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Records

All of the records of a church have tremendous historical value, and it is a significant aspect of the stewardship to which we are called to have careful oversight of these records. There are no secret or confidential records kept in a church, but obviously as we have people's identifying information, we must take great care with this. We do not disseminate any of the information we have gathered for other than the purposes toward which this information would normally be put. Our full privacy policy is spelled out elsewhere.

From time to time, people seeking additional identity documentation may inquire into the use of our registers. It is the policy of the St. James United Church that no direct access be granted to anyone without suitable credentials. Extracts of our registers can be provided, upon written request, and at our convenience. This service has become more and more onerous for the church in recent times, and so we are now requesting the payment of a fee ($15?). Direct access to our registers by those outside the church must be approved by the official board, and no photocopies can be made that include identifying information of anyone other than the one inquiring. Some convincing identification must be shown prior to this service being granted. The exception to this rule is for the transfer of certificates of membership among churches. This remains part of our covenanted responsibilities as members of the body of Christ. Likewise, if the request is for baptismal information for the uses of another church, this service can be retained free of charge provided it is requested in writing, by the office administrator or clergy of the church which needs it.

All minute books and financial records are open to any member in good standing of the United Church of Canada. In fact, as part of our covenant with the wider community as a church formed by parliamentary charter, these same books are open to the perusal of all who might show an interest. From time to time, any record book can be deposited with the United Church Archives, where proper care can be given to aging documents.