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Saint Nicholas' is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.  Our parish includes Belarussians, Ukrainians, Russians, Finns, Macedonians, and Orthodox Christians of other backgrounds. 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.  We use Church Slavonic, the liturgical language of the Slavic peoples, and English, the language of this country, in our services.  Established in 1952, our parish is the oldest continuously-functioning Orthodox parish in the Hunter Valley.


Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
3 Irving Street; Wallsend, NSW 2287 Australia
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Visiting our parish


We usually have services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and on the preceding Saturday evenings.  Please note: During March, April and May 2024 different arrangements will be in place.  Our Schedule of Services can be viewed here.  Our church is generally only open when we have services.  Visitors are always welcome! If you would like to contact us before visiting, it is best to send an email.  We check this inbox regularly and will respond to messages within 24 hours.  You can also contact us in the same way to arrange baptisms and memorial services.

The availability of our parish priest


Our parish priest, Archpriest James Carles, serves here in a voluntary capacity.  He does not live in the  Hunter Region but travels here for services from the Central Coast.  He has secular employment on two days per week and is presently undertaking full-time tertiary study.  In addition to our parish, he has responsibility for Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church in Gosford and Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.  During study periods (in 2024, 19 February-15 June and 22 July-16 November) his pastoral availability is strictly limited to scheduled services in the three communities; individual “needs” that arise in connection with these scheduled services (e.g. confessions, molebens, and memorial services); essential parish administrative tasks; and end-of-life care and funerals.  Father James is available to talk after after Divine Liturgy on the Sundays when we have a service.  He can also be contacted by email.

Supporting our parish


Our parish is a small one that relies on community support and the voluntary service of our clergy to make ends meet.  If you find this website to be of interest or of assistance, please consider helping us.  Donations may be made directly to our bank account:


St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church 

BSB: 032-509 Account number: 281104


May the Lord bless you!

Forthcoming services and activities
Services on 20-21 April, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - 21/04/2024

On Saturday 20 April and Sunday 21 April we will have services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt.  Matins will be served at 6.00 pm on Saturday and the Hours and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday.

Important information about the remainder of Great Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha - 05/05/2024

Our Wallsend parish will have regular services on only two more weekends in Great Lent: 6-7 April and 20-21 April. All who wish to confess and receive Holy Communion in our parish during Great Lent should plan to do so on one of these two weekends in April as there will not be another opportunity.  In addition, we will have a general service of anointing (“Soborovanie”) on Sunday 14 April at 6.00pm.  It is not strictly necessary to confess before this service but those who wish to do so should confess on the weekend of 6-7 April.  We will then not have any services from 21 April until 2 May.  For Holy Week and Pascha we will have just three services:  Matins with the reading of the Twelve Gospels at 6.00pm on Thursday 2 May; Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud at 3.00pm on Friday 3 May; and Midnight Office, Paschal Matins, and Divine Liturgy beginning at 11.20pm on Saturday 4 May.  Those who wish to confess so as to receive Holy Communion at Divine Liturgy in the early hours of Sunday 5 May will be able to do so from 10.30pm in the evening on Saturday 4 May.  The blessing of Easter baskets will take place after Paschal Matins – i.e., approximately 1.00am – on Sunday 5 May.

Parish Life
A General Service of Anointing with Oil (Holy Unction) - 14/04/2024

On the evening of Sunday 14 April we had a General Service of Anointing with Oil.  Twenty-five of our parishioners gathered to pray and receive anointing with oil for the healing of soul and body.  For Orthodox Christians this service, otherwise served only for individuals who are grievously ill, is a customary part of Great Lent.

The baptism of an adult convert to Orthodoxy - 07/04/2024

On Saturday 6 April, the eve of the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, the parish rector baptised an adult convert to Orthodoxy, Howard Trott.  In baptism Howard, who has been a regular worshipper at our parish for some time and is also a member of the Mid North Coast Mission, took the name Thaddeus in honour of Apostle Thaddeus.  Thaddeus had as his sponsor Gregory Alexandrovsky.  Afterwards, parishioners and friends gathered in the church hall for a festive afternoon tea.  We warmly congratulate the newly-baptised servant of God Thaddeus, wishing him good health, every blessing from above, and many years!

Services on 6-7 April, the Third Sunday of Great Lent and the Great Feast of the Annunciation - 07/04/2024

On Saturday 6 April and Sunday 7 April we had services for the Third Sunday of Great Lent and the Great Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.  At Divine Liturgy the choir was conducted by Nikolai Morozoff.  Our church was full on Sunday morning, with visitors from the Central Coast and from the Serbian Orthodox parish in Broadmeadow joining our regular congregation.  Many took the opportunity to confess and receive Holy Communion.  Prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and peace in the Holy Land, and the newly-baptised Thaddeus (Howard) Trott received Holy Communion for the first time.  Following the dismissal at Divine Liturgy all venerated the Precious and Life-giving Cross of our Lord.

