United Church Winchester

Welcome to the United Church Winchester.

 We invite all those who want to share in the exploration of what the Christian faith means to join us in worship and fellowship. We offer lively, relevant and interesting worship and assure you of a warm welcome.

As well as services on Sundays and Friday and groups who meet for fellowship, we have a Coffee Bar which is open to the public every week day morning from 10am - 2pm and on Saturdays from 10am - 12pm.  We also host various events open to one and all.

Please use the navigation list to explore what the church offers more.



The right to a private life

No doubt by now you’ll have heard the ominous letters ‘GDPR’ being spoken, often followed by either a shrug of resignation or a look of annoyance. It stands for ‘General Data Protection Regulations’ and it covers the new data protection laws that came into force at the end of May.

As someone who worked in Information Technology before moving into ministry I’m very aware of the need to protect people’s data and how woefully inadequate previous data protection laws are in the light of recent technological developments. Holding data that pertains to someone’s personhood, regardless of the format it is kept in or whether it is held by an individual or an organisation, should be seen as a privilege and not a right, something that we hold with the same sacred care as we do the person themselves. The Church therefore needs to take a lead in this area and set high standards for its own practices.

Understandably, these new regulations are raising all kinds of complicated questions about privacy. Where do we draw the line between one’s right to a private life and the sometimes insatiable desire that human beings have to know what goes on in the lives of others? Where, as Christians, do we draw the line between public scrutiny and private integrity? How do we balance the need for trust with a healthy level of inquiry that allows us to judge someone’s character? How should the Church respond to the erosion of trust and the increase in suspicion that has come about through the proliferation of past abuses which has emerged in recent years, particularly by those in positions of power? There are, of course, no straightforward answers to these questions, but to simply ignore them because they are difficult is unconscionable.

Further pertinent questions come to mind for my own sense of self. Do people who occupy a public role still have the right to a private life, or have they abrogated that right by virtue of their office? What are my rights to live a life away from the scrutiny of those I serve? Though I believe that openness and a willingness to be vulnerable are important characteristics for a minister to possess, are there limits as to how open or how vulnerable you should make yourself? Surely of equal importance is that our leaders, me included, are gifted the space to exist as themselves, and are permitted to flourish in their own rights quite apart from the role they occupy.

I give thanks that I’m part of a tradition which supports the practice of sabbatical where that space to cease and withdraw is both practiced and celebrated. I pray that as I bid farewell to you as a minister for three months that I might allow myself the right to a private life. I pray that when I come back to you in October I will not just be renewed for ministry, but renewed in body, mind and spirit, and ready to live and love life in all its fullness.





What are your gifts?

How do you share them?

Sometimes we think our gifts are too humdrum to be much use to other people, but this is just not true.

Look again at these well-known verses from 1 Corinthians 12 in

‘The Message’ version:

‘You are Christ’s body – that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. You’re familiar with some of the parts that God has formed in his church, which is his “body”:

Apostles, prophets, teachers, miracle workers, healers, helpers, organisers, those who pray in tongues.’

We are all somewhere on that list! We just need to ‘accept our part’.

And then comes the question: where are we called to play that part – in our community, in our local church, in the wider church?

The work of Wessex Synod relies on the many volunteers who generously play their part and share their gifts.

At the moment, we are in need of:

·       Someone with legal and accounting skills to serve as a Trustee.

·       People willing to take minutes at some of our Committee meetings.

·       People interested in social justice issues to serve our Church and Society group.

But the needs are constantly changing. Why not find out more about the work we do by looking at the Synod website http://wessexsynodurc.org.uk/

 If there is an area of our work that interests you, please contact Sue Brown to find out more: clerk@urcwessex.org.uk

Hope for Planet Earth – Witness: Winchester City


Our city has some hidden treasures in terms of opportunities for recycling and disposing of waste that you may not know about, and which avoid contributing to landfill. You may know about more than those mentioned here – if you do, please let me know and we’ll update the list, and each other.


Not quite an a–z of items … but on the way!


·     bucket in store on ledge near the main door in Lidl, Weeke;

·     bucket on ledge instore near big windows in Poundland, city centre


·     charity shops in Weeke and city centre;

·     Clothes banks near Fire Station, Winnall Manor Rd;

·     Clothes banks Sainsbury’s car park recycling centre Badger Farm

·     Clothes banks Tesco Winnall (by the bottle banks)


·     Emmaus Bar End Road 01962 868300


·     Emmaus Bar End Road 01962 868300




·     Sainsbury’s car park recycling centre Badger Farm;

·     Tesco car park, Winnall;

·     Waitrose near front door, Weeke


·     Sainsbury’s car park recycling centre, Badger Farm (will accept drinks bottles, shampoo, washing up liquid bottles, detergent bottles, margarine and ice cream tubs, confectionary tubs, rigid plastic food packets, yoghurt pots)


·     Bin outside Park Life shoe shop, city centre;

·     Fire Station, Winnall Manor Road;

·     Sainsbury’s recycling centre, Badger Farm

Water Filters:

·     In store near check outs, Tesco, Winnall


Summer Challenge:

How about setting up an enhanced system at home for sorting rubbish as you go?  Instead of just waste and recycling for kerbside collection, try adding another few tubs or bags for the things listed above, making it easier to get better at recycling.   

