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 Winter (June, July and August) 2019 Schedule of Services here. A PDF version of the Russian-language Winter 2019 Schedule of Services can be accessed here.
Forthcoming services and activities
Services on 29-30 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost - 30/06/2019
Our next services will be Matins at 6.00pm on Saturday 29 June and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Sunday 30 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of All Saints who have shone forth in the land of Russia.
Services on 22-23 June, the First Sunday after Pentecost - 23/06/2019
On Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June we had services for the First Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday of All Saints. As it was the Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad, special prayers were offered for the children and young people of our parish and Diocese. Following the dismissal, a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed Vitaly Korotkich.
Services on 8-9 June, the Seventh Sunday of Pascha - 09/06/2019
On Saturday 8 June and Sunday 9 June we had services for the Seventh Sunday of Pascha and in honour of the 318 Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, convened in Nicaea (modern-day Iznik, Turkey) in 325 AD. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about the history and significance of the Council and of the importance of faithfulness, like that of the Fathers, to Apostolic teaching, Holy Scripture, and the tradition of the Orthodox Church. Following the dismissal a litia was served for the repose of the soul of our newly-reposed parishioner, Peter Schulha.
A baptism - Ella James - 08/06/2019
On Saturday 8 June the parish rector baptised Ella James, the four year-old daughter of Meeyeon (Salome) D’Arcy and Darren James. Ella, who was baptised in honour of the New-Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth, had as her godparents Meejung Hughes, Parichat James, Mark Evans and Warren James. We warmly congratulate Meeyeon, Darren, and Ella’s godparents, and pray that God will grant health and many years to His newly-baptised handmaiden Ella.
Services on 25-26 May, the Fifth Sunday after Pascha - 26/05/2019
On Saturday 25 May and Sunday 26 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. This Sunday is so named because the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel is the account of the conversation of Christ with the Samaritan Woman at Jacob's Well (John 4:5-42). As our parish had celebrated its patronal feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas on Wednesday 22 May, His Grace Bishop George of Canberra visited us on Sunday and presided at Divine Liturgy. Adding to the festivity of the occasion, the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia sang at Divine Liturgy in place of our parish choir and following the service there was a moleben – or service of intercession - to Saint Nicholas, a procession around the church, and a festive lunch in the church hall for our parishioners and guests. Joining us for the moleben were Priest Dalibor Pavlovic and parishioners from the Serbian Orthodox parish of Saint Naum of Ohrid in Broadmeadow. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy Bishop George spoke about the need to choose between truth and falsehood. Speaking in the hall during lunch, our parish rector welcomed Bishop George, Father Dalibor and his parishioners, and Reader Nektary Kotlaroff and the choir. Noting that the faithful were encouraged to see young people in the diaspora holding fast to the faith and traditions of the Orthodox Church, he congratulated the members of the choir on their efforts and achievements to date. He then wished them all the best for their trip to the United States in late 2019.
Our Winter 2019 Schedule of Services - 25/05/2019
Our Winter 2019 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available in PDF format. Services of note during this period include the commemoration of All Saints of Russia on Saturday-Sunday 29-30 June, the commemoration of Saint Vladimir on Saturday-Sunday 27-28 July, the annual memorial service at Greta Cemetery on Saturday 24 August, and services for the Dormition of the Mother of God on Tuesday-Wednesday 27-28 August. The services for the Dormition will also mark 70 years of Russian Orthodoxy in the Hunter Valley. A copy of the English-language Winter 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2019 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies in both languages are now available in church.
Services on 21-22 May, Mid-Pentecost and the feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas - 22/05/2019
On Tuesday 21 May and Wednesday 22 May we had services for the feast of Mid-Pentecost and in honour of the patronal feast of our parish, the commemoration of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari, Italy, in 1087 AD. Mid-Pentecost is the twenty-fifth day of Pascha, half-way to the Great Feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day. On this day the Orthodox Church commemorates Christ's teaching in the temple "in the midst of the Judaic feast" (John 7:14-30) and customarily blesses water as a sign of the grace of the Holy Spirit and with reference to the "living water" promised by our Lord Jesus Christ to all that believe in Him (John 7:37-38). All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Wednesday morning following a Lesser Blessing of Water. Our small week-day congregation was augmented with visitors from the Serbian and Macedonian communities in Newcastle, this commemoration of Saint Nicholas being greatly loved amongst the Slavic peoples.
Services on 11-12 May, the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women - 12/05/2019
On Saturday 11 May and Sunday 12 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women. This Sunday is so named because the appointed reading from the Holy Gospel at Divine Liturgy (Mark 15:43-16:8) gives an account of the service to our Lord Jesus Christ of the Myrrh-Bearing Women and with them Righteous Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Amongst the Myrrh-Bearing Women the Orthodox Church includes Mary Magdalene; Mary, the wife of Cleopas; Joanna; Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee; Susanna; Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus; and Mary, Mother of the Apostle James. Following the Prayer before the Amvon the prayer at the breaking of the Artos was then read. In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion. As it was Mothers’ Day, the parish rector congratulated the mothers of the parish and, after wishing them all help from God in their maternal duties, intoned “Many Years” for them. Flowers were them presented to Matushka Marie on behalf of the parish and pieces of the blessed Artos were given to the faithful as they venerated the Cross.
Services on 6-7 May, Radonitsa - 07/05/2019
On Monday 6 May and Tuesday 7 May we had services for the second Tuesday of Pascha, “Radonitsa” - the day of rejoicing. In the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, this is the first day after Pascha on which services for the departed are customarily offered. Matins was served on Monday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Tuesday morning. Immediately following Divine Liturgy a general panikhida was served in church, at which all of the departed clergy of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese were mentioned by name, together with our departed parishioners, family members and friends. Prayers were also offered for those who perished in the aircraft fire in Moscow on 5 May 2019. Graveside litias were then served in Wallsend, Sandgate and East Maitland cemeteries.
Church & Community Life
The Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly of the Australian New-Zealand Diocese is to be held in November 2019 - 17/11/2019
On 29 May 2019 His Grace Bishop George of Canberra advised parish rectors and monastic superiors that the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese would be convened at the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW, in November 2019. Commencing on the evening of Thursday 14 November and concluding on the afternoon of Sunday 17 November, the Assembly will coincide with Diocesan celebrations of the thirty-fifth anniversary of Metropolitan Hilarion’s consecration to the episcopacy on 10 December 1984. As all Diocesan clergy will be participating in the Assembly and associated commemorative activities, the only services in our Diocese on Saturday-Sunday 16-17 November will be at the Strathfield Cathedral. Information about the Eighteenth Diocesan Assembly, held in Cabramatta in November 2016, is available here.
Russian and other Orthodox Kids' Camp, 15-20 December 2019 - 20/12/2019
A group of young families working under the auspices of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin parish in Cabramatta, NSW, is again organising a camp for Russian and other Orthodox children and young people aged 8-17 to be held in Toukley, NSW - here on the Central Coast - from 15 December - 20 December 2019. The cost will be $425.00 per person, or $399.00 if payment is made by 30 September 2019. For those interested, more information is available here.