Due to an unclear statement, this story wrongly attributed comments made by Ekklesia to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. Corrected at 9.45am, September 2nd.

A Liberal Christian group has criticised secularist plans to protest at the Pope’s visit to the UK this month.

Ekklesia said that the tactics of some campaigners were “unhelpful and counterproductive”.

The Protest the Pope coalition has been leading complaints against the Pontiff’s visit, accusing him of being against gay rights and women’s equality.

Members plan to stage protests during the four-day trip.

But Ekklesia said: “The Protest the Pope coalition of secularist groups has opposed the trip and promised noisy protests, but progressive Christians believe that this is unhelpful and counterproductive.”

The group was responding to remarks made by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM).

In a statement last week, the LGCM said that while it disagreed with the Pontiff’s teachings on sexual orientation, his UK visit will be an “occasion for celebration”.

The Pope is to arrive in the UK on September 16th. His four-day visit will include a huge open-air mass in Birmingham, where he will canonise Cardinal Henry John Newman.