The ecclesiastical authority of the diocese in the absence of a bishop. The Canons of 1789 made four references to an organization known as the Standing Committee. It formed its duties over the next forty-three years. In 1832 the General Convention brought all the functions of the Standing Committee under Canon Four, adding that where there was no bishop the Standing Committee was the ecclesiastical authority. In 1901 the role of the Standing Committee was added to the Constitution of the Episcopal Church. The Standing Committee is elected by the diocesan convention. Half of its members are clerical, half lay. It serves as the bishop's council of advice. The Standing Committee is requested to give consent for all bishops elected in the Episcopal Church. It recommends persons for ordination. It gives the bishop advice and consent on the purchase, sale, or encumbrance of any property held by a congregation or the diocese. It gives the bishop advice and consent as to any judicial sentence given to a clergy person or concurs in allowing a clergy person to cease functioning as a member of the clergy. It investigates and reports to the bishop on the charge that a deacon or priest has abandoned the Episcopal Church. It also receives the bishop's resignation.