When Stowupland Church was founded in 1843 there was little money to pay a minister. At this time an incumbent’s income came from several different sources, firstly there was the tithe originally paid by parishioners in kind as a tenth of the produce from the land but by this time had been commuted into a cash payment. There was also income from fees charged for officiating at marriages and funerals. More income could be obtained through the glebe, a piece of land that the vicar could either work himself or let out. There could have been personal income or income from private teaching work and finally, there was for the poorer clergy Queen Anne’s Bounty a fund that was administered by the ecclesiastical commissioners. All these income streams were variable and there was a great difference between the poorest and the most well-off clergy. In 1851 Stowupland’s vicar could expect around £100 from tithe, fees, and the top-up from the bounty, this compares with a vicar’s income of over £200 in Old Newton and some £380 in Stowmarket.
In Its early years the parish saw a succession of incumbents come and go, the small stipend, meant that most of the ministers were either at the beginning of their careers, the needs of supporting a family meaning that they soon sought more well-paid positions, or had other sources of income, added to this was the fact that there was no vicarage so they would be required to find their own accommodation. In the first couple of years, the parish remained annexed to Stowmarket and Reverend Hollingsworth remained vicar until in 1845 Robert Willan Ashby Smith was appointed.