Privacy Policy

This privacy notice covers the website only.  You can also download our full privacy policy.

Who we are

St Columba’s North Shields United Reformed Church Charity is responsible for this website,  The Elders’ Meeting is regarded as data controller for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016.  You can contact the webmaster by using the contact form on this site, or you can write to us at St Columba’s United Reformed Church, 30 Northumberland Square, North Shields NE30 1PW.

What personal data we collect and why we collect it

Our website provides information about the church and enables visitors to interact with the site, by making comments or contacting the church.

The lawful basis for our processing of your personal data is that the processing is necessary for our legitimate interests, except where your data protection rights override those legitimate interests.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.  Once approved, comments may be publicly available on the site indefinitely.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Contact forms

When visitors contact us using the contact us page, the visitor’s name, IP address and message are collected (but are not publicly visible).  These are used to respond to the visitor and answer any queries raised.  This may involve referring the query to the appropriate person within the church.  Once the query has been resolved, the contact form will be deleted after a year.


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you have an account and you log in to this site, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracing your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.


This site does not use any analytics software.

Who we share your data with

We do not share your data with third parties unless you request us to.

IT support is provided by the United Reformed Church, and their iChurch Coordinator has access to our site for that purpose.

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

Contact forms and any associated correspondence are retained for up to a year.

What rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

The site is hosted on the United Reformed Church’s iChurch servers, which are within the European Union.

Contact forms are sent to our webmaster’s email account, which is also within the European Union.  As described above, queries may be referred to the appropriate person in the church, usually by email.

Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

Our contact information

St Columba’s is not required to have a data protection officer, as it does not engage in higher risk processing.  If you need to contact the church about this privacy policy or data protection issues generally, you can contact the webmaster by using the contact form on this site, or you can write to us at St Columba’s United Reformed Church, 30 Northumberland Square, North Shields NE30 1PW, marked “Re: Data Protection.”

Additional information

How we protect your data

Website administration is password-protected, and access is limited to the webmaster and our IT support.

What data breach procedures we have in place

The church is working on data breach procedures, and this item will be updated in due course.

What third parties we receive data from

We do not receive data from third parties, such as advertisers.

What automated decision making and/or profiling we do with user data

We do not carry out any automated decision-making or profiling with user data.

Industry regulatory disclosure requirements

There are no additional requirements to disclose.


Updated: 17/8/2018