An Englishman decided to write a book about famous churches around the world. For his first chapter he decided to write about British churches so he bought a train ticket and took a trip to London, thinking that he would work his way up the country from South to North.
On his first day he was inside a church, taking photographs, when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read, “£20,000 per call!”
The Englishman, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for. The priest replied that it was a direct-line to heaven and for £20,000 you could talk to God. The Englishman thanked the priest and went on his way. His next stop was in Northampton.
There, at a very large church, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it.
He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he had seen in London so he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was. She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for £20,000 he could talk to God.
“Thank you,” said the Englishman. He then travelled to Coventry, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool, Lancaster and Carlisle. In every church he saw the same golden telephone with the same “£20,000 per call” sign under it.
The Englishman, upon realising how close he was to the Scottish border, decided to see if the Scots had the same phone.
He crossed the border and came to a small town called Gretna, and again, there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read, “20 pence per call”.
The Englishman was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign.
“Father, I have travelled all over England and I have seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I’m told it is a direct line to heaven, but in every one the price was £20,000 per call. Why is it so cheap here?”
The priest smiled and answered “Well laddie, you’re in Scotland now, it’s a local call.”