What happens when I delete a contact?
In line with Data Protection 'best practice' (and compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] 'Right to be forgotten'), ChurchSuite makes it easy to permanently delete adult contacts and children who are no longer part of your church. However, there are some details that your church may be required to maintain (lawful basis), even after the contact or child is deleted - for example, where there is a legal safeguarding obligation to retain a record of their involvement or attendance, and where there is a financial accounting audit trail obligation to retain a record of donations and/or tickets payments. In this article we explain in detail what happens when a contact or child is deleted.
In this article
As Data Controller it is your legal responsibility to ensure that you only retain personal data that is kept up-to-date and relevant to your organisation. Data that you no longer have a legal basis for processing should be deleted.
What happens when you delete a contact?
When you delete a contact in the Address Book, the following changes are made:
Address Book module
- The contact is deleted from the Address Book module immediately and cannot be reinstated.
- Access to My ChurchSuite is disabled and the contact will entirely cease to be visible to other church members in the member-facing My ChurchSuite.
- All record of the contact's previous or historic inclusion in Tags, Key Dates and Flow, all Notes, Custom Fields, contact details, communication history, change logs, login logs, are immediately and permanently removed, with no option to undo. Any unsent scheduled emails will continue to be sent - they have already been submitted to the queue pending release at the due date/time.
- The contact will not appear in the results of any reports, except the "Deleted Contacts" report (see later in this article), which will list the deleted contact's first name, last name and details of the date, time and user that deleted the contact.
- The contact is removed from any active Flows they were in process. The contact is removed as overseer from Flows.
- Relational links to spouse/partner and children in ChurchSuite is severed, but spouse and child contacts are retained unless also deleted individually.
- Links to any ChurchSuite User account are severed, but the user account is retained and remains active until set inactive or deleted.
- All links between the deleted contact and children are severed, but the children remains in the Children module unlinked to a parent, unless they also are being deleted. Before the parent contact is deleted, the previously-linked parent contact details (name, address, email, mobile, telephone) are auto-added against each unlinked child of that parent.
- Children group "Team" attendance for the deleted contact is unaffected and a text-based record of the contact's name is maintained against all historic attendance so that you continue to have a safeguarding record of who was present in a group - both team and children.
- The deleted contact will no longer appear in the contact list when adding a weekly service attendance record.
- Service attendance records will no longer show that the deleted contact was in attendance for all historic Attendance module data. Weekly attendance counts (category and group totals) remain unchanged.
- The deleted contact will be removed from all future and past events with free tickets - including all records of the contact's sign-up, invite, event question responses, and check-ins. Events will show no record of the deleted contact having signed up and ticket quantities on the event will be adjusted down to reflect the deleted contact.
- The deleted contact will be unlinked from all future and past events with pay tickets. Those event sign-ups will be changed from "In ChurchSuite" to "Not in ChurchSuite" and the sign-up's first name and last name will be retained in tact, along with all ticket and payment details, event question responses and check-ins. The sign-up's contacts details (email and mobile/telephone) are removed under the GDPR 'right to be forgotten', which means no further contact through ChurchSuite about future events will be possible. Refunds against paid tickets for deleted contacts will therefore continue to be possible. Your Stripe control panel will however retain information about the sign-ups and payment. Events will continue to show accurate "pay" ticket quantities and ticket sales for the deleted contact's 'unlinked' sign-up, so everything stays in balance with your church's accounts.
- The contact is removed from all instances of being event overseer for past and future events.
Small Groups module
- Contact is removed from all archived, active and future groups, and from any clusters they oversee.
- The deleted contact's name is deleted from all small group attendance, but the numerical attendance totals remain accurate.
- Contact is removed from all future dates and past rotas, with no notification to ministry overseers.
- Contact is immediately removed from all active and archived ministries.
- All records of unavailability are deleted.
- Giver is changed from being linked to a contact to being an unlinked giver "not in the Address Book". The giver profile otherwise remains in tact, including their site and giver Tags. No change log is recorded on the giver profile of this unlinking.
- The previously linked giver's name, address and email details are copied over from the deleted contact to the giver profile, and the giver profile becomes and unlinked giver profile for the purposes of maintaining accurate donation records for tax and financial audit purposes. For UK churches this is an HMRC requirement and overrides the right to be forgotten.
- The contact is removed from all instances of being a booking contact on all past and future bookings; otherwise the bookings remain in tact. The deleted contact's removal from all bookings is not recorded on the booking change logs.
- The contact is removed from all instance of being a booking "Type" or "Resource" overseer.
- Payment history for booking charges paid by the contact are maintained in tact, even though the booking contact (booking customer) has been deleted.
- All access to My ChurchSuite is revoked, their password deleted and the deleted contact will no longer be able to login.
- Contact ceases to appear in "Search for others", My Groups member lists, My Rotas ministry member lists and My Events event sign-up lists that are visible to event overseers.
Deleting children in your Children module broadly follows the same consequences as Address Book contacts, listed above. In addition...
- Deleted children are removed from all Children groups.
- Children Group attendance history is always retained - a text-based record of all historic child and team attendance (comprising the child's first name and last name and team member's first and last name) is maintained for safeguarding purposes, so that you always have a historic record of who was present in a group on any given date.
- The link between children and parents in the Address Book is severed, though the Address Book parents are otherwise unaffected, unless they too are being deleted.
How to delete a contact (or child)
There are several places within the Address Book and/or Children module where users can delete contacts or children individually or in batches. In the examples below we demonstrate within the Address Book, but the methods work in exactly the same way in the Children module.
1. From the contacts list, here in the Address Book, select Delete from the actions menu next to a contact's name in the Contacts list...
2. View a contact's Profile and select Delete from the top right corner of their profile page...
3. You can "bulk delete" multiple contacts using the batch Actions available on a Contacts list. As you tick one or more contacts in the list, the Actions menu is displayed. Select Delete from the batch actions list.
4. You can also "bulk delete" multiple contacts that have been added to a Tag using the module's Advanced Search to filter the Contacts list by that Tag...
...and then use the batch Actions - as you tick one or more contacts in the list, the Actions menu is displayed. Select Delete from the batch actions list.
When deleting a person from their profile page, you can optionally select to delete linked family members too.
Viewing a log of deleted contacts (or children)
The Deleted Contacts report (or Deleted Children report) lists the name and site of all contacts or children deleted within a range of dates and the date, time and user that made the deletion. Deleted contacts and children cannot be reinstated - deleted is deleted!