Data Privacy Notice

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Laurence’s Middleton St George

  1. Your personal data – what is it?
    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. Who are we?
    The PCC of St Laurence’s Middleton St George 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 PCC of St Laurence’s 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 your personal data for the following purposes: -
    • To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public in a particular geographical area
    • To administer membership records;
    • To fundraise and promote the interests of the church
    • To manage our employees and volunteers;
    • To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid applications);
    • To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at St Laurence’s;
    • To share your contact details with the Diocesan office so they can keep you informed about news in the diocese and events, activities and services that will be occurring in the diocese and in which you may be interested.
  4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?
    Your explicit consent is requested so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and process your gift aid donations and keep you informed about diocesan events.
    • Processing is necessary for carrying out our obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;
    • Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: - the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and there is no disclosure to a third party without consent.
  5. Sharing your 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 outside of the parish with your consent.
  6. How long do we keep your personal data1?
    We keep data in accordance with the guidance set out in the guide “Keep or Bin: Care of Your Parish Records” which is available from the Church of England website [see footnote for link]. Specifically, we retain electoral roll data while it is still current; gift aid declarations and associated paperwork for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate; and parish registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals) permanently.
  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 your personal data which the PCC of St Laurence’s, holds about you;
    • The right to request that the PCC of St Laurence’s 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 PCC of St. Laurence’s to retain such data;
    • The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time
    • The right to request that the PCC provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [Only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject and in either case the data controller processes the data by automated means].
    • 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, (where applicable) [Only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics]
    • 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 PCC Secretary at 01325 332017 You can contact the Information Commissioners Office on 0303 123 1113, via this link or at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

Policy Statement on Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults in the Church Community

Judy Trewhitt

Safeguarding Officer: Mrs Judy Trewhitt 07527 855429

In order to comply with this policy (reviewed Mar 24 by PCC) :-

  1. We commit ourselves to promoting a safe, welcoming environment and culture that ensures we offer respectful pastoral care with the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults at the centre of all that we do.
  2. We will maintain a register of all Leaders and helpers of all activities authorised by the PCC.
  3. We will maintain and store securely, in the church office, Personal Disclosure and reference form records of all Leaders and occasional helpers with regular access to children, young people and vulnerable adults and will undertake to exercise proper care when making appointments in accordance with Church of England and Diocesan Safer Recruitment and people Management Policy.
  4. We acknowledge that being convicted, cautioned or bound over for a criminal offence does not automatically debar an individual from working with children, young people or vulnerable adults.
  5. We will promote safe practices by all Leaders and helpers by facilitating access to Safeguarding Training Modules, providing appropriate resources and holding regular reviews in order to monitor activities across the life of our church.
  6. We will encourage all who work with children, young people and vulnerable adults in the name of St.George and St.Laurence's church to abide by the guidelines and policies established by our church. In particular we will ensure they are aware of, and adhere to, The code of Safer Working Practice.(Section.10 of the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy 2023).
  7. We will ensure appropriate information, including parental consent forms are recorded and maintained. When unusual events such as occasional trips are to be arranged then the PCC must be given sufficient information, including appropriate risk assessments and activity specific consent forms for them to be satisfied that everyone involved is adequately supervised, protected and insured.
  8. We will identify an independent person  as Parish Safeguarding Officer(Judith Trewitt) who is named and accessible to all in contact with the church. The Safeguarding Officer will be provided with training and support so that action can immediately be taken if Safeguarding issues are suspected or disclosed.

The Church Council of the Parish of St George and St Laurence’s MSG hereby adopts the following policy for safeguarding children, young people and adults in the parish who may be vulnerable, those working with them and the Church Council.

This statement is displayed on the noticeboard within the school community room to ensure parishioners have access to the relevant documents. It will be reviewed by PCC annually in February.

Contact the church office: 01325 332017

Our Clergy

Revds. Adrian and Helen Thorp

Our clergy, Adrian and Helen Thorp, were licensed to this parish (along with the parishes of Hurworth, Dinsdale and Girsby) in February 2017. They are with us for three years as Interim Ministers to support the churches through a time of transition.

Adrian and Helen met and married whilst in ‘vicar school’ back in 1979, and have enjoyed sharing ministry together in a variety of contexts in the north of England. Their passion is for lives to be transformed by the love of Jesus, and for gifts to be affirmed, released and nurtured in community together. Other important aspects of their lives are family, friends, walking, reading and art galleries.

They are delighted to share ministry across the parish with gifted lay leaders.

The History of St. Laurence’s

The story of the church in Middleton St George goes back over 800 years, and that of the Christian faith here even before that.

