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 Spring (September, October and November) 2019 Schedule of Services here. A PDF version of the Russian-language Spring 2019 Schedule of Services can be downloaded here.
Forthcoming services and activities
Services on 21-22 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 22/09/2019
On Saturday 21 September and Sunday 22 September we will have services for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, and in honour of the Holy Righteous Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Holy Virgin Mary. Matins will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday morning.
A pastoral visit to the New South Wales Mid North Coast - 29/09/2019
With the blessing of Bishop George, our parish rector will be making a further pastoral visit to the New South Wales Mid North Coast on the weekend of Saturday-Sunday 28-29 September. Homes will be blessed on Saturday and on Sunday, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Divine Liturgy will be served in Baraganyatti, a small town approximately 75 kilometres north of Port Macquarie. Following Divine Liturgy there will be a festive meal. God willing, through these visits a Russian Orthodox mission under the heavenly protection of Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye will be established in the area. A further visit is planned for 28-29 December, with Divine Liturgy to be served in Coffs Harbour on Sunday 29 December, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers. Those interested are welcome to contact us.
Services on 12-13 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - 13/10/2019
On Saturday 12 October and Sunday 13 October we will have services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Gregory, enlightener of Greater Armenia (+c.335). Matins will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday morning. As Monday 14 October will be the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, the patronal feast of the first Orthodox church in the Hunter Valley, Divine Liturgy on Sunday will be preceded by a blessing of water at 8.15am and followed by a moleben to the Mother of God with a procession around the church. Our parish Annual General Meeting will be held at 12.30pm.
Notice of 2019 Annual General Meeting - 06/12/2019
Our 2019 parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held at 12.30pm on Sunday 13 October 2019. A formal Notice concerning the AGM is available here. The Notice includes the AGM agenda, an explanation of why AGMs are held, information about preparation for and participation in the AGM, an explanation of the role of Parish Councils and Parish Council members, and information about the forthcoming Diocesan Assembly. A nomination form for office-bearers is available here.
Services on 21-22 September, the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 22/09/2019
On Saturday 21 September and Sunday 22 September we had services for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, for the Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, and in honour of the Holy Righteous Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Holy Virgin Mary. Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector spoke about Saints Joachim and Anna as examples of faithfulness to one another and to God’s will. Following Divine Liturgy an announcement was made concerning the forthcoming parish Annual General Meeting.
The funeral and burial of Rufina Tomalcheva - 10/09/2019
On Tuesday 10 September our parish rector served the funeral of Rufina Tomacheva (nee Balahnina). The responses were sung by Reader Nekatry Kotlaroff, the conductor of the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia. Rufina, who was born in Kurgan, Russia, in 1936, departed this life on 4 September at 83 years of age. She was afterwards laid to rest in Wallsend Cemetery with many other of our parishioners. We offer hearfelt condolences to Rufina's daughter Irina and her family. May God grant His newly-departed handmaiden rest with the saints and life everlasting!
Services on 7-8 September, the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost - 08/09/2019
On Saturday 7 September and Sunday 8 September we had services for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Meeting of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God (1395 AD) and the Martyrs Adrian and Natalia of Nicomedia (+305-311 AD). Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine, church unity, and the prosperity of the Russian Orthodox Church. Following Divine Liturgy the parish rector announced that the 2019 Annual General Meeting of the parish would be held on Sunday 13 October 2019.
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2019 and 2020 - 30/08/2019
In conjunction with Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church, Gosford, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2020. This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.
Services on 27-28 August, the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God - 28/08/2019
On Tuesday 27 August and Wednesday 28 August we had services for the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. 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. On this day in 1949 - 70 years ago this year - that the first known Orthodox Christian services in the Hunter Valley were served by Archpriest John Lupish (+1977) in the Anglican chapel at Greta Migrant Camp. At the end of Divine Liturgy on Wednesday prayers of thanksgiving were offered on the occasion of this significant anniversary. During the service prayers were also offered for peace in Ukraine and for Orthodox Christian unity.
A baptism – Alice Vigovska - 25/08/2019
On Sunday 25 August the parish rector baptised 15 year-old Alice Vigovska, the daughter of Gennady Khalin and Olena Vigovska. Alice, who was given the name Elena in baptism in honour of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Empress Elena, had as her godparents Nataliya Kravchenko and Victor Kravchenko. We warmly congratulate Alice and her godparents, and pray that God will grant His newly-baptised handmaiden good health, every blessing from above, and many years!
Services on 24-25 August, the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - 25/08/2019
On Saturday 24 August and Sunday 25 August we had services for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, the Afterfeast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, and in honour of Martyrs Photius and Anicetus (+305-306 AD). At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday there was a blessing of honey, the jars of which were then distributed amongst the faithful.
A memorial service at Greta Cemetery on the seventieth anniversary of the first Orthodox burial there - 24/08/2019
On 23 August 1949, just four days after his arrival in Australia, Archpriest John Lupish served the funeral of one year-old Irene Solomko. She was then laid to rest in the Greta Cemetery together with a number of other infants who died in an epidemic of measles that swept through the Greta Migrant Camp at that time. Father John went on to preside at five more burials at Greta: Wsewolod (Vsevelod) Shipilow (+1949, a boy of 18 months), Larisa Klebakin (+1950), Lydia Elagin (+1956), Alexander Melnik (+1970) and Ivan Elagin (+1977). In June 2015 our parish rector resolved that a general memorial service would be held in the Greta Cemetery each year on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of that first burial. This year’s memorial service was held on Saturday 24 August. Joining Father James for the service was Alex Schulha, the son of Peter and Nadezhda Schulha, one of the first couples married in Greta by Father John. Prayers were offered for the repose of the ever-memorable Archpriest John (+1977), his matushka Maria (+1979), for Peter (+2019) and Nadezhda Schulha (+2006), and all those Orthodox Christians buried in the Greta Cemetery, amongst whom are a great many Ukrainian Orthodox. May their memory be eternal!
Our Spring 2019 Schedule of Services - 24/08/2019
Our Spring 2019 Schedule of Services - covering September, October and November - is now available in PDF format. A copy of the English-language Spring 2019 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Spring 2019 Schedule of Services is available here. Printed copies in both languages are available in church as of Saturady 24 August 2019. Regrettably, this year we will be unable to have services for the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on 13-14 October and on the anniversary of the repose of Archpriest John Lupish (+1977) on 21-22 November. In view of this, the lesser blessing of water and a moleben to the Mother of God will be served on Sunday 13 October and a pannikhida for Father John will be served at 5.00pm on Saturday 23 November.
Services on 10-11 August, the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - 11/08/2019
On Saturday 10 August and Sunday 11 August we had services for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Martyr Callinicus of Gangra in Asia Minor (3rd-4th C.). In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the integrity and the heroic endurance of Martyr Callinicus and the importance of these things in bearing witness to the Christian faith, both in ancient times and in the present day.
Church & Community Life
Now available - the July 2019 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 31/10/2019
The July 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 range of interesting articles in both Russian and English. In Russian: “Богородице-Казанский Монастырь готовится отметить 60-летие”; “Православный Богословский Институт Святых Кирилла и Мефодия”; “Храмы и их история память о Романовых за Рубежом”; “О неприкосновенности жизни человека с момента зачатия”; and more. In English: material concerning the twentieth anniversary of the Holy Fathers Mission in Warrnambool, Victoria; an article about the July 2019 residential school of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute; an interview with Metropolitan Onuphry (Berezovsky), Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; lives of the Orthodox Popes of Rome; and an article about why some priests can refuse to be spiritual fathers. Copies are $5.00.
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.