Wellington Scoop

Death of Des Britten – chef, priest, city missioner

News from WCC
Wellington is today mourning the death of Sir Desmond Britten.

“Sir Des was a giant of the Wellington community and his passing leaves a huge gap in our city,” said mayor Andy Foster. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time.

“Sir Des was well known as a local restaurateur, priest and TV chef but his legacy in Wellington will be best remembered through his many years as City Missioner. The compassion he showed for others and commitment to helping them was an inspiration to us all.

“In his 17 years leading the Mission, it grew in size and importance to our city and demonstrated the care we should take for each other.

“In 2011, Father Des Britten, as he was then, won the Wellingtonian of the Year Award. He was knighted in 2012.

“Rest in peace, Sir Desmond.”

News from Anglican Diocese
Bishop Justin Duckworth and Bishop Eleanor Sanderson extend their deep condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of Father Desmond (Des) Britten, who passed away last night after a long illness.

Father Des was ordained an Anglican priest in 1983, and was made Canon Emeritus of the Diocese in 2011 after a long period dedicated to serving the community through the transformation of the lives of those at the margins of the capital’s society, in his role as Wellington City Missioner (1994-2011).

With his high public profile as a restauranteur, columnist and TV chef, Des brought colour and flair to his roles as a priest and social justice advocate, raising the profile of the Mission and giving it a legacy which endures to this day. His many awards, including a knighthood, and Wellingtonian of the Year, bear testament to his impact on the city which he loved.

Bishop Justin says “The Anglican Church recognizes the passing of a tall tree and faithful servant of the Church of God and of Wellington city. Des has left has mark on the history of this place and we give thanks to God for his life and legacy.”

News from Chamber of Commerce
The Wellington Chamber of Commerce recognises Sir Des Britten’s life of service and commitment to the capital city and mourn his death.

“Sir Des was a great presence in the city and his family can proud of his achievements. He had the most personable touch and showed what it meant to be a real leader in the city,” says Chamber chief executive John Milford.

“The Wellington City Mission would not be the institution it is today without the leadership of Sir Des, his 17 years at the Mission saw it grow exponentially and serve hundreds of people a week.

“A number of people in the hospitality industry will also be aware of his legacy and Wellington’s unique café and restaurant culture owes a lot to the hard work Sir Des did in the 70s and 80s.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”

1 comment:

  1. Grant Robertson, 13. February 2020, 16:05

    Des was a massive presence in Wellington over many decades. Chef, media personality, but my main dealings with him were through the City Mission and his support of the vulnerable. A life well lived. Rest easy Des. [via twitter]


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