'What kind of society are we?' Bishop and Mayor respond to act of 'arson' on homeless woman's belongings

The Mayor of Chichester and Bishop of Chichester have responded after a homeless woman's bed and belongings were burnt intentionally.

The underpass where the fire was set
The underpass where the fire was set

Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner said: "It is shocking enough to discover first that a woman should have to sleep rough on the streets of Chichester. The fact that in this winter season her bedding and belongings have been wantonly destroyed is profoundly shaming.

"What kind of a society are we? Do we have no boundaries to our capacity to degrade others and in so doing to demean ourselves?

Police have appealed for information from anyone who may have seen something

"I hope and pray that this terrible incident will awaken a wider attention to the needs of the homeless not only in Chichester but across the whole of Sussex.”

Bishop Martin will be taking part in a sleepout on February 23 for Turning Tides homeless charity in Littlehampton.

Mayor of Chichester, Martyn Bell said: "This is one of the dangers of rough sleeping and is why so many people are trying to help rough sleepers. Thank goodness she wan't hurt. I think it's terrible and it illustrates how vulnerable rough sleepers are.

"I know organisations like Stonepillow, Four Streets, and churches are doing their very best to help people. It's the first time I have heard about something like this happening in Chichester. I'm shocked."