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 Summer (December, January and February) 2018-19 Schedule of Services here. A PDF version of the Russian-language Summer 2018-19 Schedule of Services can be accessed here.
Forthcoming services and activities
Our 2018 Annual General Meeting - 24/02/2019
WIth Bishop George's blessing our 2018 parish Annual General Meeting (AGM), initially scheduled for Sunday 25 November 2018 but postponed due to unforeseen circusmtances, will now be held at 12.00pm on Sunday 24 February 2019. A formal Notice concerning the AGM - including the agenda and important information for parish members - is available here. A copy of the 2018 Annual Report is available here.
Services on 23-24 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 24/02/2019
Our next services will be Matins at 6.00pm on Saturday 23 February and Divine Liturgy at 9.00am on Sunday 24 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday a collection will be taken up to assist Orthodox Action and the parish will hold its 2018 Annual General Meeting.
February 2019 collection for Orthodox Action - 24/02/2019
Each year in February the parishes of Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia take up a collection to assist the work of Orthodox Action, a charitable organisation that operates in Sydney and Melbourne under the auspices of the Diocese and the heavenly protection of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco. Orthodox Action works to help the poor and needy, destitute children and orphanages in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. In 2019 our parish will take up this collection on Sunday 24 February. Collection envelopes will be available in church from the the evening of Saturday 9 February. Please give generously!
Services on 9-10 February, the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - 10/02/2019
On Saturday 9 February and Sunday 10 February we had services for the Thirty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. As this Sunday was the final Sunday before the beginning of the period of preparation for Great Lent, the first appointed reading from the Holy Gospel (Luke 19:1-10) at Divine Liturgy concerned Zaccheus, the tax collector from Jericho who changed his way of life after encountering Christ and receiving Him into his home. In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about Zaccheus as a model of repentance and the New Martyrs and Confessors as models of faithfulness to Christ in the face of persecution. Following Divine Liturgy announcements were made concerning the forthcoming collection to assist Orthodox Action and the rescheduled parish Annual General Meeting to be held on Sunday 24 February 2019.
Services on 26-27 January, the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - 27/01/2019
On Saturday 26 January and Sunday 27 January we had services for the Thirty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost and the Leavetaking of the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Matins on Saturday evening was served by Father Dionysios Halim and Protodeacon German Polorotoff, a cleric of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Community in Tweed Heads, NSW. On Sunday morning our parish rector Archpriest James Carles presided at Divine Liturgy for the first time since November 2018, concelebrating together with Fathers Dionysios and German. At the Prayer before the Amvon a brief moleben of thanksgiving was served in recognition of the work of the former Theophany parish of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) (1994-2009), and following the dismissal prayers were offered for the living and departed founders, benefactors and parishioners of that church. At the conclusion of the service our parish rector thanked Father Dionysios for his work in the parish and his personal support over the previous two months, presenting him with a copy of the parish icon of the Mother of God, “Protectress of Newcastle”. A festive meal was then held in to church hall in honour of the parish rector’s fiftieth birthday.
A visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to our parish - 25/01/2019
On Friday 25 January our small parish had the great honour of receiving the revered Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, one of the great treasures of the Russian Orthodox Church and the “Directress” of the Russian Diaspora. A small group of the Russian and Serbian Orthodox faithful of Newcastle gathered early in the evening for a moleben to the Mother of God with the reading of the Akathist in Slavonic and English. Following the service the faithful venerated the icon and were anointed with oil from the map that burns before it in the cathedral dedicated to it in New York.
Services on 18-19 January, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Theophany) - 19/01/2019
On Friday 18 January and Saturday 19 January we had services for the Great Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ - Theophany. All-night vigil - Great Compline and Matins - withe the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Friday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served on Saturday morning. The services were led by Father Dionysios Halim, with our parish rector concelebrating at Divine Liturgy and the Great Blessing of Water.
Services on 12-13 January, the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ - 12/01/2019
On Saturday 12 January and Sunday 13 January we had services for the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ and in honour of Saints Joseph the Betrothed, David the King and James the Brother of the Lord, kinsmen of the Lord customarily remembered on this Sunday. Our parish rector served at Divine Liturgy for the first time since November 2018, concelebrating with Father Dionysios Halim.
Services on 6-7 January, the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ (Christmas) - 07/01/2019
On Sunday 6 January and Monday 7 January we had services for the Great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The services were led by Father Dionysios Halim, with our parish rector joining him during the evening service for the customary blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves and the singing of the festal magnification. Our small church was beautifully adorned with a Christmas tree and green branches. On Monday the faithful from across the Hunter Valley and from Sydney, the Central Coast and the Mid North Coast gathered for Divine Liturgy. In place of a sermon, our parish rector read aloud the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion in Russian and English. Many remained afterwards for a festive meal in the church hall and a visit from Father Christmas.
Church & Community Life
Now available - the January 2019 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 28/02/2019
The January 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: “Послание Архиерейского Синода Клиру и Пастве Русской Зарубежной Церкви”; "Патриаршество на Руси"; "Торжество Православия – торжество здравого смысла”; and more. In English: “The Epistle of the Synod of Bishops to the Clergy and Flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia”; “Prototypes of the Nativity: What did prophets say about the coming of the Saviour?”; “Where do liturgical colours come from?”; “A list of last minute rules and suggestions in preparation for Great Lent”; and more. Also included is a useful list of Diocesan parishes, monastic establishments and clergy. Copies are $5.00.
The 2019 Pastoral Conference of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 27/03/2019
On Tuesday 26 March and Wednesday 27 March 2019 the clergymen of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather in Sydney for their customary Great Lenten Pastoral Conference. On Tuesday evening the clergy will meet at the church of All Saints of Russia in Croydon for the Rule of Preparation for Holy Communion at 5.00pm and Lenten Matins and confession at 6.00pm. On Wednesday morning from 8.00am the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating. Those of the faithful who wish to do so are welcome to attend the service on Wednesday morning and – if properly prepared – to receive Holy Communion. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy will meet to discuss a range of pastoral and liturgical matters.