"We can and will as a society bear hardship if we are confident that it is being fairly shared; and we shall have that confidence only if there are signs that everyone is committed to their neighbour, that no-one is just forgotten, that no interest group or pressure group is able to opt out," the archbishop said.
"That confidence isn't in huge supply at the moment, given the massive crises of trust that have shaken us all in the last couple of years and the lasting sense that the most prosperous have yet to shoulder their load."
He said that the country would be able to celebrate next year at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, describing marriage as "a sign of hope" and testament to society of the rewards of commitment and "lifelong faithfulness".
The archbishop urged worshippers to remember Christians around the world who are suffering for their faith, drawing particular attention to those in Iraq, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
The Pope also used his Christmas message to highlight the plight of Christians in countries where they face persecution.
In his address from St Peter's Basilica in Rome, he said: "May the birth of the Saviour strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the Church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his Church, may keep alive the flame of hope."
He expressed his hope for Israelis and Palestinians "to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence".
The Rt Rev Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, told churchgoers that this country also faces threats to relations in communities.
"Hatred and unrest is not just found in far away places," he said.
"In the past year we have seen racist marches on our streets in London and Bolton, in Dudley and Peterborough, in Alyesbury and Bradford, led by individuals who want to stir up unrest.
"Some people are even trying to commandeer Christianity to support their cause."
Meanwhile, the Most Rev John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, called for people to remember the parents of Madeline McCann and Claudia Lawrence this Christmas as well as children who are abused by their parents.
He also mentioned the financial crisis, singling out "those who have lost their jobs, savings, pensions, homes, due to the credit crunch, the economic downturn and the outworking of the cuts in public expenditure".
The Rt Rev Stephen Croft, The Bishop of Sheffield said that the impact of the spending cuts would not be shared evenly.
"As ever, the north is likely to face more of those challenges than the south.
"The communities we serve in South and East Yorkshire are likely to face more than their fair share of difficulty and set backs."