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 current (Autumn 2017) English-language Schedule of Services here. A PDF version of the current Russian-language Schedule of Services can be accessed here.
Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church ,
3 Irving Street; Wallsend, NSW 2256 AustraliaDetailed Map
Forthcoming services and activities
The General Service of Anointing, Tuesday 4 April
In the Orthodox tradition it is customary to have the General Service of Anointing ("Соборование") during Great Lent. In this service there are seven readings from the Apostol, seven readings from the Holy Gospel, seven prayers, and the faithful are - if there are sufficient clergy present - anointed seven times with oil, blessed and sanctified during the service, for the healing of soul and body. The practice of anointing with oil for spiritual and physical healing is referred to by the Apostle James: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15). This year our parish will have this service at 6.00pm on Tuesday 4 April. Note: This is a sacrament in which only baptised Orthodox Christians may participate. Those planning to confess beforehand should do so well in advance.
Our next services: 8-9 April, Palm Sunday
Our next services will be All-night Vigil at 6.00pm on Saturday 8 April and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Sunday 9 April, the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem - Palm Sunday. During All-night Vigil, wheat, wine, oil and five loaves will be blessed at Vespers and palms and pussy-willow branches will be blessed at Matins.
Palm Sunday Collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem
On Sunday 9 April 2017, Palm Sunday, our parish will take up a collection to benefit the Russian Eccelesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. This collection is taken up on Palm Sunday every year in all the parishes, monasteries and missions of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Collection envelopes will be available in church from Saturday 25 March. Many places of immense spiritual and historical significance in the Holy Land have been entrusted to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and we have many monastics there who care for these holy places, undertake good works, and pray for the whole world. Please give generously! Those who wish to make a donation online direct to the Mission may do so here.
A baptism - Sofia Jardine
On Saturday 11 March the parish rector baptised Sofia Jardine, the infant daughter of Scott and Liudmila Jardine and a baby sister to Alexander. Sofia, who was baptised in honour of the Martyr Sofia, had as her godparents Diane Jardine, William Lynch and Natalia Khyzhniak. We warmly congratulate Scott, Liudmila, Diane, William and Natalia, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Sofia many years!
Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2017 and 2018
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 2018. 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. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.
Services on 25-26 February, Forgiveness Sunday
On Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February we had services for Forgiveness Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent. As is the practice in many parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, Vespers with rite of asking forgiveness was served immediately following Divine Liturgy. A collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action, raising $240.00. After the rite of asking forgiveness on Sunday many people gathered in the parish hall to enjoy pancakes prepared by the Ladies' Auxiliary.
Maslenitsa in Newcastle!
On Friday 24 February, the Friday of Cheesfare Week (“Maslenitsa”), a pancake evening was held in our parish hall in Wallsend. This event was organised by the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary together with members of the Russian-speaking community of Newcastle and the wider Hunter region. 73 adults and 9 children were present. The ladies prepared 500 pancakes and served them with a variety of toppings, both savoury and sweet. Traditional appetisers (“zakuski”) preceded the pancakes, and dessert included pancakes with cottage cheese, “Mishka” cake, and fruit with tea. The hall was beautifully decorated with Russian items. The evening was enjoyed by all, and nearly $2,000 was raised to help the work of the Ladies’ Auxiliary. We offer thanks to those who worked so hard to make the evening a success: Elena Ferguson, Irina Lupish, Raisa Zyza, Lucy Szabunia, Dean Crawford, Olga Martin, Oksana Grim, Anna Shvetz, Magdalina Savonov, Anu Kinnunen, Lydia Vasilik, Lena Gan, Anna Kalamoutsis, Klavdia Dalheeva, Tatiana Parish, Julia Dzhalilova, Julia and Sasha Petevskih, and Julia Dulah.
Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services
Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2017 - is now available in PDF format. It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha, in addition to Radonitsa and our parish feast of Saint Nicholas on 22 May. A copy of the English-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here. Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.
Services on 11-12 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son
On Saturday 11 February and Sunday 12 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and in honour of the Three Hierarchs: Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. In view of the extreme temperatures expected - Wallsend was expected to reach 47 degrees celcius on Saturday! - a decision was made beforehand to have the shorter service of Vespers on Saturday evening. At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday three new icons for our church were blessed: All Saints of Ekaterinburg, All Saints of Ufa, and Saint Joseph the All-Comely. A memorial litia was then served in anticipation of the anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archpriest Nicholas Grant - active in the life of the Diocese as a layman and clergyman for 45 years - and Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) - former Bishop of Stuttgart and Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980 until 1992 - close friends who reposed on 14 February and 15 February 1995 respectively. Both Vladyka Pavel and Father Nicholas were great friends of our parish. May their memory be eternal!
A baptism - Alexandra and Sofia Unwin
On Saturday 11 February the parish rector baptised sisters Syanna (3 years old) and Sofia (3 months), the daughters of Scott Unwin and Bogdana Cankova-Unwin and sisters to Gabrielle. Their godparents were Vyara Caneva and Timothy Moss. In baptism Syanna was given the name Alexandra in honour of the Martyr Alexandra the Empress, and Sofia was baptised in honour of the Martyr Sofia. Congratulations to Scott, Bogdana, Vyara and Timothy. May God grant His newly-baptised handmaidens Alexandra and Sofia many years!
Church & Community Life
A fundraising dinner to benefit the Presentation Convent and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery
On the evening of Sunday 28 May 2017 a fundraising dinner will be held at the Fontana Amarosa Reception Centre, next to the Greek Orthodox Church of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Liverpool, NSW, to assist the Presentation Sisterhood in Bungarby, NSW and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala, NSW, monastic communities of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. During the evening there will be a performance by the Melisma Ensemble, a slideshow presentation by Abbot Sergei of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery on ‘Hagia Sophia: The Mother of Churches’, and a performance from the Russian Orthodox Choir. Child-minding will be available. Tickets are $50.00 for adults and $15.00 for children aged 15 and younger. Seating will be at round tables of 12. More information, including information about a fundraising raffle, is available at https://cabrapokrov.org/fundraising-for-monasteries.