The earliest evidence is found at St George’s Church in Low Middleton, approximately one mile from Middleton One Row. Although it is a very simple building, the atmosphere, beautiful surroundings and views across the Tees Valley make it a very special place indeed.

St George’s church has a long history dating back to the 13th century. The chancel arch and the south and west walls of the nave are from those years, and the remainder of the structure is from the medieval period. The building has had many alterations along the way and what we see now is the result of major refurbishment in 2010/2011 made possible initially by generous bequests from local families.

As local industry developed and more people moved into what is now Middleton St George, the church of St Laurence was built in 1871. St Laurence’s continued to provide a place of worship and serve an ever growing community until, in the 1980’s, the chancel had to be bolted at ground level because of movement in the east wall. This was followed in recent years by movement in the vestry wall, evidenced by the fact that it was separating from the west wall.

Due to this the building was inspected by Ecclesiastical Insurance who subsequently declined to provide Public Liability Insurance to the church and forced the building to be closed to the public.

Detailed discussions took place with the Diocese of Durham, the Church Commissioners, insurers and others and, to the great sadness of the church and the local community, the decision was made to formally close the church in June 2012 and, in 2015, the building was sold to become one private dwelling.

However, the Garden of Remembrance did not change ownership and remains the responsibility of the local church. The War Memorial remains in the ownership of the village with the Parish Council overseeing its repair and maintenance.

In many communities, the closure of a church building too often means the closure of the church there. In Middleton St George, however, the congregation of St Laurence’s faithfully continues to meet for worship at 10.45am each Sunday morning in St George’s Church of England Academy. We also use St George’s Church for special services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.

As a church, we strive still to serve God and our community just as the very earliest worshippers at St George’s did.

The Leadership Team

God has created each of us in His image, in order that His love may be reflected throughout the world. He commands us to love Him and to love our neighbour. In undertaking this with others we believe we are called to serve each other and those in need. We, at St Laurence’s, hope to do this through activities where we share our gifts and support those around us.

Jesus said, ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’ John 13:34

With that firmly in mind, let us introduce some of our key people:


Our two clergy, Reverend Christine Blakesley and Reverend Sue Bruce, retired in early April 2016. We give thanks for their dedication and service during their time with us.

Our church life and work continues during the period of recruitment of our new clergy.

Church Wardens

Rodger Sansom

Alistair Mathieson


Jenny James:

Jenny joined us in 2010 from the St. Albans Diocese. She has been a Reader, (Lay Minister), for 30 years. In her previous church she was Pastoral Co-ordinator. She is also on the team of a national charity, based in Kent, “Beauty from Ashes” who seek to come alongside those going through loss of any kind and pray God’s love and comfort into their lives.

Jenny is a retired primary school teacher. Among her interests, she enjoys water colour painting, sugarcraft, flower arranging and swimming to keep fit! Her 5 grandchildren give her a lot of pleasure and two of them she keeps in touch with through Facebook.

Ruth Sansom

“I am Ruth Sansom, married to Rodger (you may have met him!), and now a Reader (lay minister) in St Laurence’s Church. My faith in God is strong, as I believe He has created this beautiful world out of love for us, that His Son Jesus Christ came that we can be forgiven, and that His Holy Spirit lives in me, guiding and supporting me in life’s issues. I have attended church for most of my life, increasingly understanding God’s love for me, His challenges and His great gifts to the world.

I have lived in Middleton St George since 2005 and think it is a good place to be. I retired from teaching three years ago, and have since become involved in the U3A (University of the Third Age), sporting and walking activities.

I believe God calls all of us to share His ministry, and, as an extension of family and working life, I have taken up His calling to Reader ministry. In addition to work in church, I lead a monthly informal service at St George’s Hall Care Home, and have recently led some acts of collective worship in St George’s Academy. It is exciting to be involved with these members of our community!”

Authorised Pastoral Assistants (APAs)

Anita Foster:

Anita is the oldest of four siblings, and travelled a lot in her early years (Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Germany, Cyprus as well as numerous places in the UK) as her father was in the RAF. It was the RAF that brought Anita and her family to Middleton St George, and they liked it so much that, when Anita’s father came out of the RAF in 1966, they decided to stay, buying a house in the village (for £2,000)! Anita has remained close by in Hurworth since then, and has been a member of St Laurence’s for 10 years.

Anita spent 18 years of her working life as secretary to the Provincial of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God, and then became secretary to the Bishop of Durham for 7 years before returning to St John of God where she now works part time as Administrator to the Board of Trustees.

Anita has two children now in their 30s.  She became an APA after encouragement by Rev’d Paul Neville, and has recently been re-commissioned by Bishop Mark for a second term of 5 years.