Valerie Riches

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Valerie Riches was Founder President and remains a trustee of the Family Education Trust (formerly known as Family and Youth Concern). She also served as a Director of the Trust until 2000 [1] Riches was married to fellow moralist campaigner Denis Riches who died in December 2007 and was the founder of Family Publications, an independent Catholic publishing house, which published their joint autobiography in the same year.[2]The couple were invested as Knight and Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great by Bishop Philip Pargeter, an auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, in October 2007. [3]

Valerie Riches and Denis Riches co-written autobiography, published by the company that Denis Riches founded, Family Publications, 2007.


Valerie Riches has been active in pro-life and family issues since soon after the 1967 Abortion Act.[3] She worked as a social worker before joining Family and Youth Concern (first known as The Responsible Society) as Honorary Secretary in the early 1970s. She explains that:

I was impressed by its approach to the social problems brought about by the ravages of permissiveness. There was a need to analyse the social influences which gave rise to escalating figures of divorce, one-parent families, children in care of the local authorities, illegitimacy, abortion, venereal disease and the many other emotional and physical manifestations of human distress. It seemed more sensible to approach these social problems with the aim of prevention rather than coping with the effects. Why, for example, despite all the sex education and availability of contraceptives, were illegitimate pregnancies and abortions rising? The more we investigated, the more we were astonished by what we discovered. In particular; I was amazed at the extent to which I myself had been indoctrinated with the current permissive assumptions.[4]

Riches wrote in a 1986 Family and Youth Concern report that society must confront the birth control lobby and in particular protect children 'from exposure to types of sex education which are amoral in content and whose purpose is to erode human values which have evolved over thousands of years'. Summing up her report, entitled 'Sex and Social Engineering' she explained;

I have sought to expose some of the hidden connivance’s [sic], implications, and activities of an interlocking power structure of which sex education is one – but by no means the only – concern. It is a lobby which has been described as “one of the most savagely damaging lobbies a society has ever had to confront:” It is damaging because the sex education it seeks to promote (under whatever guise it may appear) is a vehicle to spread an amoralism that is destructive of the family and of society.
It is imperative that people of good will investigate and unravel the strands which have been cleverly woven round the policies, laws and institutions in their own countries. The instigators need to be identified and exposed, because they function with impunity, in secrecy or behind a screen of pseudo-respectability given when governments fund their activities and policies. [...] It is [a situation] which requires coordinated effort by those who believe in and support the family and the sanctity of life. It is a battle to be fought now by those who cherish the true meaning of freedom. [5]





  1. Bulletin No. 100 Summer 2000, Family Education Trust,
  2. Valerie and Denis Riches Built on Love, Family Publications, 2007.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Archdiocese of Birmingham, Denis and Valerie riches invested as Knight and Dame of St Gregory the Great, 6 October 2007, acc March 2012
  4. Valerie Riches, Sex and Social Engineering, Family and Youth Concern (The Responsible Society), p4, 1986.
  5. Valerie Riches, Sex and Social Engineering, Family and Youth Concern (The Responsible Society), p29, 1986.