People in Epsom are visiting online porn websites hundreds of thousands of times a year - a "colossal amount", according to the area’s ‘porn pastor'.

According to figures released by one of the UK’s biggest porn websites, the average person from Epsom using the site spent nine minutes and 36 seconds on it and looked at 7 pages each time - slightly less than the national figures. 

The site was visited a total of 146,731 times in a year by people in the town.

People in Leatherhead visited the site 64,858 times and those in Banstead 19,667 times.

Gerald Coates, a team leader at Pioneer Engage Church, in Leatherhead, co-authored a book with a former porn addict last year after conducting research into the issue.

Mr Coates said the book, Sexual Healing - Identity, Sexuality, Calling, continues to be a success - particularly because he believes the issue of porn addiction in society is worsening.

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Ex-porn addict Nathan Ferreira and Gerald Coates co-authored the book Sexual Healing 

The 69-year-old, who was a pastor to Cliff Richard for many years and counts the singer among his close friends, said: "When I localised as a pastor, a trickle of young men, some of them married, mainly in their 20s, started to come and see me from Leatherhead and the surrounding area. 

"They all said ‘I looked at this out of inquisitiveness and now I’m hooked’.

"I did a lot of research on it and realised how addictive it is. 

"Boys start looking for porn at 13.  They then get into a pattern of behaviour by 14 to 15 and could then become addicts - where they’re viewing it at least once or several times a day."

He said addiction has become particularly bad because of iPhones."

The pastor said the widespread use of iPhones easily facilitate addiction and was particularly damaging to one man who came to see him, who had managed to kick his porn addiction on his laptop. 

Mr Coates said: "Before he knew where he was he found that everything that was on his laptop was now on his iPhone and he was addicted again."

"This situation has not gone away but it’s getting worse and worse.

"We are living in an increasingly sexualised culture.  What we see on certain television programmes we wouldn’t have even seen 10 years ago.

"Now we have children in junior school, six to seven-years-old, who can look at porn because they have got laptops and iPhones. 

"That worry that dad is going to be able to see the websites on the laptop have gone with iPhones.

"And they take that all into marriage."

Mr Coates said the figures realised for Epsom are "a huge amount".

He added: "There shouldn’t be anyone doing it.  We are increasingly losing a sense of right and wrong.  Alongside that is the damage it causes. 

"The numbers for Epsom are colossal and it affects any future relationship because of the comparisons and the thoughts of what you’re going to get out of it, rather than what you are going to put into it."

He said that anyone who believes they are addicted to porn can see a doctor for advice, visit a pastor or, if they have a Christian background, you can read his book, Sexual Healing.