If the stipend is a living allowance rather than a salary, what is the justification for paying assistant curates and professional vergers less than incumbents of parishes?
In monetary terms, there is, in fact, no difference between a stipend and a salary: the Church simply retains an archaic, perhaps less mundane-sounding, word. As for the comparatively modest differential, this reflects relative responsibilities. An incumbent, apart from experience and length of service, also carries a heavier workload of responsible decision-making; and so a graduated scale of stipends seems reasonable. The day soon comes when an assistant curate will seek or be offered preferment.
(Canon) Terry Palmer