A Little Church in the Woods
St. John’s Episcopal Church is a little gem tucked away in the woods down a gravel road in Sugar Grove, NC. Not far from its parent church The Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal* in Valle Crucis, St. John’s was built in 1862. It came about through the fortitude and aspirations of William West Skiles who gave his life to the church and was deaconate in Valle Crucis. He served the people of this mountain region from 1847, often on horseback, until his death in 1862, just after the new church opened.
Services are held during the summer months, Sundays at 9 AM from Memorial Day until Labor Day. It’s a simple, lovely church with wooden walls that enhance acoustics and provides a beautiful setting for the church’s monthly summer concerts. Held at 5 PM, Sunday concerts are open to the public and are $5 for adults, no charge for children. Check the St. John’s website for detailed directions and current info; remaining concerts for 2019 are:
August 4 – New Century Saxophone Quartet, with a repertoire from Bach to the Beatles.
September 1 – Mannheim Rocket, Chamber Music “Mozart in the Mountains.”
Finding St. John’s: From NC194 through Valle Crucis take Mast Gap Road to Herb Thomas Road and turn left for about ½ mile.
*Founded in 1842, The Church of the Holy Cross is a fixture in Valle Crucis and known throughout the North Carolina High Country for hosting its hugely successful one-day annual country fair in mid-October.