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Welcome to Our Parish!

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 Church in the Hunter Valley.  Download a PDF version of the English-language Summer (December, January and February) 2017-18 Schedule of Services here.  A PDF version of the Russian-language Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services can be accessed here.

 

Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church ,
3 Irving Street; Wallsend, NSW 2256 Australia
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The Holy Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church took place in Moscow from 29 November 2017 until 2 December 2017.  On Monday 4 December 2017, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple and the centenary of the enthronement of Patriach Tikhon (Belavin) as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria officiated at Divine Liturgy in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, concelebrating with the Primates of the majority of Local Orthodox Churches and a multitude of hierarchs and other clergy.  Links to a selection of documents approved by the Council and news items relating to this historic event in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church are set out below.

 

Archpastors of the Russian Church Abroad participate in 100th-Anniversary Celebrations of the Restoration of the Patriarchate

Epistle of the Holy Council of Bishops to the Clergy, Monks and Nuns and all Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church

Resolutions of the Holy Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church

A press conference of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church is held

The second day of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

The first day of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

 

These documents and news items, together with many others, are available in Russian here.


Forthcoming services and activities
Our next services: 18-19 December, the feast of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia

Our next services will be All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine oil and five loaves at 6.00pm on Monday 18 December and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Tuesday 19 December, the day of repose of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia and the lesser patronal feast-day of our parish.  Divine Liturgy will be followed by a brief moleben to Saint Nicholas.



Parish Life
Services on 9-10 December, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God - 10/12/2017

On Saturday 9 December and Sunday 10 December we had services for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, the "Directress" of the Russian Diaspora.  At Matins on Saturday evening the faithful were anointed with oil from the lamp that burns before the original Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God in the Synodal Cathedral in New York, and prior to Divine Liturgy on Sunday an akathist was read in Slavonic and English before a copy of the icon.  As Sunday was the six-month anniversary of the repose of our parishioner Vadim ("Jim") Zdanowicz a memorial litia was served after Divine Liturgy.  Later in the day our parish rector visited the Russian and other Orthodox Kids' Camp being held in Toukley on the New South Wales Central Coast, there serving the customary moleben before the beginning of a good work.


Our December 2017 parish newsletter - 10/12/2017

Our December 2017 parish newsletter was published on 10 December 2017.  It includes parish news for August-December, information about the month ahead, and the Epistle of the Holy Council of Bishops to the Clergy, Monks and Nuns and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church in both Russian and English.  To read it click here.  Copies are available in church and will be distributed together with the Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services by post and email during the week beginning 11 December 2017.


Updated information about marriage in the Russian Orthodox Church, together with a list of available dates in 2018 and 2019 - 09/12/2017

In conjunction with Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church, Gosford, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the legal and church requirements for marriage in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  This information has now been comprehensively revised and updated to reflect the adoption by the Bishops' Council of the Russian Orthodox Church of the document ‘On the Canonical Aspects of Church Marriage’ (‘О канонических аспектах церковного брака’) on 2 December 2017 and the commencement of amendments to the Australian Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) on 9 December 2017.  It includes an explanation of why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons, and provides a helpful list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2019.  The information can be accessed here.  Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.


Services on 3-4 December, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple - 04/12/2017

On Sunday 3 December and Monday 4 December we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple.  All-night vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Sunday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Monday morning.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy the parish rector explained the history and significance of the feast and spoke of the importance of each Orthodox Christian being filled and formed by the life of the Church in order to worthily receive Christ.


Services on 25-26 November, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 26/11/2017

On Saturday 25 November and Sunday 26 November we had services for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (+407 AD).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the immense influence of Saint John on the life of the Holy Orthodox Church and about his personal example to each Orthodox Christian: ascetic struggle, a love for the Holy Scriptures, care for the poor, a willingness to stand up to the elites of this world, and an unshakeable commitment to the purity of the Orthodox faith.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for the ever-memorable servants of God Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesenky), third First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (+21 November 1985); Archpriest John Lupish, the founder of our parish (+22 November 1977); and the Russian heroes of the White Movement who, fleeing the Bolshevik yoke, arrived in Gallipoli on 22 November 1920.  A collection was then taken up to aid the Fund for Assistance to the Russian Orthodox Church Outisde Russia, raising $190.00.


Our Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services - 25/11/2017

Our Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services - covering December, January and February - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Summer 2017-18 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Summer 2016-17 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages will be available in church from the evening of Saturday 25 November.


