A ‘kiss-in’ will be held as part of Sunday’s Valentine’s Day protest against the Pope’s visit to the UK.

Demonstrators plan to march from London’s Westminster Cathedral to the Italian embassy in Grosvenor Square and those willing are being asked to take five minutes to publicly show their love for their partners.

Kiss-in organiser Nicolas Chinardet said the idea was to use the traditional day of love to send a message to the Catholic Church over its stance on homosexuality.

He told PinkNews.co.uk: “The Pope and his acolytes keep telling us that their god is a god of love, so on the name day of one of their saints, patron of love and lovers, we have decided to take them to their word and show them what love really is and what it can do.

“We are asking straight and gay couples, religious or not, to come together to contrast the rejection we too often face from the church with a message of inclusion, love and togetherness. A way to tell the Catholic Church to snog off!”

The kiss-in is to be held at 1:30pm outside Westminster Cathedral.

The main protest is being held over the Pope’s visit to the UK in September. Taxpayers will have to foot the bill for at least part of the cost of his stay, the total of which is estimated to be £20 million.

The Pope has been accused of opposing gay equality, women’s rights, abortion rights and the use of condoms to prevent HIV.

The event has been organised by the Central London Humanist Group in partnership with the British Humanist Association, the National Secular Society, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association and gay equality group OutRage! among others.

More than 250 people are expected to attend and speakers will include National Secular Society president Terry Sanderson, Bob Churchill from the British Humanist Association and Peter Tatchell.

For more information about the main protest, see the Facebook page