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 26-27 October, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 30/11/2019
On Saturday 26 October and Sunday 27 October we will have services for the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Matins will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday morning.
The funeral of Nina Diamante - 16/10/2019
On Thursday 17 October our parish rector served the funeral of Nina Diamante (nee Kowalczuk). The responses were sung by Readers Nektary Kotlaroff and Eustratius Papageorgiou of the Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia. Nina, who was born in Minsk, Belarus, in 1936, departed this life on 10 October at 83 years of age. She was afterwards laid to rest in a crypt at Sandgate Cemetery alongside her beloved husband Silvio. We offer hearfelt condolences to Nina's children Maria, Anna, Peter and Paul and their families, and to her sister Maria and wider family. May God grant His newly-departed handmaiden rest with the saints and life everlasting!
Our 2019 Annual General Meeting - 14/10/2019
On Sunday 13 October our parish held its 2019 Annual General Meeting. The 2019 Annual Report was presented and accepted. Irene Lupish, Olga Bogacheva, Lucea Szabunia, Anu Kinnunen, Dean Crawford and Paul Pereboeff were elected to serve on the 2019-20 Parish Council. Subdeacon Luke Goura and Elise Goura were elected Child Safety Contact Persons, and Paul Pereboeff were chosen as the parish delegate to the Nineteenth Diocesan Assembly.
Services on 12-13 October, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost - 13/10/2019
On Saturday 12 October and Sunday 13 October we had services for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Hieromartyr Gregory, enlightener of Greater Armenia (+c.335). Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning. In anticipation of 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 was preceded by a blessing of water and followed by a moleben to the Mother of God with a procession around the church. At the end of the moleben Many Years was sung for Matushka Marie, who had celebrated her name-day on the previous day. Following the service the 2019 Annual General Meeting of our parish was convened.
Our 2019 Annual Report - 08/10/2019
Our 2019 Annual Report, including the independently audited 2018-19 Financial Statements, is now available. The 2019 Annual Report will be presented to our parish Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming Sunday, 13 October 2019. A copy of the report is available in PDF form here. Copies will be emailed to parish members this week . We encourage our parishioners and friends with questions or comments in relation to our Annual Report to contact us.
A second pastoral visit to the New South Wales Mid North Coast - 29/09/2019
With the blessing of Bishop George, on Saturday 28 September and Sunday 29 September 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 Saturday morning a home was blessed in Wirrimbi, just north of Macksville, and on Sunday morning, the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross, Divine Liturgy was served in Barraganyatti in the home of Evan and Katerina Cotten. At the end of Divine Liturgy there was a blessing of water, after which an icon of Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye, the work of a member of the community, was blessed. Later in the day beehives belonging to the Cotten family were blessed. God willing, Father James will visit the area again at the end of December 2019, performing a baptism and serving Divine Liturgy in Coffs Harbour. It is hoped that these visits will lead to the formal establishment of a mission under the heavenly protection of Saint Symeon, a revered saint of Siberia and the Russian Far East. Those interested in this initiative may contact the Mid North Coast Orthodox community by email.
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.
Celebrating 10 years of our Russian-language playgroup, "Teremok" - 14/09/2019
On Saturday 14 September 2019 our Russian-language playgroup “Teremok” celebrated its tenth anniversary. On a beautiful spring morning, playgroup families and friends gathered under the oak tree in our church yard to watch the children give a performance that included the Russian folktale “Repka” ("The Giant Turnip"). Afterwards there was morning tea with a large birthday cake for all to share. Irene Lupish and Alla O’Regan gives speeches of congratulations and encouragement and the children enjoyed the visit of a petting zoo. We warmly congratulate playgroup coordinator Anastasia Harwood and all her helpers on this important anniversary.
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.
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.