A service at Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission on the NSW Mid North Coast - 31/03/2024

On Sunday 31 March our parish rector visited Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission on the NSW Mid North Coast and conducted services for the Second Sunday of Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica  (+1359 AD).  The services were held the Wauchope Community Arts Hall, the Mission’s Port Macquarie-Hastings region “home” since April 2023.  The Hours and Divine Liturgy  were served on Sunday morning, with many of those present confessing and receiving Holy Communion.  At these services some new items were used for the first time: a portable altar table and table of preparation made by Michael Sokolsky, and a number of folding wooden icon stands made by Mission member Howard Trott.  As Saturday 30 March had been a day of commemoration of the departed, a memorial litia was served following Divine Liturgy.  All present stayed for a common meal afterwards. 

The appointment of new Child Safety Contact Persons - 17/03/2024

On Saturday 16 March 2024 the parish rector appointed Olga Bogacheva, Matushka Marie Carles, and James Savage to be the new Child Safety Contact Persons for our parish.  By virtue of their appointment, the Child Safety Contact Persons also become members of the parish Pastoral Council.  The Pastoral Council, which is comprised of the rector and other parish clergy, the Child Safety Contact Persons, and other persons with knowledge or experience relevant to child participation and safety, supports child-related work in our parish.  More information concerning child safety in our parish is available here.

Services on 16-17 March, the Sunday of Forgiveness - 17/03/2024

On Saturday 16 March and Sunday 17 March we had services for the Sunday of Forgiveness, the final preparatory Sunday for Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and peace in the Holy Land.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector spoke about the key themes of the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel (Matthew 6:14-21): forgiving one another if we hope for God’s forgiveness, fasting joyfully, and storing up treasure in heaven. Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness was served immediately after Divine Liturgy.  At the Sunday services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.

Services on 2-3 March, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 03/03/2024

On Saturday 2 March and Sunday 3 March we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, the second preparatory Sunday for Great Lent.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served at on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and peace in the Holy Land.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector spoke about the Parable of the Prodigal Son and preparation for Great Lent.


Church & Community Life
The Great Lenten Epistle of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad - 26/04/2024

Metropolitan Nicholas writes: “Great Lent is approaching – a time set aside for delving into ourselves, for examining our lives, for repentance and correction. Great Lent is not only a time to refrain from certain types of food; it is a time for asceticism of the mind and senses, when we abstain from impure thoughts, separate ourselves from our habitual sins, entertainments, and harmful routines, when we fast, as St. John Chrysostom says, "with the mouth, the eye, and the ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies."  His letter can be read in full in English here and in Russian here.

A ROCOR Fund for Assistance appeal to the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 05/05/2024

The Fund for Assistance (FFA) to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has issued a Great Lent 2024 Appeal to the Faithful of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  The appeal has been made with support for needy clergy particularly in mind, and an undertaking that any donations made will be matched up until a target of US$10,000 is reached.  Donations can be made via the FFA website here.  Questions about the appeal can be asked here.

Save the date: Monday 6 May, Bright Monday and the day of commemoration of Saint George - 06/05/2024

This year Bright Monday, the second day of Pascha, will fall on 6 May, the day of commemoration of the Holy Great-Martyr and Trophy-Bearer George.  The clergy of the Greater Sydney region have been asked to not schedule services in their own parishes on this day, but rather to celebrate Divine Liturgy together with Bishop George on the occasion of his name-day.  Divine Liturgy will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield on Monday morning – the time and any other relevant information will be shared as soon as it is known.  The faithful who wish to do so may also attend this service.

Orthodox religious instruction for inquirers, catechumens, and the faithful - 26/05/2024

With Bishop George's blessing, from late May 2024 the English-language Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church, a parish of our Diocese in Brisbane, will be offering an online course of religious instruction in Orthodox theology and practice.  This course consists of 17 sessions, each comprising an online video (which can be watched at each participant's convenience), a revision task, and an interactive Q&A session via Zoom on Sunday evenings.  The course is suitable for inquirers, catechumens (i.e. those preparing for baptism), and those who are already Orthodox Christians.  The first Zoom session will be held on Sunday 26 May, with the course scheduled to finish in October 2024.  For more information please visit:  To enrol, please visit:

Diocesan-wide collection for the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY - 30/06/2024

Each year on the First Sunday of 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 has for over seventy-five years been 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.  As we don’t always have a service on the day of the collection and as in the post-COVID world people carry less cash, our parish now simply makes a donation from parish funds towards this collection.  Those who wish to make a direct donation to the Seminary may do so here.

The Fourteenth ROCOR All-Diaspora Orthodox Youth Conference, Stuttgart (Germany), 25 June-1 July 2024 - 01/07/2024

From 25 June to 1 July 2024 the Fourteenth All-Diaspora Orthodox Youth Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) will be held in Stuttgart, Germany.  The All-Diaspora Youth Conferences, which began in Montreal, Canada, in 1972, bring together ROCOR youth from around the world.  Over the years, many important friendships have been formed at these conferences.  The theme of the 2024 Conference is “Preserving our Orthodox Identity and Heritage in the Diaspora”.  It will be held at a retreat in the mountains near Stuttgart and lectures will be in Russian, English, and German.  The conference program will also include excursions, sports, cultural activities, and a youth ball.  Youth (aged 18-24) of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese who wish to attend should email for further information.

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