According to canon 1215, the prior consent of the bishop is necessary in order to build a church. What is the source and theological importance of this norm? Where can we identify its historical origin and how can we characterize its development through the centuries in the transformation of ecclesiastical discipline and canonical thought? And, finally, in light of all this, how can we precisely delineate the extension and meaning of this rule in the current law of the church? The present contribution seeks to respond to these questions. Although recent canonical publications concerning sacred places and times mention the consent necessary for the construction of churches, they generally do so in a way that that provides only brief outlines rather than a detailed study of the matter.