Services on 21-22 November, the anniversary of the repose of Archpriest John Lupish (+1977) - 22/11/2017

On Tuesday 21 November and Wednesday 22 November we had services in prayerful remembrance of the fortieth anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable founder of our parish, Archpriest John Lupish.  A Great Pannikhida or “parastas” was served on Tuesday evening.  On Wednesday morning, the anniversary of Father John’s repose in 1977, Divine Liturgy for the departed was served.  Following a memorial litia and the blessing of koliva at the end of Divine Liturgy, our rector spoke briefly about Father John’s simple and steadfast service over twenty-five years in the parish and of the importance of remembering our leaders, those who have spoken the word of God to us (Hebrews 13:7).  Gathered in church were family members including Father John’s two sons Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish and John Lupish and his youngest grand-daughter Elizabeth; former parishioners of Father John’s; and a small number of our current parishioners.  Over lunch in the church hall Father John’s sons spoke movingly about his courage, his humility, his kindness, and his willingness to endure difficulty for the sake of others.  After lunch a graveside pannikhida was served at Sandgate Cemetery.  May Father John’s memory be eternal!


A baptism - Sofiya Hockley - 12/11/2017

On Sunday 12 November the parish rector baptised the infant Sofiya, the second daughter of Adam and Evgeniya Hockley and a younger sister to Anastasia.  Sofiya was baptised in honour of the Martyr Sofiya of Rome and had as her sponsor Anastasia Rotsey.  We warmly congratulate Adam, Evgeniya and Anastasia and wish the newly-illumined handmaiden of God Sofiya many years!


Services on 11-12 November, the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost - 12/11/2017

On Saturday 11 November and Sunday 12 November we had services for the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Hieromartyr Zenobius, bishop of Aegae in Cilicia, and his sister Martyr Zenobia (+285 AD).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, parish rector Archpriest James Carles explained that the persecuting judge had offered Zenobius two choices: “Life and death – life if you bow down before the gods, and death if you do not”.  Zenobius’ reply, he said, had been that “Life without Christ is not life, but death; and death for Christ’s sake is not death, but life”, and so the courageous brother and sister had been tortured and put to death.  Referring to the current debate in Australia around religious freedom Father James commended to the faithful the example of the martyrs and confessors, noting that a lack of religious freedom in earlier times had not prevented them from confessing Christ.  Following the service parish Warden Nikolai Goura and Head Sister Anna Morhun congratulated Father James on his recent name-day – the day of commemoration of the Apostle James, Brother of the Lord, on 5 November – presenting him with a gift on behalf of the parish and wishing him continued good health.



Church & Community Life
Russian and other Orthodox Kids' Camp, 10-16 December 2017 - 16/04/2017

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 - to be held not far from us on the Central Coast - from 10 December - 16 December 2017.  The cost will be $399.00 per person.  For those interested, more information is available here.


2017 Annual Diocesan Teen Retreat - 08/10/2017

This year our Diocese will hold its seventh annual Orthodox Teen Retreat.  Established in 2011, our Diocesan Teen Retreats cater for young people aged 14-17.  This year’s Teen Retreat will be held to the south of Sydney at Stanwell Tops from Sunday 17 December until Friday 22 December.  The programme will include services on 18-19 December for the commemoration of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia.  For more information visit www.rocorteenretreat.info.


A collection to aid the construction of a church of Saint Nicholas in the Transbaikal Territory - 28/07/2017

Under the leadership of Sophia Mikhailovna Boikov, the Sydney-based Russo-Chinese Orthodox Mission is raising funds for the construction of a church in Shonoktui, a small village in the Borzinsky district of the Zabaykalsky Krai.  The Zabaykalsky Krai, or Transbaikal Territory, is a federal subject of Russia that shares borders with China and Mongolia.  The church is to be dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the wonderworker of Myra in Lycia, and will be within the Chita Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The building project has the blessing of the Diocesan authorities in Russia and the collection of funds in this Diocese has the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop George.   In July 2016 a cross was blessed at the site on which the church will be constructed.   Donations can be made at the candle-desk in our church, or by direct deposit to the account of the Russo-Chinese Orthodox Mission (Commonwealth Bank of Australia BSB 062-130 ACN 10484933).  This is a worthy project – please give generously!



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