2020 'People of Peace' award winner

Liz Spencer

Liz is a winner in our 2020 'People of Peace' awards.

An extract from Liz's nomination form read: "Liz is well known by parents in South Liverpool from her time as a primary school teacher. She taught at Childwall C.E. Primary in the 1970s before moving on to King David Primary School, eventually becoming Headteacher there in 1993 and serving until her retirement in 2007. She was the first non-Jewish woman to become Head of a Jewish school in the UK."

"Liz’ father was a Methodist minister who had a particular interest in Arab/Israeli relationships, generated as a result of his time spent as an RAF Chaplain in the Middle East during the Second World War. He became involved in leading Church groups to the Holy Land and it was on one of these trips to Jordan, Lebanon and Israel that Liz had first-hand experience of the political tensions in the area when her father’s group visited only a matter of days before the Six Days War of 1967. As Headteacher at King David, Liz continued her interest in the ongoing efforts to bring about a mutual understanding between Christians and Jews. She took part in two Study Seminars in Israel which were organised by the Association of Heads of Jewish Schools and engaged various Arab/Christian/Jewish agencies in discussing areas of common ground. As Head of a Jewish school, Liz gained an appreciation of the Jewish Religion and Culture and its ethos of pride in one’s background whilst listening respectfully to other people’s views."

On retiring from teaching, Liz was invited to join the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), becoming the Merseyside Branch Chair in 2009. The CCJ focuses on developing understanding between the two Faiths through dialogue, social action and education. The CCJ works as a forum to encourage meetings with as many different voices as possible being represented. Liz has helped to organise meetings with visiting speakers, film shows using relevant material, social events and quizzes, as well regular exhibitions highlighting issues such as the Holocaust and its relevance to today’s world.

Paul Beesley says:

"This programme is all about people who strive to bring peace into the lives of others - Liz has demonstrated that she has done this locally, nationally and even internationally. It was clear to the selection panel that Liz has used her connections across political and religious divides to encourage peace and understanding and, as a result, is a more than worthy recipient of this award"

"It’s a wonderful idea that The Salvation Army is going to cultivate youngsters in the precious soil of Strawberry Field."

Julia Baird, Honorary President