The Bishop of Portsmouth said the loss of 940 jobs at Portsmouth dockyard is shocking news.
BAE Systems announced earlier that shipbuilding would cease in the city from 2014.
The Rt Rev Christopher Foster, Anglican Bishop of Portsmouth, said: "This is serious and shocking news for Portsmouth and the surrounding area.
"Most of all for those whose jobs are directly now at risk and their families but for the whole community and local economy.
"The decision of BAE and the Government will not be understood by most of us and does no justice to the commitment of this city and area to our island and naval safety for generations."
1800 jobs will be cut in shipyards operated by BAE Systems across England and Wales, bringing shipbuilding in Portsmouth to an end.
Unions are to meet defence giant BAe Systems to discuss the future of the firm's three shipyards amid a review of its business.