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.
Contacting our parish
We have services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and on the preceding Saturday evenings. 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. Our parish priest has secular work and study commitments during the week and serves in another parish on the first and third Sundays of each month. He is available to talk 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 wholly on community support 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 27-28 August, the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God - 28/08/2022
On Saturday 27 August and Sunday 28 August we will have services for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost and the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God. All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday and the Hours and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday. On this day it will be 73 years since the first Russian Orthodox services in the Hunter Valley, served in the Anglican Chapel at the Greta Migrant Camp just nine days after the arrival in Newcastle from Europe of Archpriest John Lupish and his family. Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday there will be a light festive meal in the church hall.
Services on 13-14 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 14/08/2022
On Saturday 13 August and Sunday 14 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC). On this day the Russian Orthodox Church also commemorates the Baptism of Rus' in 988 AD and the feast of the Most Merciful Saviour and the All-Holy Theotokos, established in 1162 AD to commemorate the simultaneous victory of Byzantine and Russian forces over their enemies. Matins with the bringing out of the Cross 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 Michael Matys. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday there was a Blessing of Water and, in accordance with the custom of the Russian Orthodox Church, a blessing of honey. The honey, a gift to our parish and the Gosford parish in memory of the departed servants of God Anna, Olga and Nestor, Michael and Alla, and Evgenia, was afterwards shared amongst those present. In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the various historical events and saints commemorated on this day and the way in which they bear witness to the continuing relationship between God and His people.
A pastoral visit to the New South Wales Mid North Coast - 31/07/2022
On Saturday 30 July and Sunday 31 July our parish rector undertook a pastoral visit to the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, the third and final visit for 2022. On Sunday morning, the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and day of commemoration of the Holy Fathers of the first Six Ecumenical Councils, Divine Liturgy was served in Wirrimbi, near Macksville, at the home of Liubov Sleaford. Following the service those present shared a meal and discussed plans for the future. We hope to have services on the Mid North Coast again in January, April, July, October and December 2023.
Services on 23-24 July, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 24/07/2022
On Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of Great-Martyr Euphemia the All-Praised (+304 AD) and Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga, princess of Russia (+969 AD). Matins 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 Michael Matys. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers of blessing were read over a beautiful new embroidered image of the Mother of God for veneration at services for the Great Feast of the Dormition.
Services on 9-10 July, the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 10/07/2022
On Saturday 9 July and Sunday 10 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of Venerable Sampson the Hospitable of Constantinople (+c.530 AD). Matins 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 Michael Matys. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. Drawing on the appointed reading from the Apostol, Romans 6:18-23 (§93, Servants of righteousness), the parish rector spoke in his sermon on Sunday about being servants of righteousness rather than servants of sin.
A review of our parish child safe policies and procedures - 07/07/2022
In conjunction with Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church, Gosford, our parish has commenced a review of its child safe policy and procedures to give effect to the Child Safe Standards. The Child Safe Standards are based on the research and consultation conducted by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Now enshrined in law by amendments to the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW), the Child Safe Standards provide a framework for creating organisations that are inclusive and safe for children. One of our first steps has been to draft a Statement of Commitment to Child Safety, a copy of which can be viewed here. We are also working on a new and comprehensive Child Safe Policy; new role descriptions and complaint-handling procedures; and a new Child Safe Code of Conduct. We will seek comments on all these documents from our parishioners and friends, as well as from the Diocesan and civil authorities, before implementing and formally launching the new policy and procedures later this year.
Church & Community Life
Now available - the June 2022 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 31/08/2022
The June 2022 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. This edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2020. Content includes details of March 2022 clergy awards, including an awards to our own parish rector; articles relating to the May 2022 repose and burial of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) and to the Diocesan observance of the fortieth day of his repose; biographical materials, reflections, and photographs of Vladyka Hilarion; the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of divine service of Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov; articles on the reestablishment of canonical communion between the Serbian and Macedonian Orthodox Churches; and more. Copies are $5.00.
Decisions of the Synod of Bishops following the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion - 21/09/2022
Since the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion on Monday 16 May 2022, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has made several decisions concerning church life. On Tuesday 17 May it was resolved, amongst other things, that our newly-reposed First Hierarch be especially commemorated at each Divine Liturgy during the Paschal season and that a panikhida be served on the fortieth day of his repose, Friday 24 June; that the name of Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany be commemorated during the divine services in all ROCOR churches immediately following the commemoration of Patriarch Kyrill; and that Bishop George of Canberra would be appointed Acting Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New-Zealand Diocese. On Monday 23 May it was resolved, amongst other things, to convene a Council of Bishops in New York from 13-21 September 2022 with the purpose of electing a new ROCOR First Hierarch; and to especially commemorate Metropolitan Hilarion on Sunday 26 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost, as well as on the fortieth day of his repose.