Saint Nicholas' is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. We are a parish of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, a self-governing part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Established in 1952, our parish is the oldest continuously-functioning Orthodox parish in the Hunter Valley. Download a PDF version of the English-language Summer (December, January and February) 2019-2020 Schedule of Services here. A PDF version of the Russian-language Summer 2019-2020 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
Forthcoming services and activities
Maslenitsa in Newcastle! - 28/02/2020
On Friday 28 February our Ladies' Auxiliary will be hosting a pancake dinner at 6.30pm in the church hall at 3 Irving Street, Wallsend. The cost will be $50.00 for adults and $15.00 for children aged 10-16. No children under 12. In addition to pancakes with traditional toppings, both savoury and sweet, appetisers and desserts will be served. BYO drinks. Bookings are essential – please contact Irene on 0406 633 263 or Elena on 0403 556 634. Please join us!
Vespers on Sunday 1 March, Forgiveness Sunday - 01/03/2020
On Sunday 1 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness, Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness will be served at 5.00pm. During this service, the duration of which will be approximately 45 minutes, the church vestments are changed from gold to black and the festive melodies give way to the penitential Lenten melodies. Afterwards all those present ask forgiveness of one another, in this way making a good beginning to Great Lent.
Services on 7-8 March, the First Sunday in Great Lent - 08/03/2020
On Saturday 7 March and Sunday 8 March we will have services for the First Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Matins will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. In accordance with the practice of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, 'The Order for a Hymn of Supplication for the Conversion of those in Error' will be served at the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday. During this short service, prayers will be offered for those who oppose the truth of the Gospel with heresy and for those who have fallen away from the Holy Orthodox Church through schism. A collection will be taken up on this day to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY.
Diocesan-wide collection for the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY - 08/03/2020
Each year on the First Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia take up a collection to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York. The Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary is the main institution of higher education in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. This collection provides financial assistance to students, covering tuition, room and board. This year our collection will be taken up on Sunday 8 March. Collection envelopes will be available in church from the evening of Saturday 22 February. Please give generously!
Services on 22-23 February, the Sunday of the Last Judgment - 23/02/2020
On Saturday 22 February and Sunday 23 February we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgement, so named because of the passage from the Holy Gospel (Matthew 25:31-46) appointed to be read at Divine Liturgy on this day. As Saturday 22 February was a day of commemoration of the departed a general pannikhida was served prior to the Saturday evening service. In accordance with the instructions of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia we commemorated their Beatitudes the ever-memorable Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy; the Metropolitans Philaret, Vitaly and Laurus; all those who for Christ and the Russian Church laboured in divers lands, and the other archpastors, pastors, founders and benefactors of the Russian Diaspora; for the elect sons and daughters of the Church of Russia, who faithfully struggled for her unity, good estate and honour in the realms of piety, blessedness, governance, the protection of the persecuted and the veneration of the New Martyrs and Confessors; and for all our righteous ancestors, and for their peaceful repose and blessed memory. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and Orthodox unity. In his sermon our parish rector spoke about the Last Judgement and the way in which the Holy Scriptures set out for us the way to “gather witnesses” in preparation for it: by showing kindness and mercy to those around us, and by not scandalising or confusing others (1 Corinthians 8:8-9:2). After the dismissal a collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action, a Diocesan charitable organisation that operates under the heavenly protection of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco. UPDATE: Our collection for Orthodox Action raised $370.00.
Our Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services - 21/02/2020
Our Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2020 - is now available in digital format. It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha. A copy of the English-language Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2020 Schedule of Services is available here. Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.
Services on 8-9 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 09/02/2020
On Saturday 8 February and Sunday 9 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine, for Orthodox unity, and for the prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, the witness of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, and the importance of humility and courage in Christian life.
The repose of Archpriest Michael Konstantinoff - 04/02/2020
On 4 February we learned with sadness of the repose on the previous day of Archpriest Michael Konstantinoff, for many years a friend of our parish. Born in Tientsin, China, in 1939, he arrived in Australia in 1959 and settled in Sydney. Having married in 1963 he was ordained deacon in 1970 and priest in 1971. Upon ordination to the priesthood Father Michael was appointed rector of the parish of Archangel Michael, Blacktown, and in 1976 he was appointed rector of parish of Saint George, Carlton, going on to serve the two parishes on a rotation basis for the next thirty years. In 1977 he served together with Archbishop Theodosy (Putilin) and Father Nicholas Grant at the funeral of our founding rector, Archpriest John Lupish. Although in 2007 he left the jurisdiction of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Father Michael retained the friendship and respect of many in our parish, and we offer heartfelt condolences to Matushka Irene and their children. May God give him rest!
