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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 Spring (September, October and November) 2017 English-language Schedule of Services here.  A PDF version of the Russian-language Spring 2017 Schedule of Services can be accessed here.


Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church ,
3 Irving Street; Wallsend, NSW 2256 Australia
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Forthcoming services and activities
The fortieth anniversary of the repose of Archpriest John Lupish

On Wednesday 22 November it will be the fortieth anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable founder of our parish, Archpriest John Lupish.  To prayerfully observe this anniversary we will have a Great Panikhida ("parastas") at 7.00pm on Tuesday 21 November and Divine Liturgy for the departed at 9.00am on Wednesday 22 November.  Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida will be served at Father John's grave in Sandgate Cemetery.

A collection to benefit the ROCOR Fund for Assistance

In parishes of our Diocese a collection is generally taken up every year during November to help the work of the Fund for Assistance of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  The Fund for Assistance supports the moral-spiritual education of our youth, provides aid to our clergy, and distributes emergency relief to the missions of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  This year, the collection will be taken up in our parish on Sunday 26 November.  Collection envelopes are available in church.  Those who wish to make a donation but who are unable to be in church on this day may make a direct donation to the Fund for Assistance here.

Our next services: 25-26 November, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of Saint John Chrysostom

Our next services will be Matins at 6.00pm on Saturday 25 November and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Sunday 26 November, the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (+407 AD).

Parish Life
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.

Bishop George presents awards to five of our parishioners - 22/10/2017

Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday 22 October Bishop George of Canberra presented awards to five of our parishoners.  Nikolai Goura and Eugenia Millard were presented with parish Certificates of Appreciation and Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish, Irene Lupish and Anna Morhun were presented with the prestigious Diocesan Cross.  Nikolai Goura received his award for his significant contribution over many years to the life of the Russian Orthodox Church in Newcastle and his twelve years of faithful service as the Warden of our parish, and Eugenia Millard was recognised for her work in our parish and in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Theophany in Mayfield, NSW.  It was particularly noted on Eugenia's certificate that she has been exemplary in her devotion to both parishes; her fundraising; her care for the beauty and cleanliness of the church; and her faithful service as a reader and chorister.  The Diocesan Crosses - the first awarded in our parish - were bestowed on the recipients in recognition of their distinguished service to the parish and the wider Russian Orthodox Church for over fifty years.  We warmly congratulate Nikolai, Eugenia, Subdeacon Vitaly, Irene and Anna, and wish them every blessing in this life and in the age to come.

Services on 21-22 October, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost - 22/10/2017

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October we had services for the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Holy Apostle James, son of Alphaeus (+1st Century AD) and the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council.  To the great joy of our parish, Bishop George of Canberra presided at Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  At the end of Divine Liturgy special prayers were again offered, in the context of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage.  In his sermon Bishop George spoke about the raising of the widow’s son (Luke 7:11-16), the power of prayer to change  the course of our lives, and of the particular need for prayer given the contemporary attacks in Australia and throughout the Western world on Christian culture and tradition.  Following the service a number of parish and Diocesan awards were presented, after which all gathered in the church hall for a festive lunch.  Joining us for lunch was Father Dalibor Pavlovic, the rector of Saint Naum of Ohrid Serbian Orthodox Church in Broadmeadow, a number of his parishioners, guests from Sydney, and visitors from abroad.  During the meal the parish rector welcomed Bishop George, thanking him for his pastoral attention and for his words of instruction and encouragement.  He also welcomed the visitors and congratulated the recipients of the awards, praising their example of service to the parish.

Services on 13-14 October, the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God - 14/10/2017

On Friday 13 October and Saturday 14 October we had services for the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God. This feast-day is of particular importance to our parish, the first Russian Orthodox church in the Hunter Valley – the small barracks chapel at the Greta Migrant Camp – having been dedicated in honour of it in 1949.  Because of this we have come to observe it as a second patronal feast-day, with All-night vigil served on the eve and the Lesser Blessing of Water, Divine Liturgy and a moleben to the Mother of God served on the day of the feast itself.  Following the moleben the parish rector, congratulating the faithful on the feast, spoke briefly about the origin of the commemoration and of the many examples of the protection of nations, cities and individuals through the prayers of the Mother of God.  Set in the middle of the church for veneration was the parish icon of the Mother of God, "Protectress of Newcastle".

Our 2017 Annual General Meeting - 08/10/2017

On Sunday 8 October our parish held its 2017 Annual General Meeting.  The 2017 Annual Report was presented and accepted and a draft 2017-18 budget was considered.  Nikolai Goura was elected Warden for a further three-year term.   Anna Morhun, Irene Lupish, Anu Kinnunen, Lucea Szabunia, Olga Bogacheva and Dean Crawford were again elected to the Parish Council, and Matushka Marie Carles and Olga Bogacheva were reappointed to the role of Child Safety Contact Persons.

Services on 7-8 October, the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost - 08/10/2017

On Saturday 7 October and Sunday 8 October we had services for the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of one of the most beloved of Russian saints, Venerable Sergius the Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh (+1392).  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector referred to the words of Saint Sergius: “If you want to serve God, prepare your heart not for food, not for drink, not for rest, not for ease, but for suffering, so that you may endure all temptations, trouble and sorrow.  Prepare for severities, fasts, spiritual struggles and many afflictions, for “by many afflictions is it appointed to us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Acts 14:22)”.  At the end of the Sunday service special prayers were again offered for God's mercy and forgiveness, for the defeat of all impiety, and for the strengthening of lawful and blessed marriage, and the final announcement concerning the parish Annual General Meeting was made.

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

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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