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A Match Made at Freemasons' Hall

Mark and Tanya on their wedding day, both dressed in their Masonic regalia


In June 2022, West Lancashire Freemasons Mark Holloway and Martin Stewart travelled to London to attend the UGLE Quarterly Communication. Mark is the secretary of The Lodge of Chivalry, and Martin was the Worshipful Master of Chivalry at the time.

Unbelievably, the trains ran on time, with Mark travelling from Wigan and Martin from Stoke on Trent. Mark had booked the tickets for both journeys. This was the first of many twists of fate that resulted in Mark meeting his future wife. Mark had not attended a Quarterly Communication before and booked the return journey home on a train scheduled to leave London Euston at 8 pm; he then discovered, after booking the tickets, that the meeting would finish around noon!

The Quarterly Communication ended at lunchtime, and Mark and Martin had lunch and then looked around Covent Garden. With time to kill, they had a pint or two sitting in the sun outside the Prince of Wales pub, and at 4 pm, they made their way to the Café in Great Queen Street to pass away an hour or so until the Organ Concert, which was starting at 6 pm in the Grand Temple. Martin had booked in after discovering they had several hours to wait until their trains departed Euston Station.   

The café was full of Freemasons, and Mark and Martin waited a while for two seats before becoming free. Another of the many things that resulted in Mark meeting Tanya was that the Senior Warden of Chivalry should have been with Mark and Martin; sadly, he had not been well enough to make the trip, so when a seat became free next to Mark, Tanya, who was the only lady in the café, came over and asked if the seat was free. Of course, the absence of the Senior Warden meant that it was, and Mark and Martin invited her to join them. They started chatting, and it transpired that Tanya had recently been Initiated into Lodge Gordon, which meets in Hanley Masonic Hall, close to where Martin lives.

After chatting for an hour or so, Mark learned that Tanya also had a ticket for the organ concert, so he asked if Tanya wanted to sit with them, to which she replied she would be happy to do. During the course of the conversation, Tanya had given Martin her card as she sang in the Staffordshire Military Wives choir so that Martin could contact her if he knew of a Lodge in Stoke that would like them to do a concert for them. Tanya also gave Mark her card but said that they would not be able to do a concert in West Lancashire (was there another reason for giving Mark her card?). Mark reciprocated and gave Tanya his card!

Arriving at the Grand Temple, they were surprised to find that only around 40 people were attending the concert. This did not spoil the enjoyment of the concert by Gerrard Brooks, a Professor of Organ at the Royal Academy of Music. Mark, Martin and Tanya immensely enjoyed the concert and the hours seemed to pass quickly. As they left the wonderful headquarters of Freemasonry, they said it had been good to meet, and Tanya said goodbye to Mark and Martin, who hailed a cab and made their way to Euston Station.

Shortly after boarding his train Mark received a text from Tanya saying “I hope we talk again; it was lovely to meet you and Martin. Thank you for sharing so much.”

The rest is history, for after nearly two years of seeing each other, Mark married Tanya in April 2024; they held their wedding reception in O’Brien’s Tea Rooms, which is on the ground floor of Ormskirk Masonic Hall and provides the catering services for the Lodges that meet in the Hall. 

Tanya is now a Master Mason and has joined Lodge Joyus, which meets in Liverpool. Like Mark, she is looking forward to enjoying her Masonic interests.

Was a match made by the Great Architect of the Universe? Maybe, but the Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street played a big part. Mark and Tanya look forward to a happy future together.


Mark and Tanyas Masonic themed wedding cake

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