Rector: Rev’d Canon W Douglas Kornahrens, PhD
Douglas has been Rector at Holy Cross since 1983. He is married to Arabella and they have three grown up daughters and two grandsons.

He was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1943 and grew up in the nearby town of Summerville. He gained a degree in English in 1966 from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and then went on to study at The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in New York City, graduating in 1969 with a degree in Sacred Theology.

Douglas was ordained a Deacon in June 1969 in his home church of St Paul’s, Summerville, then began a curacy at Holy Trinity Church in a suburb of Charleston. He was ordained a Priest in the Cathedral of St Luke and St Paul, Charleston, in January 1970.

In early 1971 he transferred to the Church of the Redeemer, Houston, in the Diocese of Texas. He came to Britain in 1972 through a contact of the Rector there. Douglas was invited by the Bishop of Coventry, Cuthbert Bardsley, to a Church of England curacy in St Philip’s, Potters Green, a housing estate on the outskirts of Coventry.

He moved to Scotland in 1976 to be curate at the Scottish Episcopal Cathedral of the Isles in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. In 1979 he was invited to become the priest-in-charge at St Columba’s, Grantown-on-Spey and St John the Baptist, Rothiemurchus, in the Diocese of Moray.

Douglas was instituted as Rector of Holy Cross Church by Bishop Alistair Haggart on 28th September 1983. In June 2008, he graduated from St Andrews University with a PhD in Divinity. In November 2014 he was appointed an Honorary Canon.

See Douglas’s monthly From the Rector update.

Organist and Choirmaster: Vaughan Townhill
Vaughan has been organist and choirmaster at Holy Cross since 1990.

He is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he was a prize-winner for clarinet. He was a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral as a boy, and Bass Lay Clerk at St Mary’s Cathedral while a student at the RSAMD. For 35 years he was Director of Music at Cargilfield School in Edinburgh and retired in December 2008.

Vaughan is a founder committee member of Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust, an organisation promoting orchestral playing for young people. He is principal clarinet of the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra, a member of Doune Wind Quintet and soloist with other orchestral ensembles. As a soloist he has performed concertos with Scottish Sinfonia, Philomusic, the East Lothian Players and Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra.

He has conducted Opera Camerata, the Edinburgh Players and with his school choir performed some of the great Choral works, including The Christmas Oratorio, The Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria. He is the conductor of Dunbar and District Choral Society; in 2010 they performed Brahms German Requiem and in May 2011 they performed Messiah.

Follow the link to find out about the music and choir at Holy Cross.

Holy Cross Church has a strong base of active, committed members. Many members play a key role as volunteers in all aspects of the life of the church.

Church office bearers
Secretary to the Vestry:             TBC
Church Treasurer:                      Sylvia Vass
Rector’s Warden:                        Neil Swinnerton
People’s Warden:                        Kate Hilton
Lay Representative:                    Neil Swinnerton
Alternate Lay Representative:  Kate Hilton
Gift Aid Secretary:                      Tim Sale

Volunteers are involved in many activities, usually on a rota basis.  All activities involving children and young people are run by members who have been vetted as required by government legislation.

Activities and roles include:

  • Servers, welcomers and readers for church services
  • Flower arranging and church decoration
  • Sunday School leaders
  • Crèche supervisors
  • Preparing and serving refreshments
  • Gardening
  • Church cleaning and polishing

Are you interested in volunteering for any of these or other activities in the life of our church? Please speak to the Rector or get in touch at


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