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Crockford’s Clerical Directory asks clerics to opt in before GDPR deadline

25 May 2018

CHURCH TIMES

Crockford’s website, 2018

Crockford’s website, 2018

AS TODAY’s deadline for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) loomed, an email from Crockford’s Clerical Directory was among a flurry filling clerical in-boxes this week.

“We were advised that we can’t rely on the fact that people have sent us data as proof that they have consented to us publishing that data and/or including them in mailings,” Dr Thomas Allain-Chapman, publishing manager at the Archbishops’ Council, explained on Tuesday.

“It was decided that this was an important opportunity to make sure we are using every clergy-person’s data responsibly and that we had their explicit consent for their details to appear in the directory online and in print.”

The email, sent to all clergy for whom the Crockford Department had an email address — 20,000 — was sent on Monday, asking them to fill out a short survey seeking consent for their details to appear in the Directory, and their preference regarding inclusion on mailing lists. Unlike earlier data protection regulations, GDPR requires people to opt in rather than opt out.

It is not compulsory for clergy to be listed in Crockford. Although it contains the name of every Anglican clergyperson in the United Kingdom, any member of the clergy can opt out of having their contact details and/or biographical details published. It currently lists more than 27,000 clergy and deaconesses, and is available in print and online, with the latter version updated every working day. Access is via subscription.

This week, clergy debated the merits of supplying their details. On Tuesday, Dr Allain-Chapman confirmed that nearly half of all those contacted had responded within the first 24 hours: “We are very confident that the next print edition will be the accustomed weighty tome.”

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