Jo Crocker


Minister's Letter - June

Learning to lay down – Part 2

With my sabbatical looming (July to September, just in case you missed the memo!) I’ve been starting to think about some of the practicalities I will face during this period when I will be laying down my formal ministry alongside you. For example, how will it affect my relationship with the church? Will I still be allowed to worship with you or have coffee in the coffee bar or attend church events? If so, how do I set appropriate boundaries so that I can have fellowship with you as a person in my own right without being drawn back into ‘the role’? And of huge importance to me, how can I make sure that Tom and Eddie who, like me, have found a spiritual home among you, are still able to participate fully in the life of the church?

Such questions raise a variety of complex issues which Ministers invariably deal with in different ways. Whilst some find that they have to completely distance themselves from their churches, others are able to maintain a balance between the duties of the role and the fact that they are also human beings who need care, nourishment and friendship. Whilst I am on sabbatical I will still be a Dad and a Christian and a person with identity: and I will still be your friend. I am also a member of this church, as well as being its Minister. For me that membership is not merely a necessity of my role but a reflection of my desire to find belonging among you.

So, you may yet see me during the months of July, August and September. Don’t expect me to be at September’s Church Meeting (I get that one off for good behaviour!) but do expect to see me worshipping with you from time to time.  Perhaps it will be a chance for me to find out what it’s like to worship with my sons as a Dad, and to worship with my friends as a fellow wanderer along the way.

In Christ,    Tim

United Church Privacy Notice



1. Personal data

Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data.  Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the ‘GDPR’).

2. Data Controller

The Church Council of the United Church Winchester is the data controller (contact details below).  This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

3. How do we process your personal data?

The Church Council of the United Church Winchester complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.

We use personal data for the following purposes: -

·                to administer membership records;

·                to maintain our financial accounts and records (including the processing of    gift aid);

·                to provide news and information about events, activities and services at the church;

·                to fundraise and promote the interests of the church;

·                to manage employees and volunteers;

·                to enable the church to provide voluntary services for the benefit of the public in our local community;

·                to provide contact details of officers and others with specific responsibilities (eg DBS signatories) to local and national bodies of the United Reformed and Methodist Churches.

4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?

·       Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: -

o   the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and

o   there is no disclosure to a third party without consent; or

·         Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement. 

Reference may be made to relevant national and local policy/guidance (for example policy / procedures in relation to safeguarding adults and children, Hampshire County Council)  For example,  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419604/What_to_do_if_you_re_worried_a_child_is_being_abused.pdf

and the government advice signposted in this https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419628/Information_sharing_advice_safeguarding_practitioners.pdf

·          Explicit consent of the data subject has been given.

5. Sharing personal data
Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other members of the church in order to carry out a service to other church members or for purposes connected with the church. We will only share your data with third parties with your consent except in circumstances where this sharing is in the ‘vital interests’ of the data subject or ‘in the public interest’, such as where safeguarding adults and children issues arise. In such situations reference may be made to relevant local and national policy/guidance (for example Hampshire safeguarding children and Hampshire safeguarding adults policies and procedures). It might include situations, for example, where someone lacks capacity to consent, collapses in Church and needs to be conveyed by ambulance. We should offer details to the ambulance service.  

6. How long do we keep data?

We retain data on the following basis:

Record Type                                                                                  Retention Period[1]

Membership rolls                                                                           Indefinitely

Members, adherents and friends contact details                         24 months after the last contact

Junior Church roll                                               until the child/young adult reaches the age of 21.

Junior Church contacts                                                                24 months after the last contact

Messy Church contacts                                                                24 months after the last contact

Toddler and baby group contacts                                               24 months after the last contact

Cradle roll                                                                                     Indefinitely

Coffee bar volunteers                                                                  24 months after the last contact

Mens ‘and womens ‘groups                                                         24 months after the last contact

Gift aid declarations and paperwork and other financial records  6 years after the calendar year to which it relates

Registers of Marriage                                                                   As required by the Registrar General

Register of Baptisms                                                                    Indefinitely

Register of Funerals                                                                     Indefinitely

Personal data relating to events for which additional information is gathered eg Church holidays

Disposed of immediately after the event unless anything has occurred (eg and accident) which indicates that records should be retained for a longer period.

Records of attendance of children/young people and helpers  Indefinitely for safeguarding purposes

Photographs and videos of events                                              24 months after the event – selected items retained for historical records

Insurance Records                                                                        Indefinitely

Safeguarding matters                                                                  Indefinitely or until advised otherwise by authorities

Accident Books                                                                            3 years from the date of the last entry (or, if the accident involves a child/ young adult, then until that person reaches the age of 21)

Complaints (non -safeguarding)                                                 3 years after resolution of complaint (unless further action is anticipated)

Minute Books                                                                               Indefinitely

Employee Records                                                                       6 years after the date of termination of employment

Pension Records (money purchase)                                            6 years after transfer or value taken

7. Your rights and your personal data 

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: -

·       The right to request a copy of the personal data which the United Church holds about you (a Subject Access Request or ‘SAR’);

·       The right to request that the Church Council of the United Church corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date; 

·       The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for the United Church to retain such data;

·       The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time;

·       The right to request that the data controller provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller.

·       The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;

·       The right to object to the processing of personal data;

·       The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.

8. Further processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

9. Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact the Administration Coordinator at office@unitedchurchwinchester.org.uk

You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113 or via email https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

The Church Council

The United Church, Winchester, SO23 8RZ

01962 849559


Date: 1/5/18

This document was adapted from the URC template to be found at https://www.urc.org.uk/GDPR.html