Vicarage Road Full Gospel Church
occupies a plot on the western side of Vicarage Road in the heart of
Dagenham. Although there is not much available data on the church,
it was one of two in the district. Opened about 1931, the red brick
Vicarage Road Gospel Church preceded that at Albany Road, Chadwell
Heath, by about four years. Unlike the latter, Vicarage Lane no longer
serves as a church but has found a new use as a community centre.
Dagenham Community Church is on the
south-east corner of Charlotte Road and Richardson Gardens. A small
mission existed in Dagenham village before 1921. Initially, it
appears to have used the former United Methodist Free Church in Bull
Street (Ebenezer Chapel, below). It gained many new members during
the next ten years and in 1931 moved to a new building in Charlotte
Road as the Dagenham Evangelical Free Church, where it remains.
The Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul
sits on the south-eastern corner of Crown Street and Church Lane, with
the graveyard spreading to its south. Dagenham ('Daecca's settlement')
was probably one of the earliest Saxon settlements in Essex, with the
name being first recorded in a charter of AD 687. The earliest known
reference to the church itself was in 1205, when Baldwin 'the chaplain'
was involved in a dispute concerning church land.
The church was probably built early in the thirteenth
century. By about 1254 it had been appropriated to Barking Abbey, which
held it until 1539. It consists of nave, chancel (thirteenth century),
north chapel (before 1475) and west tower. Substantial repairs were carried
out between 1580 and 1630. The chancel and chapel are all that remain of the
medieval building. The tower collapsed in 1800, destroying nave and south
aisle. The tower and nave were rebuilt in 1801-1805.
Ebenezer Chapel lay on the western side of Rainham
Road South (formerly Bull Street). The small yellow-brick chapel was built in
1846. About 1850 it seceded from the Wesleyans in sympathy with the Reformers,
becoming a United Methodist Free Church. Those opposed to reform left
to build another chapel opposite (see below). After 1875 the building was
apparently used by a mission which gave rise to Dagenham Free Church (above)
before being demolished.
Old Dagenham Methodist Church is on the
eastern side of Rainham Road South, close to the corner with Manor
Road. Wesleyans opposed to the Reformers left Ebenezer Chapel (see
above) about 1850, and at first worshipped in cottages, By 1854 they
had built their own chapel opposite Ebenezer Chapel. This was rebuilt
in 1888, but was demolished for road-widening in 1958. The present
building, to the south of the former church hall, was opened in
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. The tour
now progresses into Havering.