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Saint Nicholas' is an Orthodox Christian parish of Russian tradition serving Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.  Our parish includes Belarussians, Ukrainians, Russians, Finns, Macedonians, and Orthodox Christians of other backgrounds. 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.  We use Church Slavonic, the liturgical language of the Slavic peoples, and English, the language of this country, in our services.  Established in 1952, our parish is the oldest continuously-functioning Orthodox parish in the Hunter Valley.


Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church
3 Irving Street; Wallsend, NSW 2287 Australia
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Visiting our parish


We usually have services on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and on the preceding Saturday evenings.  Please note: During March, April and May 2024 different arrangements will be in place.  Our Schedule of Services can be viewed here.  Our church is generally only open when we have services.  Visitors are always welcome! If you would like to contact us before visiting, it is best to send an email.  We check this inbox regularly and will respond to messages within 24 hours.  You can also contact us in the same way to arrange baptisms and memorial services.

The availability of our parish priest


Our parish priest, Archpriest James Carles, serves here in a voluntary capacity.  He does not live in the  Hunter Region but travels here for services from the Central Coast.  He has secular employment on two days per week and is presently undertaking full-time tertiary study.  In addition to our parish, he has responsibility for Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church in Gosford and Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission on the New South Wales Mid North Coast.  During study periods (in 2024, 19 February-15 June and 22 July-16 November) his pastoral availability is strictly limited to scheduled services in the three communities; individual “needs” that arise in connection with these scheduled services (e.g. confessions, molebens, and memorial services); essential parish administrative tasks; and end-of-life care and funerals.  Father James is available to talk after after Divine Liturgy on the Sundays when we have a service.  He can also be contacted by email.

Supporting our parish


Our parish is a small one that relies on community support and the voluntary service of our clergy to make ends meet.  If you find this website to be of interest or of assistance, please consider helping us.  Donations may be made directly to our bank account:


St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church 

BSB: 032-509 Account number: 281104


May the Lord bless you!

Forthcoming services and activities
A service at Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission on the NSW Mid North Coast - 30/06/2024

On the weekend of Saturday-Sunday 29-30 June our parish rector will be visiting Saint Symeon of Verkhoturye Orthodox Mission on the NSW Mid North Coast.  On Sunday 30 June, the the First Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of All Saints, the Hours and Divine Liturgy  will be served at Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre, 31 Hyde Street, Bellingen NSW 2454.  As the Sunday of All Saints has since 2008 been designated the Day of Youth of the Russian Church Abroad, there will be a moleben for our youth at the end of Divine Liturgy.  All are welcome!

Parish Life
Services on 13-14 July, the Third Sunday after Pentecost - 23/06/2024

On Saturday 13 July and Sunday 14 July we will have services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of All Saints of Russia.  Matins will be served at 6.00pm on Saturday, and the Hours and Divine Liturgy will be served at 9.00am on Sunday.

Services on 22-23 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 23/06/2024

On Saturday 22 June and Sunday 23 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening.  Prior to the service our small church had been beautifully decorated with flowers and green branches in honour of the life-giving Holy Spirit.  On Sunday morning, the Hours and Divine Liturgy were immediately followed by Vespers with the reading of the customary "kneeling prayers".  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for the unity of the Orthodox Church, peace in Ukraine and peace in the Holy Land, and the newly-baptised servant of God Cyprian received Holy Communion for the first time.

The baptism of an adult convert to Orthodoxy - 22/06/2024

On Saturday 22 June, the eve of the Great Feast of Pentecost, the parish rector baptised an adult convert to Orthodoxy, Corey Minns.  In baptism Corey took the name Cyprian in honour of Hieromartyr Cyprian of Carthage.  Cyprian had as his sponsor Thaddeus Anthoney.  Afterwards, family members, friends and parishioners gathered in the church hall for a festive BBQ lunch.  We warmly congratulate the newly-baptised servant of God Cyprian, wishing him good health, every blessing from above, and many years!

The funeral and burial of Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish - 21/06/2024

On Tuesday 18 June approximately 200 mourners gathered in our church for the funeral of Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish (+9 June 2024).  Our parish rector conducted the service with the assistance of Deacon Michal Matys.  A visiting choir sang beautifully under the direction of Andrei Lapteff.  Following the service many gathered in the church hall and grounds for refreshments.  The burial at Sandgate Cemetery – delayed as a result of recent heavy rain – took place on Friday 21 June.  That morning, a small group of family members and close friends gathered for a graveside service in the Macedonian section of the cemetery.  Memory eternal!

The repose of Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish - 09/06/2024

On Sunday 9 June we learned with great sadness of the repose, that morning, of Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish.  Vitaly, the eldest son of ever-memorable Archpriest John Lupish, was a founding member of our parish.  An indispensable helper to his father in parish life, he was also the designer of our church and hall, a participant in both building projects, and an active member of the Parish Council.  After the repose of his mother, Matushka Maria, in 1979, he became our choir director.  Tonsured a reader and ordained subdeacon by the ever-memorable Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) in 1984, Vitaly assisted the many clergymen assigned to serve our parish after his father’s repose in 1977.  It is impossible to over-estimate Vitaly's contribution to Saint Nicholas' in the course of over 70 years. In recognition of his long and distinguished service to our parish he received a number of church awards, amongst which were the prestigious Diocesan Cross and the medal commemorating 75 years of our Diocese.  He is survived by his beloved wife Irene and their children Larissa and Alexander and their families, and by his brother John and his family, to whom we offer heartfelt condolences.  Funeral details will be shared in due course.

Services on 8-9 June, the Sixth Sunday of Pascha - 09/06/2024

On Saturday 8 June and Sunday 9 June we had services for the Sixth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Blind Man.   Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and peace in the Holy Land.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish.

