Grand Theft Auto President Buys A Church Because Why Not

Grand Theft Auto President Buys A Church Because Why Not

St. Stephens Church in Edinburgh is nearly 200 years old, and until recently was in danger of being sold off and turned into “private flats or a bar-
restaurant complex”. Enter Leslie Benzies, president of Grand Theft Auto developers Rockstar North.

A resident of the Stockbridge area where the church is located, it’s thought Benzies paid a whopping £500,000 (USD$850,000) for the building, beating out bids from both the local community and property developers.

And he’s going to do…well, almost nothing. Benzies’ lawyer says it was “an entirely philanthropic purchase”, which will mean the famous building will remain a community centre (a function it has been performing for a while now).

“We are delighted that we can help bring the church back to its former glory securing its future whilst providing a renovated local and performing arts centre that will benefit the wider community”.

Class act.

Rockstar North chief buys St Stephen’s Church [Edinburgh News]


  • a “whopping” £500,000?
    Try finding a place that cheap in Sydney, ha ha ha. Am I right? Eh? EH??

    • At first I’d say it was cheap. But can you imagine the maintenance costs of a 200 year old church? Just looking at it makes my wallet hurt.

  • holy hell thats bloody cheap for a 200 hundred year old church, i wonder how much renovations might be needed for it to be going that cheaply

  • So he actually bought it for a reason, not “because why not”. Is it always absolutely necessary for Kotaku to use misleading headlines?

  • That’s nice of him.

    My uncle bought a church in Tasmania a few years ago. He turned it into a bed and breakfast and it was a huge success.

  • 850 grand for 200 year old piece of history, seems like a bargain to me. And good for him he bought it to preserve it in the community.

  • Hey I got a question that someone might know the answer to.
    In the Bible does it state that it’s a sin to change a church into another building or tear it down and so on?
    It sounds like it would be a sin yeah?

    • Your not meant to take the bible literally. Just read it how you think its meant to be read, silly!

    • It doesn’t really mention it as they didn’t have ‘churches’ for a whole lot of it. Christianity became a thing after Christ’s resurrection. After that, a whole bunch of churches popped up but they were all pretty new and they didn’t run into that issue before the Bible ended (unless you count the future stuff in Revelations).

      • So. the bible is outdated for today’s sin… Like how the government is outdated with its laws to the internet. bum dum tis.

        • How is it a sin?

          Also, do we really need internet laws? I don’t think the internet has really created any new crimes, just new ways to commit them. Fraud, harassment, theft etc are all crimes without the internet. Interesting topic.

    • Strictly speaking, some christians would suggest that the church is the congregation not the building. The building is simply a facility for worship, however certain denominations tend to put less or more emphasis on the actual building.

      Sweet that the church gets to be left as it is. They tend to be lovely buildings from an architectural point of view and tend to be great on the eyes. Sort of funny it was saved with the money of Grand Theft Auto.

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