Myth Number Six

“The Data Protection Act prevents priests from naming sick parishioners during church prayers”.

The Data Protection Act mainly covers personal information held electronically. It is very unlikely that this sort of information about members of the local congregation would be held on computer or in a complex paper filing system and so it wouldn’t be covered by the Act. Even if the information was covered by the Act, it would not prevent the name of a sick member of the congregation being read out if the individual concerned was happy for this to happen. However, if someone had specifically asked not to be mentioned by name in prayers, or the priest thought it likely they would not be happy with this, then the priest, who owes duties of care and confidentiality to parishioners, would respect their wishes.