The former Bishop of Liverpool has been made a Knight Commander for his services to the Hillsborough Inquiry.
The Rt Rev James Jones, who chaired the Hillsborough Independent Panel, said he felt "great pride" in being recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
Author Phil Scraton, who led the panel's research team, turned down an OBE in protest at those he said had not helped the 1989 disaster's survivors.
Meanwhile, Merseyside Police's only Sikh officer has been appointed MBE.
And Liverpool comedy legend Ken Dodd, 89, has been awarded a knighthood for services to entertainment and charity.
Bishop Jones, now assistant bishop in the Diocese of York, said his pride was "mixed with sadness" because of "that enduring sadness of the families who have continued to feel the loss of their loved ones at Hillsborough".
He continued: "I got to know the families very well during the Hillsborough Independent Panel process. And over the years I've come to understand something of their pain.
"I think the families have shown extraordinary forbearance over the years as they have struggled to get people just to listen to them.
"So, in receiving this honour, I also salute their forbearance."
He said the panel's work was the "climax of my ministry as the Bishop of Liverpool".
It was the panel's report that led to the quashing of the original inquests and the setting up of new inquests which ultimately led to the unlawful killing verdict for 96 football fans who perished in the tragedy.
Merseyside Police's Det Insp Sarbjit Kaur was awarded her honour for work in exposing honour-based violence and forced marriages.
The 43-year-old said she was "extremely humbled".
"I believe everyone has the right to live their life free from abuse and have the freedom to choose whomever they want to marry," she said.
The force's Chief Constable Andy Cooke praised Det Insp Kaur's work and said she was "an amazing role model".
He added he hoped she would "encourage women from a similar background to join the police service and protect those most vulnerable in our communities".
Other honours from across Merseyside include:
- Wirral PCSO Sharon Broderick, 50, is appointed MBE for her services to policing, including bringing two rival gangs together to work on an art project;
- Samaritans volunteer Richard Price, 69, of Chester, is awarded a British Empire Medal, after 40 years of work with the organisation and his services as a volunteer bus driver for other groups including Barnardo's;
- Samaritans volunteer Alan Woodhouse, 83, is made MBE for services to vulnerable people after almost 57 years of work with the organisation's Liverpool branch;
- Neil Large, Chairman of Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is appointed MBE.