Delivering his final Christmas Day sermon from Canterbury Cathedral, Rowan Williams also acknowledged how the General Synod's vote against allowing women to become bishops last month has damaged the credibility of the Church.
But he pointed out a reason to be positive, the recently published census statistics indicated that 59% of people still identified themselves as Christian.
Dr Williams spoke of the people he has had the "privilege" to meet during his tenure over the last decade as the head of the Anglican church.
"It remains true that three quarters of the public still want to identify themselves as having a religious faith of some kind"
More top news
Reading left nothing on the pitch in a valiant effort to reach the FA Cup final. An extra-time winner from Sanchez sealed the Royals' fate.
The latest weather update for the east with Philippa
The latest weather update for the west with Philippa