The Right Reverend Bishop James Jones KBE – the retired Bishop of Liverpool – is to be presented with the Freedom of Liverpool on Thursday 19 January.
Bishop James, who was Knighted in the New Year Honours, is being presented with the city’s highest civic honour in a service at the Town Hall.
The award is for his work chairing the Hillsborough Independent Panel, whose report led to the quashing of the inquest verdicts and the launch of criminal investigations, and his 15 years dedicated service to the city as Bishop and pastor, championing the injustices of poverty in Liverpool.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden, said: “Bishop James has been a towering figure in Liverpool life for almost two decades, championing the city and speaking up on behalf of those with no voice.
“We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his work leading the Church of England in the city and latterly chairing the Hillsborough Independent Panel which shed light on what really happened during and after the disaster.
“It is right and proper that we convey and formally record our thanks for his incredible passion, commitment and loyalty to the city by awarding him the Freedom of Liverpool.”
The Right Reverend Bishop James Jones said: “Receiving the Freedom of the City underlines the honour that it has been to serve the people of Liverpool, especially the families of the 96 and the survivors.
“The City has never wavered in its support of them and to become a freeman of this city is a permanent reminder to me of the way the families have fought and been vindicated in their struggle for truth, justice and accountability.”
Last year, the city council awarded the Freedom of the City posthumously to the 96 who died in the disaster, as well as Professor Phil Scraton who led the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team, and Kenny and Marina Dalglish who represented the football club at the time.