The Archbishop of York has warned that defence cuts will compromise Britain's safety as he delivered his Christmas message to soldiers serving overseas.
In an interview with British Forces Broadcasting Service, Dr John Sentamu said severe cuts to the armed forces would "risk the safety of the nation and the peace of the world".
He also said plans to replace thousands of full-time soldiers with reservists was a bad idea as a "very well trained, professional service" needed to be maintained.
The Archbishop said: "My greatest anxiety... is that these defence cuts need to be done with far, far greater sensitivity because we live still in a world that is very fragile and there are people out there still, wanting to do harm to ... many, many people.
"To replace professionally trained, full time serving soldiers with part-timers, I'm afraid, for me, I don't think that can be the backbone of the British army."