About Holy Cross


Marion Kanour will take on the position of Priest-in-Charge at Holy Cross on January 1, 2021. Marion most recently served as Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Massies Mill, Virginia for 7 years, and has embraced the challenge of remote worship by holding Zoom services during 2020 for several local parishes. She has been an ordained priest for 28 years and describes her liturgical stye and practice as "broad church." Marion and her partner, Barbara Heyl, have lived in Nelson County for 17 years where Marion is an energetic volunteer with numerous community groups. Marion enjoys singing in a church choir, photography, lake kayaking, gardening, reading and cooking.


In 1900 The Reverend Frederick W. Neve established Holy Cross Church 4 miles southwest of the town of Batesville as a mission of Emmanuel Greenwood. The original chapel was consecrated in 1902 and continues to host weekly worship services. The church property includes the chapel, a parish hall and what was once the residence of the mission deaconess which currently functions as a food distribution outreach operated in partnership with Emmanuel Greenwood. A cemetery also is on the property. For many years, the rector of Emmanuel Greenwood celebrated services at Holy Cross twice a month, supporting both houses of worship in the Greenwood Parish. From 1918 to 1937, a deaconess resided on the premises, providing pastoral care and home visits, operating a clothing and food bank, and managing full-time operation of the church. The congregation's size and its activities increased to a magnitude that in 1940, Holy Cross surpassed mission status and became financially self-reliant. It would continue to share a rector with Emmanuel Greenwood until 1996. From that time, Holy Cross has had its own priest while growing community of worship and service.


Holy Cross is part of the Diocese of Virginia, organized in May 1785 and one of the 9 dioceses responsible for bringing together the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States. Today it is the largest in the Episcopal Church. The Diocese, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, covers 38 counties and several cities in northern and central Virginia. Its 180 congregations are divided into 16 geographic regions; Holy Cross is part of the Charlottesville Region. Additional information about our diocese may be found on its website: www.thediocese.net


Holy Cross is located in Western Albemarle County in the rural community of Batesville, Virginia at the foothills of the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains and 18 miles west southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia. The setting is quiet and peaceful with the easy access to the professional, educational, business and cultural opportunities offered in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia. 2020 Census figures project the Charlottesville population at 49,449, making it the 14th largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Richmond, the state capital, is 70 miles to the southeast of Charlottesville, and Washington, D.C. is approximately 117 miles northeast of the city. Popular east coast destinations such as Williamsburg and Virginia Beach can be reached in 2-3 hours driving time. The nearby Blue Ridge Mountains offer numerous activities for those who enjoy outdoor activities that include hiking, skiing, camping, trout fishing, kayaking and horseback riding. Access to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 10-minute drive from Batesville. Historic properties such as Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson), Montpelier (home of James Madison) and Ashlawn Highland (home of James Monroe) are just on the outskirts of Charlottesville. Central Virginia vineyards have made a significant move on the United States wine scene, and dozens of wineries are located in the countryside surrounding Batesville. The Monticello Wine Trail is a very popular destination for locals and visitors who want to enjoy a leisurely afternoon surrounded by beautiful scenery while tasting the wines produced in the region.


Our five-acre property is the site of three buildings and our cemetery. The Holy Cross sanctuary is housed in the original frame chapel that was completed and consecrated in 1902. Its 1,650 square feet can accommodate seating for about 125 worshipers. The parish hall, built in 1964, is a separate building connected to the church by a covered walkway. In 2005, the congregation undertook a capital campaign to construct an addition to the building. The hall allows ample space for meetings and social gatherings, with a fully-equipped kitchen that was updated in 2014. The third building, constructed in 1904 to house the deaconesses serving Holy Cross, warehouses the items distributed through the Bread Fund outreach program.