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
Services on 25-26 January, the Thirty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 26/01/2020
On Saturday 25 January and Sunday 26 January we will have 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 will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday we will have a brief moleben of thanksgiving for the work of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Theophany (1994-2009) and serve a litia for the departed founders, benefactors and parishioners of that 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.
2019 - The year in review - 31/12/2019
2019, the year in which we celebrated 70 years of Russian Orthodoxy in the Hunter Valley, was an eventful year in parish life. Happily, some significant improvements were made to our small church: the floor was polished for the first time in over fifty years, new carpets and furniture were purchased, and the long-planned extension to the sanctuary was completed to lock-up stage. We had six baptisms: Anastasia Crawford, Jason Greig, Ella James, Georgie Gooda, Alice Vigovska and Maximus Regan. Five of our older parishioners departed this life: Peter Schulha, Vitaly Korotkich, Rufina Tomalcheva, Nina Diamante and Galina Evteeva. Great Feasts celebrated during the year include the Nativity of Christ (Christmas), the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany), and the Dormition of the Mother of God. In January we were honoured to receive the revered Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, and in May Bishop George visited and the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia sang at Divine Liturgy. In September our Russian-language playgroup Teremok celebrated 10 years of activity. Our parish rector made pastoral visits to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales in June, September and December. All the news from 2019 can be read here. Glory be to God for all things!
The funeral of Galina Evteeva - 30/12/2019
On 30 December our parish rector served the funeral of Galina Evteeva. Galina, who was born in Russia in July 1946, departed this life on 24 December, just over twelve months after the untimely repose of her only son, Alexander. On the evening before her repose she received Anointing with Oil and the Prayer at the Departure of the Soul was read. We offer heartfelt condolences to Galina’s daughter-in-law Elena and to her grandchildren Sophia and David. Memory eternal!
A third pastoral visit to the New South Wales Mid North Coast - 29/12/2019
With the blessing of Bishop George, on Saturday 28 December and Sunday 29 December our parish rector undertook a further pastoral visit to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, the area between Forster-Tuncurry and Woolgoolga. On Sunday morning, the Twenty-Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, Divine Liturgy was served in Barraganyatti in the home of Evan and Katerina Cotten. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy Father James spoke about the faithfulness of the Holy Forefathers despite all around them worshipping false gods, the Parable of the Banquet (Luke 14:16-24, the appointed Gospel reading), and the principles of Christian life that the Apostle Paul sets out in his Letter to the Colossians (3:4-11, the appointed Epistle reading). Future visits to the Mid North Coast are planned for March, May, August and November 2020. In March, God willing, Divine Litugy will be served in Coffs Harbour. Those interested in this outreach initiative may contact the Mid North Coast Orthodox community by email.
Services on 21-22 December, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 21/12/2019
On Saturday 21 December and Sunday 22 December we had services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Conception by Saint Anna of the Mother of God. At the request of some of our parishioners of Macedonian Orthodox tradition, Great Vespers with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil, and five loaves was served on Saturday evening. Divine Liturgy was served as usual on Sunday morning. At the Prayer before the Amvon the prayer of blessing was read over a number of new subdeacons' vestments. It being the Sunday after the commemoration of Saint Nicholas on 19 December, a moleben to Saint Nicholas was served following Divine Liturgy. At Divine Liturgy and during the moleben prayers were offered for rain and for deliverance from fire. After the moleben the parish rector congratulated our warden, Nikolai Goura, on his recent name-day, and presented the newly-blessed vestments to Subdeacon Luke Goura, it being the fifteenth anniversary of his tonsure as a reader and the tenth anniversary of his ordination as subdeacon. A set of new white vestments was also presented to Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish in recognition of his long service.
A baptism - Maximus Regan - 08/12/2019
On Sunday 8 December the parish rector baptised Maximus Regan, the infant son of Matt and Katy Regan and a younger brother to Oliver. Maximus, whose godparents were Natasha Goura and Andrew Regan, was baptised in honour of Saint Maximus the Confessor. We warmly congratulate Matt, Katy, Natasha and Andrew, and wish the newly-baptised servant of God Maximus many years!
Services on 7-8 December, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 08/12/2019
On Saturday 7 December and Sunday 8 December we had services for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, the Leave-taking of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple, and in honour of Hieromartyr Clement, Bishop of Rome (+101 AD). Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. During Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine, and for Orthodox unity, and for rain. As Sunday 8 December was the first anniversary of the untimely repose of our parishioner Alexander Evteev, a pannikhida was served before the evening service on Saturday and a memorial litia was served following Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Following the litia his family and friends gathered in our church hall for a commemorative meal.
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.