Pope Francis is considering making a trip to Scotland in September.

He is set to show his support with other religious leaders against extremism.

The pontiff, who has not visited the UK since he ascended three years ago, is understood to have pencilled in a flying visit to St Andrews to sign a charter calling for all faiths to unite against radicalisation.

The Pope has publicly condemned the brainwashing of young people by terrorist networks “to sow discord and fear” and has told aides that he regards the declaration, drawn up by an academic at St Andrews University, as “very positive”. It has also attracted the support of Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

The Vatican embassy in London declined to comment. However, a well-placed source said that a papal visit to Scotland is “under consideration”.

An invitation to sign the charter has been extended by Mario Aguilar, professor of religion and politics at St Andrews. Prof Aguilar, who has met Pope Francis on several occasions and penned a biography of the pontiff in 2014, received a letter from Rome, via the Vatican embassy in London, indicating the invitation was being considered.

“My understanding is that Pope Francis is interested and has put [the event] on his agenda of activities and that further arrangements will be discussed,” said Prof Aguilar. “I have had an indication that his visit is being considered.”

The Pope’s presence in Scotland would be a huge boost for the country’s 850,000 Catholics at a time when the church’s influence in society has waned. It would be unlikely, however, to attract the pomp and ceremony that surrounded Pope Benedict’s state visit to Britain in 2010, which at the time was the first by a pontiff in 30 years.

Pope Francis is more likely to fly to Scotland on the morning of the event.