The May 2024 meeting of the Parish Council - 30/05/2024

On the evening of Wednesday 29 May the Parish Council met by videoconference.  This was the fifth meeting of the Parish Council in 2024.  The minutes of the April 2024 meeting were ratified, and the parish rector presented his usual report covering the life of the parish and the Diocese, Orthodox life in Newcastle, and his own pastoral activity.  Reports were also presented by the Warden and the Treasurer.  Consideration was given to initial design drawings prepared by Beyond Space Residential Design, an architectural firm engaged in February 2024 to develop a plan for much-needed improvements to our church, amenities, hall, and grounds; the planned improvements include new church entrances, an accessible toilet, new paving, and a small extension to the church hall.  The Parish Council will take a break during June 2024 and next meet late in July 2024, again by videoconference.  At the July 2024 meeting it is expected that the Parish Council will consider a draft 2023-24 Annual Report and an updated plan to ensure the safety, security and stability of our parish.

Services on 21-22 May, the feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas - 22/05/2024

On Tuesday 21 May and Wednesday 22 May we had services commemorating the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari, Italy, in 1087 AD.  This is the patronal feast-day of our church.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Tuesday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Wednesday morning. Divine Liturgy on Wednesday was preceded by the Lesser Blessing of Water and followed by a moleben to Saint Nicholas with a cross procession around our small church.  It being a working day, only a small number of our parishioners and friends were able to be present.  Upon completion of the services on Wednesday there was a simple festive meal in the church hall.

Our Winter 2024 Schedule of Services - 19/05/2024

Our Winter 2023 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available.  Services of particular note during this period will be All-night Vigil and Divine Liturgy on Saturday-Sunday 22-22 June for the Great Feast of Pentecost, Matins and Divine Liturgy on Saturday-Sunday 13-14 July for All Saints of Russia, Matins and Divine Liturgy on Saturday-Sunday 27-28 July for the Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils and for Saint Vladimir, and All-night Vigil and Divine Liturgy on Tuesday-Wednesday 27-28 August for the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2023 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2023 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies are also available in church.

Services on 18-19 May, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 19/05/2024

Edited: On Saturday 18 May and Sunday 19 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearers.  On this day the Holy Orthodox Church remembers those righteous men and women who buried Christ and later came to his tomb bearing myrrh and sweet spices: Mary Magdalen; Mary, the wife of Cleopas; Joanna; Salome, mother of the sons of Zebedee; Susanna; Martha and Mary, the sisters of Saint Lazarus; Mary, mother of the Apostle James; Righteous Joseph of Arimathea; and Nicodemus.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and peace in the Holy Land and the newly-baptised servant of God Joseph, an adult convert received into Orthodoxy by baptism on the previous day, received Holy Communion for the first time.  Following Divine Liturgy pieces of the Artos, a special loaf of bread blessed at the end of Divine Liturgy on Pascha and divided on Thomas Sunday in Gosford, were given to the faithful.

Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha in Wallsend, 2024 - 05/05/2024

This year, our parish again had a small number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels was served in the evening on Thursday 2 May and Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon on Friday 3 May.  On Saturday 4 May Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 5 May, the Sunday of Pascha.    Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Matins.  Many then remained for Divine Liturgy and a small celebration in the church hall afterwards.  At all the services, the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.

Church & Community Life
The Fourteenth ROCOR All-Diaspora Orthodox Youth Conference, Stuttgart (Germany), 25 June-1 July 2024 - 01/07/2024

From 25 June to 1 July 2024 the Fourteenth All-Diaspora Orthodox Youth Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) will be held in Stuttgart, Germany.  The All-Diaspora Youth Conferences, which began in Montreal, Canada, in 1972, bring together ROCOR youth from around the world.  Over the years, many important friendships have been formed at these conferences.  The theme of the 2024 Conference is “Preserving our Orthodox Identity and Heritage in the Diaspora”.  It will be held at a retreat in the mountains near Stuttgart and lectures will be in Russian, English, and German.  The conference program will also include excursions, sports, cultural activities, and a youth ball.  Youth (aged 18-24) of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese who wish to attend should email for further information.

The visit of Metropolitan Nicholas and the 'Kursk-Root' Icon of the Mother of God to the Australian-New Zealand Diocese - 26/07/2024

From Friday 5 July until Friday 26 July, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas (Olkhovsky) of Eastern America and New York will make his first visit to our Australian-New Zealand Diocese since his election as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  Accompanying Metropolitan Nicholas will be the Wonderworking “Kursk-Root” Icon of the Mother of God, the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora.  As he will be in our Diocese for a relatively short period of time, Metropolitan Nicholas will only be able to visit parishes in New Zealand, the city of Sydney, and the state of Victoria.  In Sydney he will visit the Kentlyn Convent and the Strathfield, Croydon, Fairfield, Carlton, Centennial Park, and Cabramatta parishes.  A full schedule of planned visits, current as of 5 June 2024, is available here.  The icon will remain in Australia until Thursday 24 October 2024, during which time it is expected that it will visit all the parishes and monastic establishments of the Diocese.

Important coming events in Orthodox Newcastle - 31/07/2024

On Saturday 30 June 2024, Deacon Mark Donnelly of the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Parish and Community of Newcastle will be ordained to the priesthood during Divine Liturgy at that parish.  Deacon Mark, a convert to Orthodoxy, is a respected clergyman who is known to many in our parish.  His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia will travel to Newcastle and preside at Matins and Divine Liturgy at the Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox church.  More information is available here.  On the same day, the newly-elevated Metropolitan Siluan of the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand will visit Saint Naum of Ohrid Serbian Orthodox Church and preside at Divine Liturgy in anticipation of its patronal feast (“Slava”).  More information is available here.

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