The CNEF pastorale (Conseil National des Evangéliques de France) was to be held at Eysines with lunch, a colombo, and there were two big items on the agenda: firstly a report from Maison de la Bible and secondly feedback from the March for Jesus that took place last weekend.
It's nightmarish to get to the Eysines church by bus, so I took the Citiz Clio and enjoyed the air-conditioned comfort, the built-in sat-nav and the classical music playing from the radio. The rocade was crowded but moving and so I arrived on time. The temperature was rising fast outside. It got to 35°C, but in the Clio I was doing great!
I was the only one of our merry band to be present, James Hammond was too busy reading Calvin. The Mitchells had had big decisive meetings on Wednesday.
Catherine Gaufrès, our very capable manager, outlined the work of the bookshop and there followed a very fraternal discussion about how churches can be more involved and identify more closely with this city-centre witness. Everyone was moved by the thousands of Bibles that we sell each year - literally thousands - and by the stories of different people who come in wanting to talk about their situations, etc.
The March for Jesus this year was marked by two things. Firstly as the group came up Cours Victor Hugo, the people who came out of the middle-eastern shops and boutiques to ask for New Testaments. Over a thousand New Testaments were given to folk on the streets of Bordeaux. Then, secondly, the number of people who stopped someone and asked for prayer on the streets.
March for Jesus seems much more normal here in France than in the UK, where people march for all sorts of things quite regularly.
The colombo was excellent, and I got to know a new face on the Bordeaux scene, a splendid Brazilian brother who is the new pastor at the Baptist Church in Latresne.
Then back in the Clio, drinking my bottled water which I had left in the car (big mistake) and was now tepid. I drank it anyway and delivered the car back on the stroke of 2:30.