Officers were called to the scene on Thursday afternoon following the discovery in Plaistow.
The woman in her 40s was found with multiple injuries to her body in the grounds of Memorial Community Church, according to police.
She was declared dead at the scene, Metropolitan Police said.
No arrests had been made by Friday afternoon.
Detective Inspector Darren Jones, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are working hard to establish the circumstances of what happened to the victim and at this stage we are keeping an open mind regarding a motive.”
The incident is believed to have happened in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Police were alerted of woman’s body in the grounds of the church on Barking Road at around 3pm on 26 March.
A crime scene remained in place on Friday with officers searching the surrounding area and roads closed.
Richard Tucker, the northeast area borough commander, said: “This is a shocking incident but I want residents to know that a team of specialist officers are working tirelessly to identify and apprehend whoever is responsible.”
“I am grateful for our local community’s support and assistance during this time.”
Anyone with information about incident is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 3805/25Mar or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.