The Gospel of St Mark Commemorative Screen – external view
The Gospel of St Mark Commemorative Screen was launched at the church building, 100 Hodgkinson St. on 25 April 2012. This double-sided coloured glass screen, designed by David Wong, and commemorating the work of Rev Dr Athol Gill, focuses on texts in the Gospel of St Mark that present ideas of community and discipleship.
More information: http://atholgillscreen.weebly.com/
The Rev Dr William Athol Gill
Athol Gill was born in Wauchope, NSW on 5th Sept, 1937. On 25th April, 1959 he married Judith Prior. In 1960 he enrolled to became a Baptist minister studying at the Baptist Theological College of NSW. A strong call to higher studies took him to London where he obtained his BD (Hons) and later to Zurich where he attained his Masters and a Doctor of Theology.
Athol lectured in Biblical Studies in both Baptist and Methodist Theological Colleges in Brisbane, moved to Melbourne in 1974 to become Dean of Whitley College then in 1979 was appointed Professor of New Testament where he continued until his death. He was widely respected for his academic work but also for his remarkable commitment to living the faith he taught. Athol lived, with his family, in Christian Community for nearly all his adult life – in Brisbane at the House of Freedom, and for his last seventeen years as founding leader of the House of the Gentle Bunyip linked with the Clifton Hill Baptist Church, which later became known as the Community Church of St Mark.
The House of the Gentle Bunyip came into being in 1975 during the Anzac Day weekend when Athol was teaching on “Discipleship” from the Gospel of St Mark. He announced he was commencing a Christian community to explore and expound the meaning of discipleship, thirty five, mainly young and single people, agreed to join him.
Athol was a provocative advocate for the poor and for social justice. He campaigned relentlessly for the church to reflect the teachings of Jesus and for a peaceful and just society. This was evident in his simple lifestyle and through his practical engagement in mission with the poor and marginalised.
Honoured in Australia and internationally as a brilliant theologian, teacher, and author, Athol is also remembered for his love of sport, especially for the Carlton Football Club, his unique sense of humour and his warm humanity. He died suddenly March 9, 1992.
The artist: David Wong
David Wong is a designer and artist working from his studio/home in Brunswick. On receiving the Thomas J Watson Foundation Fellowship Award in 1973 in the USA, David travelled to Europe, the Middle East and Australia to study alternative communities. While in Melbourne he met Athol Gill and became involved with the House of the Gentle Bunyip as an associate member and a staff worker; he remained in community for 5 years. He has also been a member of the Community Church of St Mark.
His art embraces a wide range of media including paint, wood, metal, glass, plant and earth materials. He has completed several public art commissions and has exhibited at galleries including Heide and the NGV Access Gallery. His work on design teams includes the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. David also facilitates communities in projects; the design and construction of the Chapel of Hope for the House of the Gentle Bunyip at the Community Church of St Mark is such an example.
David is a lecturer at university and community organisations and teaches primary and secondary students through the Arts Victoria Artists in Schools program.
Kathrine Bergman, David Cunnington, Michael and Peter Jorgensen, Eva Rugel, and Huon and Spencer Wong worked with David on this unique installation.