Richmond’s LGBT forum has launched a last-minute campaign to demonstrate anger at the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pontiff will make the first papal visit to the UK since 1982 when he begins his trip on Thursday.

He will spend Friday morning with about 3,500 children from all over the country at St Mary’s University College, in Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, in an event to celebrate Catholic education called the Big Assembly.

The borough’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender forum has been seeking opinions about the visit - holding a public meeting earlier this year - and has announced it is launching a text campaign called Challenge HomoPopia.

A spokesman for the forum said: “We know that there is a massive groundswell of opposition to the present views of the Pope and his Vatican throughout the UK.

“We hope that the Challenge HomoPopia campaign will allow all of those who are unable to attend the various physical demonstrations being organised to add their voices to the challenge and, simultaneously, to make a small donation, leaving a tangible legacy to help the victims of HomoPopia.”

The spokesman added it was the “homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic” views of the present Pontiff that had caused the forum’s anger rather than Catholicism as a whole.

The forum is asking people opposed to the visit to text POPE to 81400 - messages cost £1.50, plus standard rates - 90p of that will go to fund organisations providing support to the victims of discrimination, hate and hostility.

Richmond Coalition against the State Visit announced earlier this year it had organised a protest for Friday, which has been backed by the national Protest the Pope campaign - organised by the National Secular Society (NSS).

A human barricade of Waldegrave Road had been mooted by the forum and a protest march through central London and rally near Downing Street has been planned for Saturday when the Pope is in Hyde Park.

Gareth Evans, from the LGBT forum, said he would be protesting because he didn’t believe the Pontiff “should be allowed to get away with some of the things [he and the church have said and done]”, including describing forum members as “abominations”.