Chester Cathedral is one of twenty-five successful applicants to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The £27k of funding will be used to bring to life an exhibition
and programme of activities sharing and celebrating the life of Trena Cox, a twentieth-century woman stained glass artist whose stunning artwork adorns churches across Chester, the North West, North Wales, and further afield. Despite being known in stained glass and decorative arts circles, the legacy of this important artist has been all but forgotten in the public realm.

The exhibition – created in partnership between artist Aleta Doran, Chester Cathedral, Grosvenor Museum, and the University of Chester – will share the newly researched story of Trena Cox’s impressive career which has been undertaken by Aleta Doran, Chester Cathedral’s Artist in Residence and Project Lead for Trena Cox: Reflections 100. Exhibition boards will tell Cox’s story in an accessible and engaging way, with commissioned art from local woman artists responding to her stained glass in a variety of mediums to be displayed around the building. The exhibition will be presented at Chester Cathedral between Monday 7 October – Friday 8 November before moving to the Grosvenor Museum in early 2025, with interest in further displays already expressed.

Cathedral stained glass window

The funding received will not only allow for the exhibition to be produced to a high standard, but will also enable an exciting and inclusive activities programme, including:

  • Curated inclusive and accessible workshops exploring Cox’s work through nature, art, and other mediums (to be tendered for)

  • A Trena Cox symposium exploring endangered heritage skills

  • Stained glass themed family activities at Chester Cathedral

  • Other free talks and workshops for a variety of audiences

Churches around Chester and Cheshire whose buildings include stained glass by Trena Cox will benefit from new semi-permanent interpretation panels to highlight Cox’s significant story to their communities and visitors. 

The Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford, Dean of Chester, says

Trena Cox’s artwork was specifically commissioned and installed at Chester Cathedral as part of a daring reinvigoration project undertaken by the then-Dean Bennett as part of his efforts to make the Cathedral ‘open and free’ to all people. Today, we are finally able to appreciate the significance of Cox’s work in our Cloister thanks to the research Aleta has undertaken and look forward to sharing Cox’s inspiring life and work with visitors through this exhibition, and accompanying workshops, activities, and events.

Chester Cathedral Artist in Residence and Project Lead for Trena Cox: Reflections 100, Aleta Doran, says

Trena Cox made a huge contribution to this area through her vibrant stained glass, and as an advocate for the preservation of Chester’s heritage. Her story is part of the story of Chester, the city in which she lived and worked for over fifty years. Chester Cathedral played a key role in the development of Trena Cox’s extraordinary career, so it is exciting to be able to hold the exhibition and other events here.”

Additional funding to support this project has been graciously received from Councillor Simon Eardley and The Ursula Keyes Trust.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, visit


Chester Cathedral
Cathedral / Minister
Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is many things to many people: a vibrant community of worship, an ancient abbey, an archaeological treasure, a cultural hub, a centre of musical excellence, a unique blend of modern and medieval history.



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