A music loving priest is taking on a running challenge to fundraise for a new chapel organ at St Mary’s University.

Prof Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, known as Fr Vlaud, is running 52 laps to raise the £500,000 needed to replace the musical instrument.

He will run the Sir Mo Farah Athletics track 83 times over, in a nod to the Twickenham university’s Olympic medal-winning alumni.

The two numbers in the challenge represent special significance to Fr Vlad.

The 52 laps marks his 52 years as a priest, whilst the 83 times celebrates his 83rd year of life.

Fr Vlad is hoping to raise £500,000 for a new organ

Fr Vlad is hoping to raise £500,000 for a new organ

Fr Vlad is aiming to complete each of his 83 track sessions in around four hours, coming in at 20.8km or a half marathon.

The total distance of the challenge is over 1700km, which equates to the distance from St Mary’s University to Cadiz, Spain.

Fr Vlad has a long relationship with St Mary’s University, where he is a Visiting Professor and leads the Sport, Wellbeing, Inclusion, Faith (SWIFT) research centre.

Fr Vlad said: “My aim is to give back to our Chapel its voice so that the beauty of its music may, once again, awaken and open hearts to our Creator, God.

“Having trained as a Civil Engineer before becoming a priest, I believe that walk trumps talk. As Matthew 25:40 teaches, we shall be judged on what we did – not just said, so I’m putting on my walking shoes to make sure the wonderful Chapel at St Mary’s that means so much to me can fulfil its potential.”

Fr Vlad is hoping to raise £500,000 for a new organ

Fr Vlad is hoping to raise £500,000 for a new organ

Fr Vlad, who volunteered at the London 2012 Games as a Chaplain, will be joined by St Mary’s students, staff, and alumni for laps of the track.

Composer and Conductor Sir James MacMillan CBE said the renewal of the organ would be “a significant step forward” for the Church. He said:

“There is something wonderful and life-enhancing when a commitment to musical excellence, a concern for beauty in the liturgy and a deep knowledge of and education in the arts all come together.

“I am delighted that St Mary’s University is demonstrating ambition in all these fields as it approaches the celebration of its 175th anniversary.”

Support Fr Vlad's appeal here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/SMUChapelOrgan