal or other significant decisions being taken about you on the basis of an automated process (i.e. without human intervention).

Please note that the above rights may be limited in some situations – for example, where we can demonstrate that we have a legal requirement to Process your Personal Data. Also, we may need you to provide us with proof of identity for verification and data security purposes before you can exercise your rights. This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

You will not be charged to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive.

Rights may only be exercised by the individual whose information is being held by the Diocese or with that individual’s express permission. Children from around 12 years upwards are entitled to make their own requests (where the Diocese is of the reasonable view that they have an appropriate understanding of the request they are making) and parents / guardian / family members do not have an automatic right to see information about their child or prevent their child from making a request to the Diocese.

8.Changes To This Privacy Notice

We may make changes to this Privacy Notice from time to time as our organisational practices and/or applicable laws change.  We will not make any use of your personal information that is inconsistent with the original purpose(s) for which it was collected or obtained (if we intend to do so, we will notify you in advance wherever possible) or otherwise than is permitted by Data Protection laws.

9.Contact Details

If you have any questions, require further information about how we protect your Personal Data, if you wish to exercise any of the above rights or if you would like to provide feedback or make a complaint about the use of your information, please contact the Diocesan Vicar General: Rev. Roddy Johnston: –

71 Kenneth Street


Isle of Lewis


( 01851 702 070

E-mail: –

Any complaints will be dealt with in accordance with the Diocese’s Complaints Policy.

The Diocesan Office can be contacted at: –

Diocesan Office

Bishop’s House

Corran Esplanade


PA34 5AB

( 01631 567436

E-mail: –

We hope that we can satisfy any queries you may have about the way in which we Process your Personal Data. However, if you have unresolved concerns you also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner (ICO) ( –

Information Commissioner’s Office

45 Melville Street



( 0303 123 1115


10. Cookies

Cookies, also known as browsers or tracking cookies, are small text files that are added to your computer when you visit a website. They help websites to perform certain functions e.g. to know who you are if you log into a restricted part of a website, for shopping carts, and for tracking purposes.

The Diocese uses the following cookies: –

  • Google analytics. We use Google analytics cookies on the website for tracking purposes. The cookies allow us to understand general traffic to our website for example number of visitors and length of time on site. This process does collect data, but in an anonymous form, to help us make improvements, develop the website and enhance the user experience.
  • Privacy preferences. We use a tracking cookie, which is added to your computer, to remember your cookie preferences i.e. if you have allowed or disallowed them.
  • Register for events. We have the ability for you to register for events on the website. If you do so this information goes directly into our database. In order to register our database adds an essential cookie (reaction server) to your computer.

11.Manage Cookies

If you would like to opt-in or opt-out of using cookies then you should be able to do so using your browser. You can review your cookie settings at any time.

Please note that you cannot opt-out of the deployment of cookies that are necessary for delivery of our website or services to visitors.


Data Controller” means a person, organisation or body that determines the purposes for which, and the manner in which, any Personal Data is processed. A Data Controller is responsible for complying with the data protection laws including the GDPR and establishing practices and policies in line with them.

Data Processor” means any person, organisation or body that Processes personal data on behalf of and on the instruction of the Diocese. Data Processors have a duty to protect the information they process by following data protection laws.

Data Subject” means a living individual about whom the Diocese processes Personal Data and who can be identified from the Personal Data. A Data Subject need not be a UK national or resident. All Data Subjects have legal rights in relation to their Personal Data and the information that the Diocese holds about them.

Personal Data” means any information relating to a living individual who can be identified from that information or in conjunction with other information which is in, or is likely to come into, the Diocese’s possession. Personal Data can be factual (such as a name, address or date of birth) or it can be an opinion (e.g. a performance appraisal). It can even include a simple email address. A mere mention of someone’s name in a document does not necessarily constitute Personal Data, but personal details such as someone’s contact details or salary (if it enabled an individual to be identified) would fall within the definition.

Processing” means any activity that involves use of Personal Data. It includes obtaining, recording or holding the information or carrying out any operation or set of operations on it, including organising, amending, retrieving, using, disclosing, erasing or destroying it. Processing also includes transferring or disclosing Personal Data to third parties.

Special Categories of Personal Data” (previously called sensitive personal data) means information about a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or similar beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health or condition or sexuality. It also includes genetic and biometric data. Special Categories of Personal Data can only be processed under strict conditions and such processing will usually, although not always, require the explicit consent of the Data Subject.