Austerity and Brexit are dividing Britons and causing a "schism" in society, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

Justin Welby said that cutbacks are "crushing the weak" in a dramatic assessment of the country.

The Anglican leader said that the country's most vulnerable were at risk of falling into a "schism" brought on by the Government's austerity drive.

He also issued a plea for Britons to be "generous" in adapting to newcomers to the country and called for people to show "care for each other".

Archbishop Welby voiced his concerns in the Mail on Sunday.

The archbishop said the country needed a 'new narrative'. Credit: PA

In his article, Archbishop Welby wrote: "Brexit has divided the country - and now we need a new narrative. One that is rooted in all that is best in our history - solidarity, courage, aspiration, resilience and care for each other.

"There is a danger that there is a schism in our society into which the most vulnerable are falling.

"Austerity is crushing the weak, the sick and many others."

Archbishop Welby, who backed the Remain campaign in the EU referendum, called for tolerance.

He said: "Welcoming strangers to our own country and integrating them into our own culture is important.

"We must be generous and allow ourselves to change with the newcomers and create a deeper, richer way of life."

The Archbishop also called on the Government to tackle the housing crisis and warned of the importance of creating new communities.He added: "We must build proper homes - and have a housing policy that is about creating communities, not just bricks and mortar."