The wonderful thing about the Glen Iris Uniting Church is the original piece of leadlight. The leadlight panels were commissioned by another church in the area after their church burnt down. The Glen Iris Uniting Church offered their facilities to them while a new church was being built.
Years past and the Glen Iris Uniting Church was demolished and rebuilt. The original leadlight panels were stored away and kept in a Leadlight Factory to be restored. After many years in storage the Leadlights whereabouts were unknown. Philip Parker purchased a number of leadlight panel’s years later and noticed when going through the racks some of the leadlight panels had a little sticker on them saying ‘Glen Iris Uniting Church’.
The Church was so pleased that the original Leadlights had been found they asked Philip to find the perfect place to put them in their new Church. Philip found the perfect location in the foyer of the new building. His idea was to incorporate the slightly contemporary feel of the Leadlights designed in the sixties into a very contemporary look that would work in the new space.
His inspiration came from the many contributing nationalities to the Church and its community. He found the word WELCOME written across the entrance and felt the overwhelming presence of community within the Church.
Philip developed the idea using a series of circles and the word WELCOME in many languages of the community, the WELCOME window was born.
Philip also asked the Church for the congregation’s favourite passages from the Bible. The passages were then digitally printed across the majority of the glass used to create the WELCOME window. Philip wanted many people to feel connected to the WELCOME window through links to their nationality or by their favourite passages from the Bible.
From the design stage all the way through to installation The WELCOME window took 18 months. The window itself was ground-breaking due to the use of so many components of glass. Philip and his team used a new triple glazing system to layer a number of components including the original leadlight, stained glass painting, glass fusing, glass screen printing and digital printing. All of which were trapped between layers of safety glass that were sandblasted and toughened.All these layers combined create a layered effect of different techniques of working with glass and hence the striking result.