What happens when I delete a contact or child?

In line with Data Protection best practices (and compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] Right to be Forgotten), ChurchSuite makes it easy to permanently delete the data of adult contacts and children that are no longer part of your organisation. However, there may be personal data that your organisation is required or able to retain under another lawful basis where consent is withdrawn. For example, where there is a legal safeguarding obligation to retain a record of a child's involvement or attendance, or where there is a financial accounting obligation to retain a record of donations, Gift Aid details. 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 or child
Viewing a log of deleted contacts or children


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's purposes. Data that you no longer have a lawful basis to process should be reviewed, and where appropriate, 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 deleted contact is removed from the Address Book module immediately and cannot be reinstated.
  • My ChurchSuite access is disabled and the contact will entirely cease to be visible to others in the member-facing My ChurchSuite.
  • All records of the deleted contact's previous or historic inclusion in Tags, Key Dates and Flows, all Notes, Custom Fields, contact details, communication history, change logs, login logs and linked Form responses 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 deleted 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 deleted contact's relational links to their spouse/partner and children in ChurchSuite are severed but the spouse/partner and children are retained unless also deleted individually.
  • Contact links between any ChurchSuite User account and the deleted contact 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 their children are severed but the children remain in the Children module unless the child is also being 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 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 first name and last name will be retained intact, along with all ticket and payment details, event question responses and check-ins. The sign-up contact 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 payments. 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 organisation's accounts.
  • The contact is removed from all instances of being an event overseer for past and future events.
Small Groups module
  • The deleted contact is removed from all archived, active and future groups and from any clusters they oversee.
  • The deleted contact name is deleted from all small group attendance but the numerical attendance totals remain accurate.
Rotas module
  • The deleted contact is removed from all future dates and past rotas, with no notification to ministry overseers.
  • The deleted contact is immediately removed from all active and archived ministries.
  • All records of deleted contact unavailability are deleted.
Giving module
  • A deleted contact's linked giver profile is changed to an unlinked "Not in the Address Book" giver. The giver profile otherwise remains intact, 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 an unlinked giver profile to maintain 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 deleted contact is removed from all instances of being a booking contact on all past and future bookings; otherwise, the bookings remain intact. The deleted contact's removal from all bookings is not recorded on the booking change logs.
  • The deleted contact is removed from all instances of being a booking "Type" or "Resource" overseer.
  • Payment history for booking charges paid by the deleted contact is maintained intact, even though the booking contact (booking customer) has been deleted.
My ChurchSuite
  • My ChurchSuite access is revoked, their password is deleted and the deleted contact will no longer be able to log in.
  • The deleted 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 module groups.
  • Deleted child 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 the team member's first and last name) is maintained for safeguarding so that you always have a historic record of who was present in a group on any given date.
  • The link between children and their parents/carers is severed, though Address Book parents/carers are otherwise unaffected unless they too are being deleted.
  • My ChurchSuite access is revoked, their password is deleted and the deleted child will no longer be able to log in.

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 are the same in the Children module.

1. From the Contacts list in the Address Book, select Delete from the contact Actions:

2. From a contact's Profile page, click More and select Delete:

3. You can bulk delete multiple selected contacts using the batch Delete action on a Contacts list. As you tick one or more contacts in the list, the Actions menu is revealed. Select Delete from the batch actions list:

When deleting an individual person, you can optionally choose to delete linked family members in the same process:

Viewing a log of deleted contacts (or children)

The Deleted Contacts and Deleted Children reports list 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!

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