Dagenham parish church,dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, was built in the early 1200s on a site given by Barking Abbey.
The original building was constructed with Kentish rag stone, brought across the Thames. The North Chapel is mentioned as 'new' in a will of 1475 and the two bays separating the Chancel and North Chapel have moulded form centred arches, typical of late 15th century architecture.
During the Reformation the church was plundered and spoiled, and the majority of its treasures confiscated. With the generous aid of the Fanshawe family, the building was later restored and strengthened. A stone buttress was added to the outside of the east wall, and can still be seen.
By 1770 the church was in a dangerous condition. The foundations of the tower had crumbled, causing the tower to press on the west and south portions of the Nave. Temporary repairs were carried out and plans made to rebuild the tower at a cost of £1,176.5s.
Disaster occurred on the morning of the second Sunday in Advent in 1800. The tower collapsed, destroying the nave and south aisle. A service would normally have been taking place at the time, but fortunately the vicar was late arriving with the keys and the congregation were still outside. All except the chancel and North Chapel had to be rebuilt. This was completed by 1805 and included a spire, which can be seen in old photographs.
In 1841 a new gallery was added, and in 1844 an organ installed in the gallery where the village orchestra had once performed. By 1877 it was decided to lower the floor of the Nave by 15 inches (the reason the windows seem so high today).
During excavations a skeleton in armour was found in the Nave, together with the jaw bone and teeth of a horse. It is thought they are the remains of a warrior whose steed was buried with him.
At the same time the organ was moved to the chancel, the pulpit replaced and the entire church refurnished with deal benches. The church was re-roofed in 1913 and the spire removed in 1921.
In 1938 electricity replaced the gas lamps, the organ pipes were placed in the gallery, and pumped by electricity, and the organ console enlarged.
Dagenham Parish Church website