Services on 25-26 January, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 26/01/2020
On Saturday 25 January and Sunday 26 January we had services for the Thirty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after Theophany, and in honour of the Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus of Belgrade (+c.315 AD). Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for the unity of the Orthodox Church and for relief from fire and drought. Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy a moleben of thanksgiving was served for the blessings that we enjoy in this country (26 January being Australia Day) and for the work of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Theophany (1994-2009). At the end of the service "Eternal Memory" was intoned for the departed founders, benefactors and parishioners of the Theophany parish.
Services on 17-18 January, the Eve of Theophany - 18/01/2020
On Friday 17 January and Saturday 18 January we had services for the Eve of Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Matins was served on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning Divine Liturgy was followed by Vespers and the Great Blessing of Water. At Vespers, many of those present assisted with the thirteen appointed readings from the Old Testament.
Services on 11-12 January, the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost - 12/01/2020
On Saturday 11 January and Sunday 12 January we had services for the Thirtieth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ, and in honour of the Righteous Joseph the Betrothed, David the King, and Saint James, Brother of the Lord. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for deliverance from fire and smoke, and for rain. In place of a sermon on Sunday the parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
Church & Community Life
Pilgrimage to Tubabao, 17-27 February 2020 - 27/02/2020
With blessing of His Grace Bishop George of Canberra, Abbot Dorofei (Urusov) will be leading a pilgrimage to the island of Tubabao in The Phillippines. In 1949-50 Tubabao was a place of refuge for Russians leaving China after the communist victory there in 1949. The great hierarch and wonderworker of the Russian diaspora, Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, lived and served on Tubabao during this time. This pilgrimage will honour the place of his prayer and commemorate the Russian presence on the island. The program will include Divine Liturgy, a memorial service, benevolent work including a dinner for the children of the island, creative evenings, visits to natural attractions, and cultural activities. Contact details are available here, and some historical information is available here.
Now available - the November 2019 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 29/02/2020
The November 2019 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. As usual, it contains a number of interesting articles in both Russian and English. In Russian: "Мельбурн: 70 лет приходу Покровского собора"; "Австралийцы поют в Соборе Кремля"; Указы; and more. In English: details of a number of service awards recently given to Diocesan clergy; the Resolution of the Nineteeth Triennial Assembly of Clergy and Laity of the Diocese; "Five ways Eastern Orthodoxy differs from other Christian denominations"; "Christmas Lent"; "Can a Christian marry a Muslim?"; "What is Patriarch Bartholomew's error?"; "Shame before Confession"; and more. Copies are $5.00.
A Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 25/03/2020
On Tuesday 24 March and Wednesday 25 March many of the clergymen of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather in Sydney for their customary Great Lenten Pastoral Conference. On Tuesday evening the clergy will meet at the church of All Saints of Russia in Croydon for the Rule of Preparation for Holy Communion at 5.00pm and Lenten Matins and confession at 6.00pm. On Wednesday morning from 8.00am the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating. Those of the faithful who wish to do so are welcome to attend the service on Wednesday morning and – if properly prepared – to receive Holy Communion. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy will meet to discuss a range of pastoral, liturgical and administrative matters including plans for our Diocesan celebration of the centenary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
Special litanies and prayerful supplications to mark the Centenary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia - 30/04/2020
At the December 2019 session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) consideration was given to special litanies and other prayerful supplications to mark this year’s centenary of ROCOR’s foundation. It was agreed that at the dismissal of every Divine Liturgy this year the prayers of a number of saints important to ROCOR would be invoked: our Fathers among the saints, Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, the new Confessor; the Blessed New-Martyr Peter, Metropolitan of Krutitsia; John, the Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco, the Wonderworker; Jonah, the Bishop of Hankow in Manchuria; and the Holy Martyr Alexander of Munich. In our parish, these commemorations will begin on Sunday 22 February, the Sunday of the Last Judgement. In addition, instructions were given for the commemoration at all memorial services of their Beatitudes the ever-memorable Metropolitans Anthony and Anastassy; the Metropolitans Philaret, Vitaly and Laurus; all those who for Christ and the Russian Church laboured in divers lands, and the other archpastors, pastors, founders and benefactors of the Russian Diaspora; for the elect sons and daughters of the Church of Russia, who faithfully struggled for her unity, good estate and honour in the realms of piety, blessedness, governance, the protection of the persecuted and the veneration of the New Martyrs and Confessors; for our righteous ancestors, and for their peaceful repose and blessed memory. We will begin this commemoration at our next general pannikhida on Saturday 22 February. A copy of the full Synod Memorandum is available in English here and in Russian here.