Grice, Thomas David

Mission House artist. A child of the manse, son of the Rev. George Kellett Grice, David Grice was born in Altrincham on 13 September 1922 and lived in five circuits before joining the army when he was 19. After the war, he trained at Bradford School of Art and worked as a graphic designer. His life changed for ever when he won a Methodist Missionary Society poster competition. He worked at Mission House for the next fifteen years and met his future wife, Clarice Twigg, there. David was responsible for the layout and graphics of magazines, such as 'Kingdom Overseas', and painted portraits, ranging from the first Methodist missionary, Thomas Coke, to missionaries of his own day such as Harold Rattenbury. When, years later, he was asked if these could be reproduced, he replied that work he did as a paid member of staff belonged not to him but to the Methodist Church. He saw his talents as a gift from God to be used in God's service. He continued to design for Mission House after he went freelance, but also produced work for other religious organisations, including lively, colourful book jackets for religious publishing houses. He also painted for his own pleasure. He saw images in clouds, loved textures, and enjoyed using the shape and colour of shells as the base for some of his abstract paintings. Holidays in the Lake District inspired landscapes, while the Bible, a constant source of stimulation, prompted dramatic depictions of gospel stories and meditative images of the crucifixion.

Going freelance enabled David to leave London, and in 1973 he and Clarice moved to Canterbury, where they lived for the rest of their lives as members of St. Peter's Methodist Church. A quiet, contented man, David loved his home and took delight in simple pleasures. When Clarice's mobility and sight declined, he became her 24/7 carer, a difficult task he performed with love, extraordinary patience and no complaints. Gentle and unassuming, he never expected anything as his due. He survived Clarice by five and a half years, dying as quietly as he had lived, on 22 January 2014.