The Archbishop of York, the Church of England's second most senior clergyman, told the BBC that he would be "hard-pushed" to say Britain is a Christian country.
Archbishop David Hope told the BBC that commitment to the church had diminished and secularist tendencies had increased.
"Large numbers of people still describe themselves as believing in God. Large numbers of people still say they are Christians,” he said. “How they then express that Christianity has changed enormously."
However, he added that the number of people who continue to attend church regularly is encouraging.
Archbishop Hope has resigned from his leadership position in the Church of England and will return to being a parish priest as of January. "I always felt I would like to finish my ministry as I began it, and that is as a parish priest,” he told the BBC.
Archbishop Hope said he would be glad to be rid of the bureaucracy as the new vicar of St. Margaret's in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.