What happens when I delete a contact

In line with Data Protection 'best practice' and the 'right to be forgotten' section of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ChurchSuite makes it easy to permanently delete adult contacts and children who are no longer part of your church. However, even with the 'right to be forgotten', there are some details that your church may be required to maintain, 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

What happens when you delete a contact?
How to delete a contact
Viewing a log of deleted contacts


Remember: It is your legal responsibility to ensure that you only retain data that is kept up-to-date and is relevant to your organisation.

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.
  • The contact will not appear in the results of any reports, except the "Deleted Contacts" report (see later in this article), which will simply 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.
Children module
  • All links between the deleted contact and children are severed, but the children remain in the Children module unlinked to a parent, unless they also are bring deleted.
  • 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.
Attendance module
  • 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.
Calendar module
  • 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.
Rotas module
  • 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.
Giving module
  • 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. 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.
Bookings module
  • 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 maintain in tact, even though the booking contact (booking customer) has been deleted.
My ChurchSuite
  • All access to My ChurchSuite is revoked 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

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.

1. From the contacts list, here in the Address Book, select "Delete contact" from the action cogs next to a contact's name...

2. Edit (not simply view) a contact's profile and select "Delete contact" from the top right corner of their profile page...

3. And you can batch deleted all contacts within a Tag. Simply select "Delete contacts" (not "Delete tag") from the tag page - it's located after the tag statistics on the right hand side, just before the list of tagged contacts...

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